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From the Corner of the Oval by Beck…
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From the Corner of the Oval (2018)

by Beck Dorey-Stein

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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15143116,266 (3.71)3
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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Dory-Stein takes us behind the scenes of the Obama administration and makes politics utterly readable and quite enjoyable. A nice blend of humorous memoir and fly-on-the-wall experiences of the Oval Office ( )
  emador | Dec 3, 2018 |
For those who prefer nonfiction, Beck Dorey-Stein’s memoir From the Corner of the Oval begins with Beck answering a Craigslist ad for a stenographer in Washington DC. It turns out that the job is at the White House, and Beck would be one of a few people who record President Obama’s public remarks and then type them up for official transcriptions.

Beck has a boyfriend who works on various political campaigns (including both of Obama’s) so he frequently travels. It takes her awhile, but Beck makes good friends, and even plays basketball on Tuesday nights with the guys.

She also finds herself in love with Jason, a man who works closely with the President. Jason is a womanizer, and he is engaged to a young socialite who lives in Los Angeles. That doesn’t stop him from pursuing Beck and, unbeknownst to her, several other women simultaneously.

They have an on-again, off-again secret affair that leaves Beck desperately unhappy with own dishonesty toward her boyfriend and other friends.

From the Corner of the Oval is a true story that reads like a terrific novel. Beck Dorey-Stein perfectly blends a young woman’s doomed romance with a fascinating workplace study where the workplace is the Oval Office.

As she travels with President Obama, we get a seat on Air Force One as they go to Europe, Asia, Africa and on an exciting visit to Cuba. We see Secretary Clinton as she spends an hour shaking hands and speaking with the kitchen staff in Myanmar, run next to President Obama on the treadmill as he teases Beck about her speed, and fear the sound of the Rattler, a mean woman who dislikes Beck and gets her nickname from the jangle of the ever-present bangle bracelets warning of her approach.

Beck Dorey-Stein is a fantastic writer and, for anyone who would love a peek at being close to the highest office in the land, this is a must-read. ( )
  bookchickdi | Nov 15, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was really excited to get this book because I wanted to read about some behind-the-scenes in the White House. While you do get a little glimpse from the woman who wrote this on Obama, it isn't enough to keep you reading or interested.

To be honest, I got really tired of reading the back-and-forth of her cheating and drama. If you want to read a soap opera, pick it up and go for it. If not, stay away. ( )
1 vote dndizzle | Nov 5, 2018 |
Great book! Sadly, my review was lost by either my computer or Goodreads. I loved the honesty and descriptive writing of the author and appreciated her perspective on my favorite POTUS. I did feel like a mouse in the corner of the Oval Office. I also enjoyed her description of her life outside the Oval, even when I wanted to scream at her for her poor personal choices. I will look forward to future work by Ms. Dorey-Stein.
My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this title. Sorry that my original review was lost. ( )
  c.archer | Oct 24, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Doeey Stein is a book that you either embrace as it’s written or find cringeworthy for the content. This is the story of a twenty something college grad who literally answers a Craigslist ad for a job as a last ditch employment effort before giving up on her post college city and lands in the Obama White House. As a memoir you either accept this isn’t written for optimal romantic development, main character reader likability, but raw vulnerability of the author giving us a look into her story. I for one enjoyed and respected the honesty of Ms Beck Stein throughout. When a work of fiction is actually a memoir you’ve lost me, and when a memoir is largely a work of fiction you’ve also lost me. To find a writer who is engaging, entertaining, honest, vulnerable, and true throughout you have to be willing to accept their story their way... even if that’s the story of a young millennial who finds themselves in extraordinary circumstances that the most seasoned of us would be awestruck, travels the world, has a front row seat to history, and still makes the same awkward decisions the rest of us do. ( )
  CMDH5 | Oct 22, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Beck Dorey-Steinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gaffney, EvanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glasserman, DebbieDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Richards, Paul J.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
TURN THE GOD DAMN MUSIC UP!
MY HEART FEELS LIKE AN ALLIGATOR!

-- HUNTER S. THOMPSON
GUIDELINES FOR ASPIRING STENOGRAPHERS

Abide by the rules, grammatical and otherwise.
Show up early and say nothing.
Be discreet and neat -- like a librarian or a well-paid prostitute.
Neutral tones set the tone.
Breathe quietly or not at all.
Apply semicolons sparingly; do not question convention.
Live to type, don't type to live.
Exude femininity in a strictly nonsexual way.
No hanky-panky in the workplace -- or anywhere, ever.
Don't aim for perfection. Be perfection.
And above all, keep the secrets to yourself.

I SHOULD NOT BE A STENOGRAPHER.
Dedication
For the scrappy ones.
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On a night like this, I wait for the voice of God. (Prologue: This place)
"So what do you do?" is the first question D. C. people ask, and the last question you want to answer if you're unemployed, which I am.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Contents: Guidelines for aspiring stenographers -- Prologue : this place -- Act I : 2012 -- Act II : 2013 -- Act III : 2014 -- Act IV : 2015 -- Act V : 2016 -- Epilogue : don't let the bastards get you down.
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"In 2012, Beck Dorey-Stein was just scraping by in DC when a posting on Craigslist landed her, improbably, in the Oval Office as one of Barack Obama's stenographers. For five years, Beck was a part of the elite team of men and women who accompanied the president wherever he went, recorder and mic in hand. She got to know everyone from the White House butler to the secret servicemen, advance team, speechwriters, photographers, and press secretaries, and on whirlwind trips across time zones, she forged friendships with a tight group of fellow travelers in the bubble--young men and women who, like her, left their real lives behind to hop aboard Air Force One in service of the president. But as she learned the ropes of protocol, Beck became romantically entangled with one of the President's closest aides...who was already otherwise engaged... Set against the backdrop of a White House full of glamour, drama, and intrigue, this is the compulsively readable story of a young woman finding friends, falling in love, getting her heart broken, finding her voice as a writer, and finding herself in the process"--… (more)

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