Saturday, February 21, 2015

Shelter Me by Judy Shine Logan

Domestic violence and becoming a widow: Two heartrending topics the author tackles in her novel. Logan tells the story with believable characters, Terry, who lives through the hell of a battered wife and mother, and Anne, who’s alone after losing her husband. Two women from different backgrounds form a lasting friendship during these tumultuous times. This bond helps comfort both in time of need.

While Terry and Anne attempt to deal with adversity, readers accompany both on their emotional journey. Each deals with current circumstances as best they can, learning daily how to cope and help one another.

Shelter Me is a book that can offer help for women suffering a life similar to Terry and Anne, or as an eye-opener for others into a world of abuse and loneliness. Either way, Judy Logan provides hope in difficult situations with responsible writing.

Monday, February 16, 2015

BEING WITH BECKY by Lisa Binkowski

True stories create great books.

Being with Becky is a memorial to the author’s sister, Rebecca Binkowski. Murdered by David Stappenbeck, a mentally unstable man that Becky knew well, made this particular story heartrending.

Becky worked as a social worker, and the man who brutally attacked her was the product of a poor mental health system. Had Becky been aware of his sordid past mental history, she would not have given him a ride on that ill-fated day in February 1993.

Being with Becky described the Binkowski family’s closeness throughout the years. Lisa and Becky were thirteen years apart, yet shared a special bond in their large Catholic family. She wanted readers to appreciate Becky for her remarkable qualities. This book conveys that message with elegance.

Highlighting a flawed mental health system in hope of change is a promise from the author, Becky’s sister, Lisa Binkowski. I wish the best in her effort to avert Becky’s death be in vain.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Newborn Nazi by Rhoda D’Ettore

A family saga, German style, best describes Newborn Nazi.

Dual citizenship, family secrets - selling secrets, treason, murder within the family, Nazi Intelligence, Nazi spies, FBI, double agents, romance, death camps, money, and apple strudel. Just a smidgeon of intrigue Rhoda D’Ettore covers with brilliance in this intense WWII story.

Escaping death is the main goal of this family during a tumultuous time in history. How they accomplish the objective is incredible and shocking.

I recommend Newborn Nazi for those who enjoy reading stories about family and history.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Harry's Last Stand: How the world my generation built is falling down, and what we can do to save it.

A relative of Harry’s said, “The world has changed a lot since you were a boy.” Harry didn’t want to disagree, but thought the problem is that it hasn’t changed enough. He feels it is easy today, to ignore or misunderstand the lessons the past can teach us about today’s world.

Harry Leslie Smith is a ninety year old RAF WWII veteran, who lived through hell and wants to leave this earth sharing his ideas for a better world. Besides taking readers through his life’s journey, he talks about politics, business, health care, citizenship, and education of his home country of England; however, he includes the United States.

Harry’s three main points on education: “Performance based education will only encourage the flight of the best human capital to private institutions.”

“We have to make ensure that our education system is more than just a factory to turn out obedient workers.”

“We need a national service that obliges all young people during their gap year to travel the country and learn about their neighboring regions.”

His points on business: “If no one felt they were better than anyone else, and each person understood their efforts built a better company and a better life for themselves, then this would create an almost perfect system of work. Small businesses that may not be able to afford to implement the living wage should opt to make written contracts with their employees that allow for fair profit sharing.”

On health care: “Humanity cannot evolve when its rulers are only interested in the profit and loss of their most affluent constituents and ignore the rest of their citizens.”

On politics:  “Defeat social inequality by establishing a social welfare state.”

On citizenship: “Being engaged and part of a vibrant democracy is one way to ensure that you matter, regardless of where you stand on society’s ladder.” In other words, vote. In addition, Harry thinks the voting age should be seventeen years of age.

There are more stories and opinions Harry Smith leaves his readers. To understand all his points of view, read Harry’s Last Stand. He ends the book saying, “So, before we are no more, we should aspire to do something that makes us a better human being.”

Thank you, Harry, for this book of wisdom and considerations for a better world.