Sandy P. (sandypants) - Reviews

1 to 9 of 9
Alone: Orphaned on the Ocean
Alone: Orphaned on the Ocean
Author: Richard Logan, Tere Duperrault Fassbender
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 7/29/2015


Excellent true story about the plight of a loving family who hires a captain (without checking his background - a big mistake on their part) to take the entire family on an ocean cruise. Death of some family members and the lone plight of a small child rescued at sea make an incredibly interesting story of determination and hope.


Bag of Toys: Sex, Scandal, and the Death Mask Murder
Bag of Toys: Sex, Scandal, and the Death Mask Murder
Author: David France
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 5/21/2015


If you like a lot of background information, you may like this more than I did. This is a true story of the seedy underbelly of the gay sex community in New York City in the 70's and 80's. But the murder doesn't occur until more than 2/3 of the way through the book. The investigation of the crime is told much more quickly. I won't give away the end but let me remind everyone that karma's a bitch.


BELIEF & UNBELIEF
BELIEF & UNBELIEF
Author: Barbara G Walker
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/1/2015


Barbara G. Walker is the best-selling author of many books which are on such disparate subjects as knitting and feminism, among others. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she's won The American Humanist Association's Humanist Heroine Award. In reading Belief & Unbelief, I've found a new name to add to my "Favorite Authors list" and a new addition to my "Books I Could Read Over and Over List."

This book spoke to me on so many levels and I wish it had been available as I became a skeptic after spending half of my life in a church environment. At first, it appears to be an easy read, but with names of some of the twenty-two essays including words such as "cannibalism," there are many passages that simply were not at all easy to read.

My favorite essay, entitled "Does religion make people good?" especially resonated with me because my husband of 50 years thinks I'm a good person only because of all the years I spent as an active church-goer.

I especially enjoyed the author's sarcasm (not as caustic as Hitchens') and her bluntness. An example, "The history of science's relationship with Christianity yields a prodigious abundance of blunders and stupidity." Two perfect examples are the current denial of man-made global warning and the "homosexuality is a choice" issues.

The book really opened my eyes to the extent that racism/homophobia/misogyny are intertwined. Many of the relevant (to these issues) bible passages must have been left out purposefully when I was a little girl in Sunday School, and are likewise still left out at the women's church circles' bible studies. Let's not forget the wars/conflicts through the ages all caused by religious entities and responsible for almost as many deaths as are in the bible. Interestingly, the discussion re: the commandment "Thous shall not kill" is followed by multiple examples of the killing the biblical god either personally committed or ordered, in the book of Genesis alone.

There is extensive information that was well-researched and exceedingly well-referenced. I wish I could rate more than five stars. If you've done just a little reading on this subject, you may be as astonished as much as I was in reading the vast amount of contradictions and hatefulness that Walker discusses. If you have a bible, you may find yourself frequently checking the passages she cites, as you may find much of it pretty hard to fathom until you read it yourself.


The Blooding
The Blooding
Author: Joseph Wambaugh
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 57
Review Date: 3/1/2015
Helpful Score: 3


First admission I'm making is that I love true crime books. The
second admission I'm making is that I love science/scientific proof. This book perfectly combines both. The true story of a murder in England with telltale biological evidence left behind had one obvious suspect that the authorities thought was a dead ringer. All of the men in the entire town helped solve the case by mostly voluntarily participating in a "blooding" which ultimately gave them the proof they needed. Excellent writing by an author more known for his best-selling fiction, mostly police novels.


If I Can't Have You: Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance and the Murder of Her Children
Review Date: 6/17/2015
Helpful Score: 1


I thought I knew most of the relevant facts at the time most of this story occurred, as I have family living in the area of one of the main locales involved - in Northwest Washington state. But that didn't keep me from being riveted to the book almost from the first page. A sad and scary tale of not only domestic abuse but also of a twisted father/father-in-law and his son...leaves the reader just waiting for the whole situation to explode. Makes you wonder about the part religion may have played in this tragedy (spoiler alert) and the loss of innocent victims that maybe nobody could have stopped. Very well written by one of my favorite authors.


Showing Up for Life: Thoughts on the Gifts of a Lifetime
Review Date: 4/24/2015


This was my first book by either of the Bill Gates. The obvious pride that Bill Gates Sr. has for his family is heart-warming. His strongest, well-deserved values revolve around child-rearing, reading, hard work and work ethics are evident on every page. What a warm and giving human being...the world needs more people like this.


Starvation Heights: The True Story of an American Doctor and the Murder of a British Heiress
Review Date: 6/17/2015


I'm a longtime fan of Gregg Olsen's true crime writing, and this is no doubt my favorite of his books. I know the area as we visit the Seattle area often. I started reading, knowing it was true crime, my favorite genre, but was disillusioned for a very brief moment when I discovered how long ago the events occurred. I am incredibly happy, though, that I continued to read. A fascinating tale of two sisters who believed in all things natural, health-wise. But when their paths crossed with a fanatic, greedy and evil practitioner, their lives were very short-lived. If you love true crime, you will love this book. Wish I could give it more than 5 stars.


Thinking, Fast and Slow
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Author: Daniel Kahneman
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 7/12/2015


Although it's a long book, I could read it over and over again. I read the library's book, but ended up buying it on my Nook so I could read it again. I love that it's based on science, not observations alone. Kahneman is a Nobel Prize winner in the field of science. My background (both in education and work) is in science, but his writing is so well done, that I think most people who like the subject would have no trouble understanding it. He gives real life examples that just make so much sense. I have a lot of books about different kinds of "thinking," but this is by far my favorite.


An Unknown Woman
An Unknown Woman
Author: Alice Koller
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 6/19/2015


This is by far my all-time favorite book of the hundreds I've read. It's the author's true story of an empty goalless life, not knowing what she wanted, but knowing there was a better life for her somewhere, somehow. She bravely stepped out of her comfort zone and took a trip alone...to the island of Nantucket...for the long, snowy winter when it's almost deserted. She planned well and during that winter, she found what she didn't know she was looking for...herself. It's been referred to as "A Woman's Walden." The story is incredibly inspiring as I read it when I thought I was just a wife, a nurse and a mother. It helped me construct my own journey with my own rules.


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