Book Review: Let’s Roll

Book Review: Let’s Roll

Let’s Roll: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage by Lisa Beamer is a highly moving and inspiring book, with the right balance of harrowing details and faith elements to ground this true story in hope. For those unfamiliar with this story, Lisa is the wife of Todd Beamer, one of the many unsung heroes who perished on United Airlines Flight 93 a few minutes after ten a.m. on September 11, 2001, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Evidence from phone calls before the plane went down reveals that Todd and other passengers on board determined to take back the plane from the terrorists; unfortunately, their efforts ultimately led to their deaths, yet their sacrifice undoubtedly spared many more lives than those lost on the plane. This is the story of what happened that day, particularly Todd’s role. Let’s Roll is in some ways Lisa and Todd’s life story, in another a gripping, detailed account of how heroic deeds…

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Movie Review: I Can Only Imagine

Movie Review: I Can Only Imagine

 If you’re a big fan of CCM (Contemporary Christian Music), which I’m not, you may readily recognize the song behind this movie. So far it is the best-selling single in Christian music of all time. You may even have some knowledge of Bart Millard’s story and the true events that shaped his life and inspired him to write the song “I Can Only Imagine.” Though I had heard the song, I knew nothing about Bart’s story when I watched the movie. This was probably an advantage because I had no idea how the story would unfold. The movie explores a very familiar theme: forgiveness. Bart grew up listening to Amy Grant and other CCM artists, whose music helped him escape the reality of an abusive father. We see Bart’s dad burn Bart’s homemade helmet. Later, we hear his parents arguing. Bart lies in bed and braces himself when his bedroom door…

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Review: The Way I See It by Melissa Anderson

Review: The Way I See It by Melissa Anderson

https://amzn.to/2N9Wr85 I enjoyed this memoir by Melissa Anderson (Melissa Sue or Mary on Little House on the Prairie). It is decently written, and she does a fine job describing how she got on the cast of Little House and what the overall experience was like to be on a popular TV show like that. She matter-of-factly shares some fun behind-the-scenes stories that are entertaining and reveal more about the cast and life on set. She also traces her career and mentions other projects she worked on over the years, though mostly she talks about Little House. I’ve not followed her career beyond Little House and wasn’t really interested in anything beyond that. A few things jumped out at me that I particularly liked: She doesn’t glorify her past indiscretions and sexual exploits, if she even experienced them. Her book is a contrast to Melissa Gilbert Prairie Tale, which spends too…

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Book Review: Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men

Book Review: Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men

I recently read Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Bell Gunness, Butcher of Men by Harold Schechter and was pleasantly pleased overall with the book and the presentation of this haunting and disturbing story. I haven’t read any true crime in a while that encouraged me to set other responsibilities aside to get to the bottom of the mystery presented in this book. For those who are unfamiliar with the true story of Belle, let me summarize. Norwegian-born Belle is considered one of America’s first female serial killers, who reportedly killed up to forty people between 1884 and 1908. During her early years, she went through a string of husbands, who died under mysterious circumstances. Sometimes even her own children died mysteriously. She quickly drew on their life insurance policies. Authorities were sometimes suspicious, but few incidents were investigated. And if they were, the investigations didn’t go far enough. Later, as a single woman…

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