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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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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Book Review: Firestorm at Peshtigo

Book Review: Firestorm at Peshtigo

About an hour from where I live lies the town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin. For years, I drove right past the main highway leading to this town, never even realizing its importance in history–and yes, some critical history happened there. But unfortunately, few then and even today know much about it, due to the disaster being overshadowed by a more important event, the Chicago fire, on Sunday, October 8, 1871. On that same day, while close to 250 people perished in Chicago, nearly 2,000 perished in the firestorm at the lumber town of Peshtigo and surrounding areas. The book’s back cover says the town of Peshtigo “was truck with a five-mile-wide wall of flames, borne on tornado-force winds of one hundred miles per hour that tore across more than 2,400 square miles of land, obliterating the town in less than one hour and killing more than two thousand people.” Firestorm at Peshtigo:…

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