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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Review: H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil

Review: H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil

Earlier this year the History Channel featured a much-hyped and rather gruesome series called American Ripper. The series speculated that H. H. Holmes, whom some have dubbed “America’s first serial killer” (which isn’t true, by the way), was also Jack the Ripper. If you’ve watched my blog, you might have seen my candid review of the flawed TV series. After watching the series, I recalled my delight in reading The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (one of my favorite authors, by the way). Soon I noticed Adam Selzer’s book (Adam was featured as a consultant in American Ripper), and after reading snippets, I decided to purchase it for my Kindle. What a great read! If you’ve read The Devil in the White City, you’ll find this book to be not only supplemental but even more comprehensive in exploring Holmes and his history and character. Selzer often plumbs the depths…

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Book Review: The Methuselah Project

Book Review: The Methuselah Project

In World War II, German scientists began many experiments. One never ended. Roger Greene is a war hero. Raised in an orphanage, the only birthright he knows is the feeling that he was born to fly. Flying against the Axis Powers in World War II is everything he always dreamed―until the day he’s shot down and lands in the hands of the enemy. When Allied bombs destroy both his prison and the mad genius experimenting on POWs, Roger survives. Within hours, his wounds miraculously heal, thanks to those experiments. The Methuselah Project is a success―but this ace is still not free. Seventy years later, Roger hasn’t aged a day, but he has nearly gone insane. This isn’t Captain America―just a lousy existence only made passable by a newfound faith. The Bible provides the only reliable anchor for Roger’s sanity and his soul. When he finally escapes, there’s no angelic promise…

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Book Review: The Giver

I finally found time over vacation to read The Giver by Lois Lowry. She’s also the author of Number the Stars, one of my all-time favorite YA novels. The Giver also won the Newberry Award, and I was eager to read it (certainly no small amount of buzz over it, since the release of the movie, which I haven’t yet seen). But overall I’d have to admit that I wish I’d liked the novel more than I did. It didn’t live up to its hype for me. Though the novel is well written and offers a lot of interesting social commentary in the context of an imagined future world, I struggled to get through it. Jonas’s world is certainly not one where I would like to live, and perhaps that’s one reason why I didn’t enjoy the novel. It certainly isn’t a “happy” story. Here is Publisher’s Weekly summary: In the “ideal”…

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