Quick Reads

Quick Reads

When Politicians Panicked – John Tamny. Very well documented evidence of the disastrous results caused by politicians shutting down the U.S. economy, along with other countries, because of Covid. Many times more deaths were caused worldwide because of poverty caused by these shutdowns than by Covid. We could have survived nicely without any forced shutdowns. There are many other factors discussed that were “mistakes” made. *****

The Cauldron – Lew Paper. A good history about the American Ambassador, Joseph Grew in Japan during the year before WW2. He had the same political issues as today with President Roosevelt & Secretary of State Hull keeping him in the dark about their negotiations with Japan’s leaders. ****

The Note Through The Wire – Doug Gold. A very well-written story about a New Zealand Soldier captured early in WW2. Through a multitude of improbable situations, he meets a  female Slovenia resistance fighter. Of course, they fall in love, so the intrigue is “spiced” up with romance. ****

How to Destroy America in Three Easy Lessons – Ben ShapiroA deep look at the politics of the liberal left’s ideas from the 1619 project, Howard Zinn’s teachings, & what he labels as “Disintegrations”. He labels the conservative right as “unionist”. Lots of recent history & political ideas & the way it is disseminated to the public.***

Daughters of Yalta – Catherine Grace Katz. Kathy Harriman’s Daughter of Averell, ambassador to the Soviet Union, Sarah Churchill, Winston’s daughter, & Anna Roosevelt, FDR’s daughter. Stories about their personal lives during Yalta & before, during & after WW2. Various affairs spice up the book which has a lot of details about the politics & negotiations between the 3 countries. ***

Genius Makers – Cade Metz. This book is about many of the programmers & people who invest big money in developing artificial intelligence programs. It also covers the “top dogs” in the business – Google, Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Tesla & many others. Tough read unless you are really interested in this. ***

Heart & Steel – Bill Cowher/Michael Holley. Bill Cower’s biography. He coached the Pittsburgh Steelers for 15 years, winning one Super Bowl. He reveals a lot of information about his family & personal life, along with many details about coaching various players with the Steelers. ***

The Authoritarian Moment – Ben Shapiro. This one is all about the politics of the liberals, the conservatives, & the far-left Democrats. He gives many examples in real life about how they have become “authoritarian” by forcing the majority to follow their demands regarding our behaviors, beliefs, & even the language we use. ***

The Premonition – Michael Lewis The main character in this book is Charity Dean, a county public health official in California. It is all about the Corona Virus & her premonition about its spread & how to fight it. It shows the incompetence in the CDC & the politics in our NIH. **

The Secret Life of Groceries – Benjamin Lorr. The author took jobs & worked with truckers, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Piggly Wiggly, and the shrimp industry in Thailand. He investigated other suppliers of poultry, pork, & farm produce. He found many “problems” usually caused by necessity to reduce cost. A lot of things he exposed have been corrected to some extent. **

Quick Reads

Quick Reads

Bad Guys in American HistoryGeorge Cantor. This is a very interesting book about 36 different bad guys or stories, from the Salem witch trials to Alcatraz. There are many names you will recognize & also many you will not. They are short stories with many surprises & twists that you have not been aware of. *****

Code BreakerWalter Isaacson.  About Jennifer Doudna & several bioscientists. She discovered how to do gene editing & a procedure known as CRISPER, eventually getting a Nobel Prize. It is unbelievably complex & complicated changing DNA & RNA to customize them to fight viruses’ or enhance physical properties. A tough but very interesting read. *****

Chasing The Thrill – Daniel Barbarisi. The story of a treasure chest being hidden by Forrest Fenn. The author searched for it and documents his search & the search by several others. Several people died trying to find the treasure. Several families divorced because of one partner searching for it. It was finally found after 10 years & shortly before Forest Fenn died. ****

Speed Bob Gilliland & Keith Dunnavant. Bob Gilliand graduated from the naval academy & transferred to the Air Force when it was new. He flew almost every fighter jet, as well as other planes. He became a test pilot for Lockheed where he had more time in experimental jets fly at Mach 2 & Mach 3 than any other pilot. Several of his friends were killed testing experimental planes. ****

Proof Of LifeDaniel Levin. This is a page-turner thriller about trying to find a missing person in Syria. It covers intrigue, politics, & corruption throughout the Middle East. ****

Vision or MirageDavid Rundell. This is a good book on the history of Saudi Arabia. He covers the good & the bad & it seems to be slowly getting better in recent years. ****

The Tyranny of Big TechJosh Hawley. Missouri senator writes about the control big tech has acquired through social media & the enormous fortunes they have acquired. He argues that they should be broken up because they are monopolies that buy their competitors or force them out of business with their wealth. ***

Dark Quadrant Jonathan Marshall. This one is about corruption at the national level from Truman to Trump. He also mentions FDR. He covers big business, foreign countries, politicians at national & state levels and organized crime. This is a depressing read when you realize how corrupt every level of government is. **

Demystifying HospiceKaren J. Clayton. A couple of hundred narrations of Hospice visits between Hospice caregivers, Hospice social workers, patients, & patients’ caregivers. It gives one a good understanding of the various ways patients & caregivers adjust & cope with the final stages of life. **

The Real J.R.R. TolkienJesse Xander. A good biography of Tolkien’s life. Shows how many characters in his life may have influenced him to create characters in his books about the Hobbits & Middle Earth. **

23rd Annual Southwest Florida Reading Festival announces 2022 author lineup

23rd Annual Southwest Florida Reading Festival announces 2022 author lineup

More than 20 acclaimed and bestselling authors are coming to Fort Myers to showcase their books and meet fans at the 23rd annual Southwest Florida Reading Festival held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 5, 2022.

The festival will be hosted on the downtown Fort Myers Regional Library campus located at 2450 First St.

The Southwest Florida Reading Festival is a free, all-ages, annual outdoor event. Fans have the opportunity to listen to and meet a diverse line-up of bestselling authors, participate in contests and activities and find the latest and greatest in books and technology. In addition to author appearances and autograph sessions, there will be food truck vendors, storytelling programs, arts and crafts, youth writing contests and a free book for every child and teenager.

The lineup of award-winning authors scheduled to attend the next festival includes adult authors Alafair Burke, Tim Dorsey, J.A. Jance, Nathaniel Philbrick, Kate Quinn and Brad Taylor, among others. Some of the youth and teen authors include Adrianna Cuevas, Stacy McAnulty, Jenna Evans Welch, Alex Willan and Adrienne Young.

The complete list of authors can be found by downloading the festival’s new, mobile app “SWFL ReadFest” at the App Store, Google Play or by visiting the festival website at www.ReadFest.org.

“We are so excited to be able to introduce a new, mobile app for the festival this year,” said festival organizer Melissa Baker, manager of programming and community outreach for the Lee County Library System. “We encourage everyone to download the app to learn more about our fabulous authors and stay up to date about the event as it develops.”

In addition to the daylong community event, Lee County Library System will offer virtual components for festival participants to enjoy. Among the activities planned are virtual author presentations, an online book discussion, grab-and-go festival bingo and virtual reading and activity challenges through the READsquared app.

“However people choose to engage with our event, in-person or virtually, we hope they will find the Reading Festival to be a fun and memorable experience,” Lee County Library System Director Mindi Simon said. “Having the opportunity to meet an author, learn about the writing process, and the story behind the stories is a centerpiece of our festival.”

Attendees who want more exclusive access to meet and mingle with this year’s festival authors can participate in An Evening with the Authors, a fundraising dinner scheduled to take place at the Edison Restaurant, Bar and Banquet Center on March 4. Tickets can be purchased online at the Reading Festival website www.ReadFest.org.

The Southwest Florida Reading Festival is free and community-supported through donations, sponsorships and grants. To help ensure the continuation of this free community event, please visit www.ReadFest.org to make a secure online donation. More information is available at www.ReadFest.org or by calling 239-533-4832. 

Quick Reads

Quick Reads

The Killer’s Shadow – John Douglas & Mark Olshaker

John Douglas was the pioneer of criminal profiling in the FBI. This book is mostly about Joseph Paul Franklin, a serial killer (30+) who also bombed a few places. It describes the effectiveness of profiling in this case & a few others. It details the crimes committed & how they interview criminals in custody to assist in developing profiles. ***

The Light of DaysJudy Batalion

This is the story of Renia Kukieka & several other Polish women working with the Polish resistance during WW2 after Germany invaded Poland. It is a detailed description of the hardships, killings, brutal beatings & torture the Polish Jews suffered during the German (& Russian) occupation. ****

Parenting Asperger’s – Michael Uram. 

A handbook on how to treat children with Aspergers from 4 to 18. A good read to help one understand the symptoms associated with Aspergers. **

The Anthropocene Reviewed – John Green

The anthropocene is the current geological age. He writes short chapters (essays) about his life experiences. Some are about animals, some about places, plants, friends, & cities. ***

Any Given Sunday – Matthew Sherry. 

Good book for rapid pro football fans. He reviews the 100-year history of pro football, with the years 1920 – 1960 being quite interesting. He covers 20 of the most important games in great detail with inside stories about many players, coaches, owners, and others involved with pro football. ***

I Have Been Buried Under Years of Dust – Valerie Gilpeer & Emily Grodin. 

The story of raising a child with autism who could not speak. Well-written descriptions of the symptoms and acts of a child with autism & the emotions & trials that the parents experienced. ****

It’s not the Gun – Kathy Sterman

Biography of life in the FBI. She was stationed in India & China during her career. She reveals many stories about relations with foreign governments & FBI protocols. She has many stories where she felt discriminated against just because she was a woman. **

The Bomber Mafia – Malcolm Cladwell

The “mafia” refers to 5 bomber pilots trained at Maxwell Field. The most famous was Haywood Hansel, who believed in precision bombing using the Norden bombsight. He was replaced by Curtiss Lemay in the Pacific theater. Lemay used Napalm to bomb  60 Japanese cities which turned out to be instrumental in ending the war. ***

My Remarkable Journey – Katherine Johnson

Her story of being a math genius. She worked with NASA before electronic computers calculating trajectories for space flights. She also writes about her personal life overcoming the prejudices because she was black & female. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. ****

Cheated – Andy Martino

The inside story of the Huston Astros cheating by stealing signs. It traces sign stealing in baseball from 1900 to 2020. There are many, many details about various ball clubs & probably many players you’ve never heard of. It also details the investigation & results of it. The extreme details make it a difficult read. *  

Quick Reads

Quick Reads

  • Slanted – Sharyl AttkisonAuthor spent 35 years in broadcasting on CBS, PBS, CNN, & her Sunday morning show “Full measure with Sharyl Attkison.” She gives hundreds of examples of how TV & newspapers slant the news versus what is factual. You will recognize many stories & personalities that she uses as examples. **
  • Hot Shot – Jeff ImmeltJeff was CEO Of General Electric for 16 years. He has many stories about management throughout his years at GE. This would be an excellent book for anyone to read before they are 35. It gives an inside look at how big companies actually operate, who gets promoted & why. Also gives examples of poor management styles. ***
  • The Killer’s Shadow – John Douglas & Mark Olshaker John Douglas is the FBI’s original criminal profiler & taught profiling at the FBI’s training center in Quantico, VA. The main character he writes about is Joseph Paul Franklin, who is believed to have committed at least 19 murders using various names throughout the US.  He writes about the many other serial killers where profiling assisted in their capture. **
  • We See It All – Jon FasmanThis is a detailed look at the extensive surveillance of everyone in public places. It covers the technology that is used in surveillance & how it can be used both for good & bad using many statistics from various countries & cities in the US. The author warns us of the possible abuses that could infringe on our freedoms. ***
  • The Secret Life of Groceries – Benjamin LorrThis is a very informative book about supermarkets, from Piggly Wiggly (1st) to Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, & the Amazon takeover of Whole foods. It looks at the supply chain for groceries from slave labor in the shrimp & fish industry, chicken, cattle & hog supply and the truck drivers delivering the supplies. Also looks at how supermarkets are managed. ****
  • Hunt, Gather, Parent – Michaeleen Doucleff, PHDThe author spent months living with primitive people in Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and Africa. She had her daughter who was 2.5 to 3.5 years old with her. She documents how completely different people raised their children very successfully. She adopted their methods, changing her daughter’s behavior to the better. Recommended reading for any expectant or new parents & anyone interested in a better way to raise children. *****
  • Hype – Gabriele BluestoneAbout Con artists, scammers, & grifters swindling people out of millions of dollars on the internet. Mostly about William (Billy) McFarland & a Fyre Concert to which he sold tickets for millions & never produced, among many other scams.  Also stories about many “influencers” with large followings on the Internet scamming people for millions on books or other events or products. **
  • Mr. Humble & Dr. Butcher – Randy SchillaceAbout Dr. Robert White, who was a superior brain surgeon discovering new ways to perform brain operations. Most amazing was attaching the head of a living monkey to the body of another living monkey! This is a very technical medical book, contains many different medical procedures by other doctors also. ****
  • Unmasked – Andy NgoThe author is the son of Vietnamese immigrants who covered the riots by BLM & Antifa. He was beaten up by an Antifa mob in Portland, Oregon in 2019 & became a target for abuse by them, often having death threats posted on Internet sites & spray painted on buildings. He gives many examples of their violence & criminal acts which are seldom prosecuted. *****
  • American Serial Killers – Peter VronskyThis is a detailed & lengthy history of serial killers, from 1900 to today. He concentrates mostly on the years 1950 to 2000. Some of the famous ones covered in the news were: Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, David Berkowitz, Richard Ramirez, Henry Lee Lucas, Charles Manson, Jerry Brudos, Edmund Kemper, Randy Kraft, Leonard Lake, Angelo Buono, Charles Ng, Ed Gein, Albert Desalvo, Albert Fish & many others. **
Quick Reads

Quick Reads

1.   Clanlands – Sam Heughan & Graham McTavish. 2 Famous actors in theater, TV & stage, write about the adventures filming the popular TV series Clanland based in Scotland. Many stories involve their love of alcohol. They have sold a new version called “Men wearing Kilts” to the STARZ network. This is a fun read. ***

2.   How To Destroy America In Three Easy Lessons – Ben Shapiro. This is a very dry read that will put you to sleep. However, it is a political assessment of things that are happening in government. ***   

3.   Hell in The Heartland – Jax MillerA twisting, convoluted story about murders & 2 missing 16-year-old girls in Oklahoma by this female author investigating them for 18 years. Methamphetamine drug trade & manufacture, comprised law enforcement all played a part in the difficulty of getting any resolution for 18 years. ****

4.   Why Did I Come In This Room? – Joan Lunden. A book about aging with advice, humor, & stories. Lot’s of advice about health issues, social issues & how to live healthy & happy. ****

5.   Inside Trump’s White House – Doug Wead. This book was written in 2019 before Trump’ run for a 2nd term. It is a good read about the Trump family from an inside source. ***

6.   The Cost – Maria Bartiromo. This book was written before the 2020 election. She covers economics in detail, covering most of the things Trump did during his term. She also covers politics & all the dirty tricks the Democrats used to slander Trump. ****

7.   The Stupidity Of War – John Mueller. He is against having a large standing army, believing we should just have a limited # of special forces. He lives in a different world & preaches that everything will be OK without a large military & becoming less active throughout the world using our influence.**

8.    A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence – Michael Woolridge. This is a mind-numbing read. Many references to Alan Turing who was instrumental to the opening study of artificial intelligence in 1935! It covers many different disciplines including philosophy, psychology, economics, cognitive science, & robotics. Real artificial intelligence still seems to be in the distant future. **

9.   The Devil You Know – Charles M. Blow. (A black power manifesto) He reviews black history in the U.S., the many faults that have been suffered by Blacks. He closes the book by encouraging blacks to move to the South, believing they get treated better there than in the North or West & have better opportunities to be successful there. **

10.   An Anatomy of Pain – Dr. Abdul-Ghaaliq Lalkhen. This is a very technical, medical read about treatments for pain. He gives many details about various treatments for pain, electrical stimulation, chemicals (meds), exercise, & diet. ** 

Pin It on Pinterest