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. **

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. ** 

Quick Reads

Quick Reads

The Cauldron – Lew Paper.  A very interesting history of the U.S. ambassador to Japan for 10 years before WW2, Joe Grew. It covers the details of his interaction with the U.S. state department & president Roosevelt. There was a lot of omission & deceit (lies) in information passed on to him. *****

Caste – Isabel WilkersonInstead of seeing racism she sees divisions as caste comparing the caste systems in India, The U.S. & Germany. The bottom rung in India is Dalits (untouchables,) In the U.S it is African American, & in Germany it is Jews. There are various castes from top to bottom & she gives many examples of the different castes in the U.S. **

The Hilarious World of Depression – John Moe.  The author has a popular podcast with the same title. The book has many stories about depression & attempts to explain the many possible symptoms of depression. ***

El Jefe The Stalking of Chapo Guzman – Alan FeuerAn inside look at the people in agencies in the U.S. & Mexico attempting to capture Guzman. Interesting look at his organization, operations, 2 escapes from prison, his family & friends. Also looks at the various people trying to capture him. ****

Demystifing Hospice – Karen J. ClaytonA Hospice social worker gives many inside stories of patients & caregivers of people in Hospice care at home. ***

Anatomy of Pain – Dr. Abdul Ghaahq Lalhen.  This is a tough read with a lot of medical information but very interesting. He covers a lot of methods of treating pain with new developments over the last 20 years. ****

Hunting Whitey – Casey Sherman & Dave WedgeThe inside story of Whitey Bulger, a famous Boston crime boss who committed 19 murders. It details all the places he went to & lived while being pursued by law enforcement. Covers his criminal acts from a young age to going into hiding & then getting killed in prison at 85. ****

The Last Days of John Lennon – James Patterson/Casey Sherman/Dave Wedge. A biography of Lennon & the history of the Beatles with a description of his killer’s thoughts, personality & actions prior to killing Lennon. Lots of stories about the Beatles & other musicians. *****

Let’s Never Talk About This Again – Sara Faith AltermanStarts out slow, but becomes a really good memoir with lots of humor. Mostly about her father, but also includes many other characters in her life. Some sad parts, too, with her father dying from Alzheimer’s at the end. *****

The Spider – Barry LevineThe story of Jeffrey Epstein & Ghislaine Maxwell. A lot of new information about the details of their lives, many of their famous friends and the crimes they were involved in (traffiking young girls & women.) ***

Quick Reads

Quick Reads

Frontier Follies – Ree DrummondA very good memoir of her life after marriage, living on a cattle ranch in Oklahoma. Lots of real life situations & humor. ****

Live Free Or Die – Sean Hannity.  The title is overly dramatic. A review of the Trump administration with an inside look at political actions throughout government, the liberal press, and the conservative press. He goes into a lot of details behind the scenes in government. **

The Three C’s That Made America Great – Mike Huckabee/Steve Feazel.  Christanity – Capitalism – Constitution. A very informative read about the 3 topics from a conservative point of few. Reasoned versions of the 3 topics without name calling or abusive language. Very educational reading for all. *****

The End of Everything (Astrophysically speaking) – Katie MackThis is about the physics of the universe. A challenging read about the beginning of the universe to what physicists expect will possibly be the end of the universe. Lots of theories about dark space, dark energy & the solar system. Be prepared to take nap breaks ****

Talking to Goats (Greatest OAll Time) – Jim GrayHe tells about his interviews & relationships with many sports figures, including Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Mohammad Ali, Michael Phelps, Mike Tyson, Lebron James, Tom Brady, Shaq, Jack Nicholson, Ron Artest, several presidents & many others. *****

A Very Punchable Face – Colin JostHead writer on Saturday Night live writes a very funny memoir about his life at SNL & also various adventures with his co-workers. ****

Greenlights – Matthew McConaugheyVery well written memoir with humor & wisdom. He reveals a lot about his personal life from young to present. Also includes a lot of stories about his adventures in exotic places that he has visited & his acting career. *****

Tombstone – Tom CalvinA well researched page turner about the early history of the west. It goes into great detail about many characters that you probably have never heard of before. It covers the personalities  of them, their wives & friends. *****

Blackout – Candace OwensAn informative book on how government policies keep minorities on welfare programs, not encouraging or allowing them to lead productive, successful lives. She gives many examples of these policies & names programs & politicians that promote them. ****

Overkill – Paul A. Offit, MDThis book will blow you away with all the false claims about modern medicine. He writes about operations that really have no effect in controlled studies, The same for many prescribed medications, & most supplements. *****

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