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Saturday, July 28, 2018

"The Trip That Changed My Life" A Worldwide Collaboration

One of my colleagues is an avid travel.  He goes all around the world and blogs about it.  He started a project where he collected travel stories from friends all over the globe.  Each only a few pages, the stories tell tales of young and old, men and women, rich and poor, all discovering a part of themselves while on travel.  What I liked was how the money I used to buy this book went directly to a children's charity.  The tales in this book are family-friendly for the most part, except for the story at the very end, which is not suited for children.  Given so many different writing styles from different people, some short stories read better than others.  Overall, I was given the impression that travel is healthy for the soul and that I should go book me a trip!

"The Wright Brothers" by David Mccullough

  • Fascinated by flight, I decided to read up on the inventors of airplanes themselves, the Wright brothers.  Convinced that airplanes were made and embraced in America, I was very surprised to learn how the brothers were initially rejected by America and thus took their invention to France.  It was in Europe that their fame grew and that they were eventually taken seriously by the rest of the world, America included.  To think that so genius of men could have simply given up but chose not to is remarkable.  The life lesson for readers is astounding.  If someone doesn't come to your party, invite someone else.  If someone dumps you, go on another date with someone else.  If your boss doesn't promote your career, go work for someone else.  Strive to be your best and never ever give up.  Also interesting was that the brothers were in their 30/40s when they started inventing aviation.  One is never too old to start something new in life.  That they neither went to college nor married is also fascinating.  While this book is more biographical than entertaining, there are funny aspects of history interspersed.  My personal favorites are the times the brothers threw sticks at photographers who took their picture without their permission, as well as the time one of the brothers flipped their hat backwards and said to those around him before getting in his airplane, "Gentlemen, I am gong to fly."  To all the parents out there and to those with access to small children, never underestimate the value of toys.  The Wright brothers were first fascinated by flight when they played with a toy air machine.  I could go on and on but I encourage readers to read this book for themselves.  Also included in this hardcover nonfiction book are glossy black and white photos of the Wright brothers' historical moments.

Friday, July 13, 2018

"The God Machine" by James R. Chiles

This book covers an extensive history of the helicopter.  From famous engineers to lesser known visionaries, Chiles goes in detail about technological advancements that made the helicopter what it is today.  There are also descriptions of how helicopters are used from police to rescue to news and more.  Funny anecdotal stories are also included for hijackers and movie scenes and high speed chases.  Rotor dynamics are explained with pictures of lift and drag and torque.  The notion that helicopters changed history is hinted at when presidents used helicopters to get votes and when soldiers used helicopters to win wars.  This non-fiction book is very well researched but honestly a bit dry.  It was difficult to read as it was very dense.

Monday, July 9, 2018

"Psalms for Prayer" by She Reads Truth

This book is all about the psalms of the Bible.  It is not a copy and paste of all the psalms, though, as only select ones are printed herein.  For the selected psalms, they are selected based on a theme.  Themes include praise, confession, adoration, personal struggles, and more.  For more emotions and themes, there is a chart in the book where readers can look up a psalm on nearly any topic of their life.  With the workbook-like nature of this book, there is space for readers to comment on the psalms, answer prompts, and journal their thoughts.  Since the She Reads Truth organization is Christian, there are some references to Jesus and the New Testament included.  The overall style of the book is very white, clear, and crisp.  The few photo images inside are very basic, which is meant to give a meditative / contemplative feeling.