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The Nine–despair and courage

The Nine

by Gwen Strauss

Five years of research and writing went into the creation of The Nine, a nonfiction work that focuses on a group of nine women, most in their twenties, who joined the Resistance movement in World War II at various times and places. Six were French, two Dutch, and one Spanish. They were individually captured and sent to worse than horrible Nazi internment camps.

The author was able to interview her great aunt Helène who spoke five languages and was the leader of this band who joined together to survive and escape. Strauss followed quite a maze of information and was aided by many including families of “The Nine.” The book begins with Helène’s story which for me was emotionally difficult as she provides some details of her capture and torture. There were some types of torture, however, that Helène would not discuss or even name. The rest of the account moved more quickly as we learn more about each of the young ladies in the first nine chapters along with descriptions of life in a labor camp. Each chapter moves them closer to either death or escape. Most of the rest of the book lays out their last days together and concludes with what happens after the war is over.

The ladies did not share their stories with very many people for a variety of reasons which the author relates. Several wrote about their experiences in unpublished formats to be discovered after their deaths. Many former prisoners of World War II suffered again after their presumed return to safety—homes and loved ones were gone, their bodies were physically ruined, and society turned against them. Statistically they were lucky to survive, but they bore visible and invisible scars. Most returnees were reluctant to discuss their imprisonment with even those closest to them and found that, in general, people did not want to hear about their experiences.

I highly recommend this book for the author’s insightful and thorough reporting about the brave women of the Resistance and the cruel and evil system that treated them as vermin. One of the policies that I sadly see repeated currently is those in power inciting division to weaken and control those under them. In the camps, the Poles received the best treatment from the Nazis, followed by the Reds. Every group looked down on another in the camps with the Roma (Gypsies), criminals, and homosexuals regarded as the bottom of humanity.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Rating: 5/5

Category: History, Nonfiction (Adult)

Notes: 1. Subtitled: The True Story of a Band of Women Who Survived the Worst of Nazi Germany
2. At the first of the book there is a list of the women with their nicknames and a brief description
3. At the end of the book are notes about the author’s journey into the past, a bibliography, notes on each chapter, and a list of the illustrations (which sound interesting, but were not included in my Advance Reader Copy).

Publication: May 4, 2021—St. Martin’s Press

Memorable Lines:

The Jewish prisoners were given the worst rations, worst living conditions, and the hardest jobs. They were already the most traumatized group, having suffered pogroms, witnessed mass murders, and narrowly escaped the gas chambers. All of them had probably seen their loved ones die, and they may or may not have counted themselves lucky to be alive.

They were proud of how they served each other, divided food equally, and maintained their civility in such an uncivil place. It had kept them strong when others become more and more like animals, lost their sense of themselves, and fell into dark despair.

In the sea of people who seemed to have been tossed up like pebbles on a beach, the prospect of finding their loved ones felt nearly impossible.

Mission Possible–living a life that counts

Mission Possible

by Tim Tebow
with A. J. Gregory

Have you ever thought about the purpose of your life? Tim Tebow, athlete, speaker, and TV sports analyst, shares his ideas on the subject in his latest book Mission Possible. He says that our “big-picture purpose is to bring glory to God wherever you are” and that “Living a mission-possible life means executing the good works that God has already prepared for you to do.”

Tebow lays out in plain language and through Scriptures and anecdotes how each one of us can live out a mission possible life, a life of significance. As head of the Tim Tebow Foundation, Tebow tries to transparently live out his beliefs as he spearheads projects to honor the disabled where they are each crowned king or queen of the prom at Night to Shine events all over the world. He does this to show them how much God loves them and how special they are in God’s eyes. His foundation is also involved in orphanages and health care clinics as well as fighting sexual trafficking. While we can’t all do the things he does or have the influence he has, Tebow says that we can all live out our purpose and make a difference in the lives of others.

In this powerful and inspirational book, Tebow addresses some of the hard problems we face as we try to discover our purpose and make our lives count. Sometimes we encounter obstacles that could keep us from completing our mission, but God can do the impossible if we are willing to be used by Him. God can use us wherever we are, even if we think what we are doing is insignificant. As Tebow notes about Jesus: “He lived fully with purpose in every moment.” That is hard to do but Jesus is the ultimate example for living a life full of purpose.

Our mission possible life will aim for excellence with integrity and gratitude. Tebow also encourages you to pursue your mission with passion. He shares how to find your edge and use it well. He gives guidance for dealing with uncertainties, imperfections, and even failure. He encourages you to take that first step, however small it may be: you don’t have to map out the whole journey before you begin in faith.

There is so much Godly, practical wisdom in Mission Possible. The style is easy to read and well organized, the content is important, and the message is clear. The book concludes with a prayer for those who don’t yet have a personal relationship with Jesus and want to pray to accept Him into their lives. There is another prayer for those ready to make their lives count. This book will make an impact on your life. Read it. Share it. Act on it. You will be glad you did.

I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to WaterBrook for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Christian, Nonfiction

Notes: Tebow has created 3 companion products that support this book as well as a children’s picture book on the same topic.

Publication: March 8, 2022—WaterBrook

Memorable Lines:

See, my mission was never to put on Night to Shine. Now, I love it and it’s absolutely my favorite night of the year, but my mission was, and continues to be, loving and celebrating and caring for those whom God loves and celebrates and cares for.

God has given us His best, His Son, and has proved that He can be trusted. I may not understand why certain roads have started or ended but I can count on His faithfulness.
We may not be blessed with Tom Cruise’s stunt skills. I can’t sing, and maybe you can’t play football. But there’s one thing we can all do: because of the work Jesus did for us on the cross and through the Resurrection, we can each make our lives count.

Drop Acid–how to lower uric acid values

Drop Acid

by David Perlmutter
with Kristin Loberg

Be prepared when you read Drop Acid for a book that concentrates on a medical theory that attributes many of our medical woes including obesity, diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, premature death, stroke, coronary artery disease, Alzheimer’s and hypertension to high levels of uric acid. In his efforts to convince the reader of his theory, Dr. Perlmutter, a neurologist, spends about half of his book expounding in detail the scientific basis of the principles of his LUV (Lower Uric Values) Diet, a trademarked designator. He spends a further 16% of the book at the end on notes for further reading.

The second part of Drop Acid lays out a plan of action for the reader to follow in lowering uric acid levels in three main areas: food; sleep, exercise, exposure to nature, and timing of meals; followed by fine tuning the process. He concludes with recipes that he developed with Tricia Williams, a food therapist.

I was really excited to read this potentially life-changing book. Unfortunately, my eyes glazed over during the details of the first half, and I failed to be convinced that this is a program I personally want to commit to. Even the recipes are challenging. Although Perlmutter claims substitutes can be made in ingredients, I have to ask why one would suggest recipes that specifically include Castelvetrano olives, za’atar seasoning, Tuscan kale, or dulse flakes.

I apply a healthy dose of skepticism when members of the medical community make a business out of healthcare. Perlmutter, in an effort at full disclosure, shares that he is on the board of directors of a company marketing a device, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to measure and monitor blood glucose, a device he maintains is not necessary for his program but would be very useful. He frequently in the text refers the reader both to that device and to his self-promoting website. He also introduces the website of Tricia Williams where his business is again promoted and ready-to-eat meals following this diet are available for purchase.

I am not a scientist or a medical professional, and I have not tried his program myself. I am reviewing the book for readability and appeal, not evaluating the efficacy of the LUV diet.

I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to Little, Brown & Co. for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 2/5

Category: Health, Mind, and Body

Notes: 1. Perlmutter is the author of a family of five books focused on gluten-free diets. His flagship book for that effort is Grain Brain.
2. Perlmutter ties his Covid wagon to a uric acid star, seemingly willing to accept most of the pandemic deaths as the inevitable result of comorbidities associated with high uric acid rather than admit most could have been avoided with the right therapeutics.

Publication: February 15, 2022—Little, Brown, & Co.

Memorable Lines:

As you will soon learn, long before any symptoms develop, asymptomatic hyperuricemia may well be fomenting an unending, irreversible storm and subtly stoking biological processes that ultimately result in elevated blood sugar and blood pressure, bad cholesterol, excess body fat, and systemic inflammation, which opens the door for any number of chronic degenerative conditions.

Contrary to what Big Corn will tell you, fructose and glucose are not siblings with equal biological effects. Fructose is more like glucose’s evil twin: when you eat glucose, your body uses it to produce energy; but when you eat fructose, it triggers changes in the body that favor the storage of energy in the form of fat.

If elevated uric acid precedes and predicts biological mayhem and future risk for most chronic diseases, then we must start paying attention to this important metabolite.

Seeing Beautiful Again–encouragement

Seeing Beautiful Again

by Lysa TerKeurst

Are you going through a hard time, something that is devastating and you have no control over? Do you wonder if you’ll ever “see beautiful” again? Lysa TerKeurst experienced three of those, two physical and one relational, in a short period of time. She has written several books that describe her journey. In Seeing Beautiful Again, she has drawn from her experiences and writings to compose a devotional book to guide readers through fifty days of their struggle. The goal is to give hope and demonstrate that by clinging to God’s promises, readers can stay the course and trust God.

Seeing Beautiful Again is divided into sections and each section begins with a letter to the reader from author Lysa TerKeurst. Each devotional begins with Scripture and ends with a prayer. In between Lysa shares her thoughts on the topic. These passages sometimes include parts of her personal story and always draw the reader to God’s truth which can be applied to a personal situation.

TerKeurst’s other books like Forgiving What You Can’t Forget examine in depth our response to hurts. This devotional is a daily dose of encouragement to fight the good fight and to remember God’s love and His promises in the middle of the trauma.

I would like to extend my thanks to Edelweiss and to HarperCollins Christian Publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Category: Religion, Christian Life, Women’s Issues

Notes: Devotional

Publication: March 30, 2021—Harper Collins Christian Publishers

Memorable Lines:

Their victory never hinged on their ability or any of their well-thought-out plans. It was solely dependent on their unwavering obedience offered to a loving and mighty God.

My job is to be obedient to God. God’s job is everything else.

Father God, thank You for reminding me I can trust You in the waiting. I know I can entrust every season of my life into Your hands. Thank You for being present in every moment, strengthening me in the places that I feel inadequate to keep going. When I feel uncertain about what’s ahead, remind me of who You are. I know it will get me through. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Code Girls–The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II

Code Girls

by Liza Mundy

Nonfiction has the potential to be deadly boring or magnificently interesting. Liza Mundy’s Code Girls without a doubt falls into the latter category. It is not an easy read, but it is fascinating. Code Girls tells the tale of the essential role the code breakers, who were mostly women, played in the eventual Allied defeat of the Axis nations in World War II. If you are envisaging a handful of young women holed up in a room in D.C., think again. The Army’s code breakers numbered 10,500 with 70% of them women and most working out of the Arlington Hall campus in Virginia. The Navy’s group numbered 10,000 with half of those stationed in D.C. of which 80% were female. Both groups rose to those numbers from a mere 200 code breakers each in a short amount of time. These women came from all walks of life and backgrounds. Among the first recruited were college educated, low paid, school teachers at a time when a low priority was placed on education for women. Many of these women had a background in math and science, and all had a good memory. They were analytical and could approach problems in novel ways.

The code breakers’ stories went untold for most, if not all, of their lives because they were sworn to secrecy. They considered the work they did a duty of honor to their country and to the men in their lives. They understood that their work could literally save lives, perhaps even of their own loved ones, by intercepting and decoding enemy messages. It is a testament to their trustworthiness that Germany and Japan never knew that their transmissions had been intercepted. Even roommates and spouses could not speak of their work outside of their assigned workplace.

The author, Liza Mundy, had two hurdles to jump, both of which she accomplished with finesse. The first was her thorough research which is documented through 39 pages of notes and bibliography. Then she wove the hard facts into a narrative with a very personal touch derived from many interviews. She doesn’t just write that Washington, D.C. was inundated with uninitiated girls pouring in from all over the country needing housing, food, transportation, and training. She presents the scenario through the eyes and voices of the “girls” who lived it. Not everyone, of course, had the same experiences, and those experiences varied according to many factors including whether they were working for the Army or the Navy. They arrived with no assignments, just the promise that they would be helping their country.

The war period (1939-1945) was a time of great social upheaval. For most people, a woman’s place was in the home. Suddenly men were going overseas and their jobs needed to be filled along with positions created by the manufacturing needs of the war machine. There were many stereotypes that were broken down, and others that were not put to rest so willingly or easily.

Code Girls is masterfully written and a wonderful tribute to those women whose secrets can now be told. It should be “required reading” for all Americans who don’t want history to repeat itself, for readers who want to understand what previous generations endured to stand against tyranny, and for men and women interested in the societal changes that occurred as a result of World War II.

Rating: 5/5

Category: History, Nonfiction

Notes: The author sets the stage for the reader through her own notes as to how the book was written, information on the initial recruitment of women, and an introduction that discusses society in the U.S. at that tine and the military’s “bold” decision to recruit women. My copy of the book has an “Afterword for the Paperback Edition” in which the author shares the overwhelming response her book received from the code breakers and their families. The book also includes photographs of some of the women interviewed and more generic photographs of the code breakers at work. There is also a “Glossary of Code-Breaking Terms,” a very valuable “World War II Timeline,” and a “Reading Group Guide” of discussion questions.

Publication: October 20, 2017—Hachette Books

Memorable Lines:

Successful code breaking often comes down to diagnostics—the ability to see the whole rather than just the parts, to discern the underlying system the enemy has devised to disguise its communications. The Japanese, Agnes diagnosed, were encoding their messages and then using something called columnar transposition, which involves writing the code groups out horizontally but transmitting them vertically, aided by a grid with certain spaces blacked out, whose design changed often.

It was the first time many of the women had spent time in a bona fide workplace—apart from a classroom—and they discovered what workplaces are and have been since the dawn of time: places where one is annoyed and thwarted and underpaid and interrupted and underappreciated.

She and the other women knew that ship sinkings were the logical and desired consequence of their concerted efforts. They did not feel remorse. America was at war with Japan; Japan had started the war; the lives of American men were at stake, not to mention America itself. It really was that simple.

You Were Made for This Moment–the God of great reversals

You Were Made for This Moment

by Max Lucado

Most of us are experiencing the “winter of our discontent” with ever-changing health orders, lockdowns, divisiveness on all fronts, inflation, shortages, and politicians who promise much and do little. Max Lucado has written a book that is very appropriate for these times, You Were Made for This Moment. It focuses on Queen Esther in the land of Persia. Her story is found in the book of Esther in the Old Testament of the Bible. The heroine has concealed her Jewish heritage, but now her people are about to be annihilated. Esther is the only Jew with access, limited as it is, to the throne room of the powerful Xerxes.

In his book, Lucado takes us through this dramatic tale, giving background to make it very understandable and including contemporary anecdotes to point out the relevancy of this situation to crises we might find ourselves in. Sometimes they are humorous, sometimes sad, but always they are pertinent. Both the short book of Esther and You Were Made for This Moment should be on a “must read” list for all as they display how God is always working behind the scenes. Our omnipotent God has power over rulers. We need to be open to what He asks us to do in our circumstances whether the situation looms large or is seemingly minor.

Through fasting and prayer, Esther came to understand that “silence is a form of acquiescence.” Although approaching the throne room uninvited was a potential invitation to death, she followed through to save her people with the famous line, “And if I perish, I perish.” Esther was indeed called for such a time as this.

Long a fan of the courageous Queen Esther, I enjoyed revisiting her story. My faith was confirmed, my attitude refreshed, and my courage bolstered. This is an inspiring book, and Lucado, as always, is a riveting storyteller.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Christian, Inspiration

Notes: 1. Take the time to read Max’s humble “Acknowledgements.” As a writer, he turns a “blah-blah” moment into one that will bring smiles to the hardest heart.
2. The book ends with “Questions for Reflection” prepared by Andrea Lucado. They are designed to accompany each chapter as you read it.
3. I also purchased the study guide, written in workbook format, with different questions from the ones in the book. The guide contains a code that gives streaming access to five videos prepared to accompany You Were Made for This Moment and the study guide. The videos feature Max Lucado as he brings the Esther story to life through a cast of characters simulating a dramatic production of the Esther story. As always, when Lucado speaks, listeners feel like the words are directed at them and for their benefit.

Publication: 2021—Thomas Nelson

Memorable Lines:

Seasons of struggle can be a treacherous time for the human heart. We are sitting ducks for despair and defeat. We turn away from others, turn our backs on God, and turn into fearful, cynical souls. Despair can be a dangerous season. But it can also be a developing time, a time in which we learn to trust God, to lean into his Word and rely on his ways.

God is in the details. He works in the small moments. The insignificant becomes significant because he is ever orchestrating the day-to-day details of innumerable lives through a millennia of time to do what he has foreordained to do.

In God’s hands no script is predictable, no story line is inevitable, no outcome is certain. He is ever a turn of the page from a turn-on-a-dime turnaround….He is the God of grand reversals.

Don’t tell God how big your storm is. Tell the storm how big your God is. Your problem is not that your problem is so big but that your view of God is too small.

The Hour of Peril–The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln before the Civil War

The Hour of Peril

by Daniel Stashower

This nonfiction account of an assassination plot against President-elect Abraham Lincoln required extensive research as much was written about the plot at the time, but many of the primary source documents present conflicting perspectives. I don’t think the author of The Hour of Peril, Daniel Stashower, had any intention of creating a tome that parallels current events, but it is hard not to make comparisons as we watch history repeat itself.

The politics of the elite to gain money and power is certainly a theme as well as inciting ordinary people to take extra-legal actions. Good and bad, ethical and immoral, slave vs. free, states’ rights or federal control—they all play a role in the politics of that time.

The rights of men to live freely and the rights of states to determine their own laws clash as the Union begins to disintegrate. Lincoln’s position is that new territories being added must be free, but that he would not advocate changing the slavery laws as they currently existed in the various states in the Union. This position incited those who felt Lincoln went too far and those who decided he had not gone far enough. There were just too many people unwilling to compromise.

As Lincoln headed to Washington, he wanted to greet as many people as possible and was not concerned about his safety. When Allan Pinkerton, a detective with a reputation for being “fierce and incorruptible,” was hired to secure the rail lines the president would be traveling on through Maryland, he discovered that there was a plot to assassinate Lincoln. At that time the focus of his investigation changed. He used the same techniques he had used for years to infiltrate groups planning railway robberies, but his operatives had to intensify their efforts because the time frame for discovery was very short. Pinkerton devised an extremely complicated plot that was successful but did require some last minute changes.

A lot of The Hour of Peril was about Pinkerton and included some discussion of Kate Warne, the first female detective in the United States. Pinkerton requested absolute secrecy of the very few people who were informed of the plot and countermeasures. He was dismayed when he discovered that Lincoln and several people close to the president-elect had, in fact, disclosed information about the travel plans, possibly endangering Lincoln’s life.

The Hour of Peril is not a quick or easy read, but well-worth the time invested. There is much information about and insight into the Civil War era and politics in general to be gained.

Rating: 5/5

Category: History, Nonfiction

Publication: 2013—Minotaur Books

Memorable Lines:

Among those attempting to defuse the crisis was the recently defeated candidate, Stephen Douglas, who selflessly carried a message of unity to hostile audiences in the South, attempting to calm the secessionist fervor and broker a compromise.

He would have been wary of revealing too much in a letter, especially one sent to a politician. As Pinkerton had told Samuel Felton at the start of the operation, “on no conditions would I consider it safe for myself or my operatives were the fact of my operating known to any Politician—no matter of what school, or what position.”

As far as Pinkerton was concerned, there would be no future disclosures. He had sworn the main participants to secrecy, and arranged matters so that the minor players had no sense of the larger plan. In many cases, even those directly involved in carrying out crucial elements of the detective’s design were ignorant of the roles they had played. Once again, secrecy had been the lever of his success.

The Trouble with Reading (Part II)—Reading to Learn

I recently had some eye-opening experiences regarding reading that I want to share. I love to read, have a reading specialist credential, and am a retired educator of 34 years. I also love to learn, and I did just that this week in reading two different books. I gained a new appreciation of the struggles some readers have with reading. If you want to read Part I of The Trouble with Reading which deals with dyslexia, click here.

The other book I read that was a learning experience was a printed copy of a nonfiction book I purchased to read with my book club. It is a well-researched book that focuses on a part of my country’s history. Reading it was a great reminder of the differences in reading a fiction and a nonfiction work. “Work” is an appropriate word here, because of the extensive research effort of the author and the extra time and focus the reader needs to devote to reading the book. There are so many historical figures that play into the book along with settings of note. It is hard, but important, to keep track of them all. It is a very good and well written book and appropriate for book club discussion. I had to schedule reading it into my day so that I finished it by the time of our meeting. In other words, reading it was a chore; to do it justice, I took extensive notes and found the process tiring. Also, it did not focus on a subject that is my primary strength which makes the book intrinsically less interesting and more difficult to read. I brought less background knowledge to the table.

The book was not entertaining, but I am glad I read it. Although nonfiction varies widely, in general it is not my favorite genre. As all teachers should know, I was reminded that nonfiction, which is the foundation of most subject area texts, requires a different set of reading skills and those should be explicitly taught after students master the general reading process. Early elementary focuses on “learning to read” and grades above that should focus on “reading to learn.” Some middle and high school teachers believe that students leave elementary school with the skills they need for content area reading. This knowledge, however, is developmental; what is needed to process a middle grade text is not sufficient for comprehension of a high school text. Unfortunately, many students do not leave elementary school reading on grade level, making the gap even larger. To some degree, all teachers must be reading teachers.

When GOD Winks at YOU: How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence

When GOD Winks at YOU: How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence

by Squire Rushnell

I used to be intrigued by coincidences, seemingly chance occurrences that draw you to ponder how an event could happen at a certain time and place. As I have experienced these coincidences over the years, I have come to recognize that they do not happen by chance, but are part of the bigger plan of an omniscient, omnipotent, loving God. That idea is what When GOD Winks at YOU is all about, and its subtitle is How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence.

In this short, inspirational book, Squire Bushnell shares numerous examples of how “Every time you receive what some call a coincidence or an answered prayer, it’s a direct and personal message of reassurance from God to you—what I call a godwink.” The anecdotes feature strangers, family members, friends, and celebrities. They are tales of God working in people’s lives in amazing ways.

The godwink might be an arrangement of events that lead toward a goal or it might be a “message of reassurance” that God sees you, hears you, and is there to support you. It could be an answer to prayer or a guidepost giving you direction.

Some of the stories are sad, some are happy, but all are fascinating. Rushnell, a former television president and CEO, is an excellent writer, taking what could be a long story with a confusing timeline and recording it in a clear, concise, and compelling manner. After introducing the concept of godwinks, the author follows with eight more chapters based on instances of godwinks in various scenarios such as transitions, unanswered prayer, and quests. All are interesting, and I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite as each addresses a different area of concern. Rushnell adds his own brief commentary and interpretation to each chapter very unobtrusively. A feature I enjoyed is a scattering of quotes throughout the book as sidebars. They are short, closely related to the theme, and never interrupt or repeat the text. The content within each chapter flows. Although it could probably be read in one or two sittings, it could also be spaced out into a chapter or even part of a chapter per day. Any way you choose to read When God Winks at You, you will find inspiring reading that will lead you to look for the godwinks, past and present, in your own life.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Christian, Inspirational

Notes: This book is one of many “godwinks” books written by this author. There are ones that focus on specific topics like marriage and prayer and Christmas themed godwinks books. I am interested in reading Dogwinks: True Godwink Stories of Dogs and the Blessings They Bring.

Publication: 2006—Thomas Nelson

Memorable Lines:

Every godwink is another reminder—another small, still message from God—that everything is going to be okay. Someday you will see everything from His perspective, and you’ll understand.

Some people have a divine desire placed into their hearts at a very early age that becomes a beacon to follow like a medieval knight’s quest. God erects signs along the way to guide us on our journey—godwinks to assure us that we are indeed on the right path.

The chain of godwinks that showered peace and forgiveness on two families on opposite sides of the globe is a remarkable tribute to God’s power in each of our lives and how He places signposts of reassurance along the paths of each of our quests.

In Case You Get Hit by a Bus: How to Organize Your Life Now for When You’re Not Around Later

In Case You Get Hit by a Bus: How to Organize Your Life Now for When You’re Not Around Later

by Abby Schneiderman and Adam Seifer

As a senior citizen, I realize I am each day closer to death than the day before and that no one, regardless of their age, knows when their time on earth will be over. With those things in mind, I agreed to review an advance copy of <i>In Case You Get Hit by a Bus: How to Organize Your Life Now for When You’re Not Around Later</i>. The first thing I noticed is that the digital copy provided was rather jumbled and therefore difficult to read. I am sure the final published copy will not have those issues. I plowed ahead, reading the Introduction, skimming the body of the text, and particularly noting the organization of the book.

This book provides timely advice and draws the reader’s attention to the multitude of decisions that should be made to help those responsible for end of life care and for the distribution of the estate. There are many decisions that, due to “advances” in technology, our ancestors would not have had to deal with (passwords, life support, etc.). This book both advertises and dovetails into their online planning system. In all fairness, though, they do refer readers to other companies besides their own, and by itself the book would be a good guide.

The authors differentiate between the critical issues that need to be done immediately (Plan of Attack), those items of lower priority, and other things that you might want to consider (Side Mission). They really do cover all the bases, for me anyway, and they recognize that even considering this project is difficult for many people in so many ways. Even as I write this review, my anxiety level has risen, but the idea is that if you make a plan you will not just feel, but actually be in control of, some aspects of your future and help those you care about during their time of grief.

I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to Workman Publishing Co. for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Category: Self Help, Relationships, Grief

Publication: December 22, 2020—Workman Publishing Co.

Memorable Lines:

In order to really make a difference for people at their time of greatest need, you had to help people get a plan in place ahead of time.

We all love instant gratification, but this type of planning forces you to look beyond your own personal gain and know your family has a well-lit path forward if you’re not around.

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