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I generally avoid books that reveal too much reality. These shameful accounts are told in a way that I found utterly compelling. In spite of the clear injustices of these capital punishment cases, Stevenson relates his dogged efforts to rectify them in a clear way that left me with a sense of hope that these evils can and will be overcome. Read it. ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca
Only because the set was handy, I took these CDs to pass the time in the car, anticipating a self-aggrandizing Hollywood tell-all. Boy was I wrong! Lear, at 90-something, in his own clear voice, tells his rags-to-riches story in a charming, funny and self-deprecating way. From his miserable childhood, to harrowing WWII service as a fighter pilot in Italy, to the shocking anecdotes about Hollywood stars, to legions of world leaders he's met, I had no idea that he should be a legend in his own time. Beyond his graciousness, his insider's account of the evolution of the great, radical TV shows of the 60s and 70s is fascinating. So sad now, to have to travel without being able to listen to him spinning yarns. Read the book if you can't abide audio-books, it'll be just as inspiring. ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca
Hands down my most favorite book of the year. The function of the human mind is an endless source of fascination, in my book, and this book takes the reader to concepts contrary to common thinking through the ages. His research suggests that our decisions are barely influenced by the part of our thinking brain of which we are aware. He brings into question the whole notion of culpability. Not to suggest that people should "get away" with anti-social behavior but that we should reconsider the consequences we impose on those who "misbehave." A mind-blowing assessment of who's really in our drivers' seats. ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca
A surprisingly believable and compelling tale written from the unusual perspective of the bastard son of an 18th century, deaf bell ringer in the Swiss alps. The boy has a preternatural gift for hearing and a remarkable singing voice. The reality of life in those times and within the realm of the church was not always as beautiful as the sounds generated by it. This book manages to be a magical aural experience in which the boy struggles against unthinkable hardships to create beauty around him. ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca
A complicated central character loses her boyfriend on 911. The book deals with the ways she and others cope with the loss, expectations for those who have lost and the general challenges of relationships. Miller brings humor to these weighty subjects - a solid good read. ~ Reviewed by Heather Bellanca