The Life and Legend of Chris Kyle by Michael Mooney

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Chris Kyle has been a polarizing individual in popular and social media.  Some have glamorized and idealized him.  While others have reviled and vilified him.

I respect Chris Kyle, because he was willing to risk his own life in order to protect our country.  I respect him for being a Navy Seal.  I also respect his ability to compartmentalize his military job and his civilian life, which allowed him to function and succeed on the battlefield, in the civilian workforce, and as a family man.

We live in a world that requires people like Chris Kyle to protect us from those who want to do us harm.  I wish we could find another way, but it’s not always possible.  We live in a world that needs people like Chris Kyle and I respect him for filling that need.

I enjoyed reading the biography of Chris Kyle.  He was an American hero and his life story is inspirational.

 

 

Deception Detection

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The book, Spy the Lie, is about deception detection.  It covers common behavioral traits found in people when they lie.

The first section of the book talks about behavioral myths.  There are no automatic signs of deception.  People’s behavior will change based on a number of reasons, so it is important to know the context of each behavior.

The second section of the book, looks at common communication and behavioral patterns of people who are being deceptive.  However, it is important to keep in mind that things are not always what they seem and context matters.

The following are signs of deception:

  1.  Failure to answer
  2. Absence of an explicit denial
  3. Statements that fail to answer the question
  4. Inconsistent statements
  5. Going into attack mode
  6. Overly specific answers
  7. Process or procedural complaints
  8. Failure to understand a simple question
  9. Selective Memory
  10. Qualifiers

Getting Even by George Hayduke

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This book is a bit strange.  It even comes with a warning, which I don’t think I have ever seen before in a book.

Basically, it is a collection of stories about people getting even with other individuals or organizations.  Most of the tactics are illegal and some are a bit disturbing.

I didn’t enjoy the book, so I doubt I will ever read it again.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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I was drawn to this book by the title.  It sounded intreating, so I decided to buy it.

The narrator of the book is Death, as in a Grim Reaper type character.  The story is about a girl named Liesel.  She lives in Nazi Germany, with her foster parents.  Her brother died on the train ride to their foster home, which lead to her first act of book thievery.

Liesel struggled to adjust to her new family life and new school.  However, she had a scrappy attitude that won her the respect of the other kids in the neighborhood.

In spite of the hatred around them, she learns compassion and love from her foster parents.  She also learns about courage and how to survive during difficult times.

The book is a bit weird, but interesting.  I thought it was interesting and thought provoking.

The Noticer by Andy Andrews

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Jones is one of the main characters in the book.  Jones notices things about people and helps them in times of trouble.  He teaches people how to gain a new perspective on their life.  He shows them how to be the person they want to be.  Many lives were dramatically changed, due to Jones.

A few of the principles taught by Jones are:

  • The struggles of life give us the strength we need to succeed in the future.
  • Read about the lives of great people, read about their struggles, their failures, and their success.  The experience of others is the best teacher.
  • If you continually focus on your needs, you will continually find things you need.  Instead, focus on the blessings you already have in life.  Gratitude will fill your life with happiness and abundance.
  • Happy and enthusiastic people are able to influence those around them.

This was a fun book to read and it’s defiantly a book worth reading multiple times.

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

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Professor Hardwigg discovered an old Icelandic parchment that contained a map to the center of the earth.  The professor was determined to follow the map with his nephew and a guide from Iceland as traveling companions.

Their journey was perilous and at several points almost ended in death, yet they succeeded and reached their destination.

They found the center of the earth contained a unique ecosystem, complete with vegetation, water, massive creatures, and even what appeared to be giant humans.

There were some interesting parts in the book.  However, it seemed a bit far fetched and I found it difficult to get into the story.

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

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John Howard Griffin was a reporter in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  He heard about discrimination and segregation in the southern states.  He was aware of the civil rights movement that was just starting to take hold in Montgomery, Alabama.

Griffen knew as a white man, he would never truly understand what life was like for the black people.  Griffin wanted to know, “What is it like to experience discrimination based on skin color, something over which one has no control?”

Griffin found a dermatologist that was willing to prescribe medication that can cause a person’s skin to get darker.  The medicine was normally used for people suffering with a skin disease that caused white blotches to appear on their skin.  However, Griffin would need to take way more than the recommended dose.  The doctor required blood test during the first few weeks to ensure there were no adverse effects.

Griffin also used sun lamps and a stain to help his skin get as dark as possible.  Then he shaved his head and boarded a bus to New Orleans.  He spent several weeks in New Orleans, before traveling to Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

Griffin gives a detailed account of his experiences in his book,  “Black Like Me.”  He was surprised to see how helpful the black people were to a stranger.  He was able to stay with various families and get to know what their life was really like.

At several points, he had to find a place to be alone.  He would start crying at the injustice he was seeing, especially when children were involved.  He was appalled by how some of the white people treated black children.

Griffin also described his interactions with white people.  He was taken aback by how hateful some people behaved.  He was amazed by the cruelty he experienced.  He would listen to white people talk about their moral and intellectual superiority; however, their behavior was a far cry from what they claimed to be.

He also talked about the people involved in the civil rights movement.  He encountered a group of white people actively working with the black community to improve conditions.  They were being targeted by their own race and viewed as race traitors.  However, they believed everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.  They continued fighting for equality in spite of the persecution.

The book is moving and well written.  You can easily picture the surroundings, the people, and the situations.  You can feel what the author was feeling.  This truly is a book worth reading.