Category: Review

That’s why I’m here: new book about Stefanie Spielman, faith, and love

In March of 2009, after having fought an off and on battle with cancer for over a decade, the disease had spread to the brain of Stefanie Spielman. The new treatments which needed to begin had affected her even more severely than the numerous rounds of chemo therapy which she had endured over the years. It left her drained and dizzy.

Her husband Chris had to take on more responsibilities around the house, things which had usually fallen on Stefanie, like paying bills, cooking meals, and helping to organize the schedules of their four kids. The family prepared to have a celebratory dinner after the radiation had finished, but this was cut short when Stefanie suffered a fall. After doing a few tests at home, she was taken to the hospital. The cancer had spread to her spine.

In the new book, “That’s why I’m here,” Chris Spielman writes that it was at that point he was faced with the harsh reality that she was going to die from cancer. In a poignant moment, before Chris left the hospital to return home, from her hospital bed, Stefanie said, “You’ve proven to me you can do it.”

Critical look at “Once upon a secret,” new book about JFK

Last week I gave high praise to the new book Once Upon a Secret: my affair with President John F. Kenedy and its aftermath by Mimi Alford. I believe that it’s a well written and enjoyable book. That being said, I do think that it is at least fair to mention that some of Alford’s claims need to potentially be taken with a certain degree of scepticism.

In her discussion of working in the Kennedy White House, many of the people she claims had knowledge of her affair with the president are now deceased. Furthermore, given the nature of her relationship with Kennedy, it was hidden from outsiders, which makes her claims difficult to verify. To believe what is said in the book, we essentially have to take Alford’s word for it.

Late October. 1962. 
 
America is in a panic as the U.S. and the Soviet Union appear to be close to the brink of nuclear war. The early morning hours of October 28 would prove to be the final hours leading up to the peaceful conclusion of the Cuban Missile Crisis. But in the days and hours which led to that safe conclusion, there was tension. In our nation’s capital, some were readying fallout shelters, while others wanted to get as far away from Washington as possible in the actual event of war.  
 
But for a young woman named Mimi, she lay “sleeping like a baby, wrapped in soft linens, in a bedroom on the second floor of the White House.”

New Book “You Are Not So Smart” explains why our sense of self and the world isn’t what we tell ourselves it is

Photo by LOLren, and used in conjunction with Flickr Creative Commons.
Photo from Flickr Creative Commons

For the last couple months, I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the new book “You Are Not So Smart” by David McRaney, author of the fantastic blog of the same name, YouAreNotSoSmart.com.