30 Days of Healing Meditations

A short pamphlet delivers inspirational Christian motivations.

Fisher’s nonfiction debut offers a brief, tightly packed compendium of encouragements for readers who feel themselves overstressed by the modern world or adrift by personal problems, “shipwrecked by the storms of life,” and in need of some helpful advice. Her quick, 30-day cycle of chapters is designed to help readers find their inner power sources and channel that force through the serenity of daily meditation to alter their lives for the better, replacing fear, anger, and guilt with forgiveness, faith, love, and joy. Each “day” of her handbook consists of two or three quick paragraphs of thought about some aspect of life—the death of a loved one, the loss of certainty, the failure of health—and then a bullet-pointed clarifying resolution for readers, maxims of assurance or uplift intended to help them make “lofty choices rising out of the mud of hatred and self-indulgence.” One of Fisher’s repeated emphases involves the concept of helping readers find their own personal spiritual purposes and stick to them. She wants them always to ask, “Have I taken the time to define my purpose?”—and the path in all such cases is for believers to put their trust in God (the volume’s target audience obviously, but it gently excludes non-Christians and atheists). Many of the ruminations turn on Christian commonplaces like the pious trio of Faith, Hope, and Love, but the book’s plain and passionate diction mostly saves it from feeling derivative. These may be simple observations and encouragements, but they’re clearly held in complete sincerity. And the gist of these pages is not in any way passive—the faithful are reminded consistently that change will only come about as a result of their own efforts: “We do have a road map if we want to do the work,” the author writes. But, she notes, the infinite energy source of the divine that each believer can tap into makes the work of self-improvement easier, even joyful at times.

A worthy, day-by-day guided devotional for Christian meditation.


Pub Date: June 3, 2015

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 61

Publisher: Pyramid Collections

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2016

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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