Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Book Reviews | NonFiction

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann is a nonfiction historical book written like a narrative. On the Osage Indian Reservation in Oklahoma, the native Americans retained mineral rights (headrights) to the land. When oil was discovered there, the Osage became extremely wealthy. Some of them were able to control their own finances; however, the government appointed "guardians" for many of the Indians. In the 1920s/30s many Osage died or were murdered. Actually, some whites were killed, too, if they happened to know too much or might be in line to control a headright.

There are three parts to this story: (1) the story of Osage Mollie Burkhart and her family, many of whom died suspiciously; (2) the story of Tom White and the FBI's investigation and trial; (3) and the author/journalist's finds that further the story. [I personally didn't like the author putting himself in the narrative as it interrupted the flow of the storyline.J. Edgar Hoover was the new head of the FBI during this time. Unfortunately, only one or two of the murder cases went to trial (instead of the 26+ that occurred). This was a very interesting read about a piece of history I knew absolutely nothing about.

I read Thanks! by Robert A. Emmons, Ph,D. in preparation for my Gratitude Journaling Event back in October. This book shares research on the benefits of gratitude, so it is occasionally a slow (but good) read. The research shows how gratitude leads to more happiness and better relationships.

It also includes a list of ways to practice gratitude:
*keep a gratitude journal
*learn prayers of gratitude
*use visual reminders
*watch your language - make it positive
*go through the motions - smile!

In The Leadership Handbook: 26 Critical Lessons Every Leader Needs, John C. Maxwell shares the leadership lessons he's learned throughout his career. I began reading this book when it was recommended in an entrepreneurial group I'm in; however, I read it at a slower pace as it's easy to read one chapter here and there. The chapter titles are the "lessons" - for example: "If It's Lonely at the Top, You're Not Doing Something Right" and "Keep Learning to Keep Leading." Each chapter also includes ideas for putting the lessons into practice.

As I strive to create healthier meals for us, I picked up a copy of What Do I Eat Now, which is recommended by the American Diabetes Association. 

I've found that when I'm trying to make changes, it's motivating to be reading things that encourage and educate on those topics. I didn't learn anything new from this book; however, there are several recipes that I'd like to try soon.

I picked up a copy of Ryan Leak's Unoffendable after we heard him speak at a church service last year. This small quick read is about not staying offended because offense has "the ability to ruin someone's day, someone's week, someone's month, someone's year, or for some ... their entire life." The author also discusses how God can use the things that hurt us to build our confidence and help us become who He wants us to be.

Have you read any of these books? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


  1. These are all unknown to me, I have to say, though I suspect that the on one gratitude and the food/diet one might contain things I've read in other places. I'm always interested in leadership/human relations so I'd like to read that one - and the first one would also expand my knowledge. Thank-you, as always, for such an interesting and varied pile of books!

  2. My couples' book group read Killers of the Flower Moon a little over a year ago. Like you, none of us knew anything about this piece of US history. Although it was a fascinating read, it was also maddening that so little was done to bring justice to the survivors.


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