Book Review – Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken Book Cover

Unbroken Book Cover

I’ve been postponing writing this for a few weeks because I wanted to post it on Memorial Day. Today, here in the ‘States we honor our Armed Services members who died while serving our country.

As our greatest president Abraham Lincoln expressed it after the civil war during the cemetery dedication in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania over a 100 years ago, Americans (and citizens of the world) owe a debt of gratitude to those men and women who “gave the last full measure of devotion” so “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”.

Laura Hillenbrand has written a book about a single serviceman’s war in the Pacific during World War II.  In “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption” she has managed to tell a complete story, not just of one man, but of an entire generation of soldiers.

Don’t take my word for it that this is a great book.  (although, on second thought, do)  Look at what other customers think.

Unbroken Amazon Reviews

Unbroken Amazon Reviews

Even though Amazon seems to be having a little math trouble, that’s an amazing number of 5 star reviews, and this is is an incredible book.  It has so many things that I like in a book.  History, flying, survival at sea, historical background & great storytelling.  One thing it doesn’t have is my favorite theme of a common man rising to meet the occasion in uncommon circumstances.  The subject of the book is clearly an exceptional man who persevered through unimaginable hardship, yet managed to come through it and be able to lead a great life – something many returning veterans struggle with.

The author doesn’t just tell us what happened, but she puts it in context so as to help us understand the bigger picture.  It’s not just a “he did this, he did that” story.   We feel what he was feeling, and what the families of the missing men were feeling.

It isn’t my style to rehash the story in a formal review.  If you want that, there are plenty of them on Amazon to look at.  Instead, I tell you what I think, and I think that maybe this book may not be for everyone.  I won’t declare that you must or should read it, but if you do there is a possibility that it will impact your life for the better and in a lasting way.  I am glad that I did.  I give it 5 out of 5 stars on the CapnRehab book review scale.

If you decide to read it, and you buy an eBook, I suggest going to the back first and reading the interview with the author.  In it, you get a sense of the struggle it took for her to write the book, her dedication to telling the story, and the impact it has had for family members of Pacific theater of war veterans.  It helped frame my understanding of the story and I wish I had read it first.

This story has had a big impact on me.  I keep thinking back to various points, especially their 42 days in the life raft and what it takes to remain optimistic and survive under such hardship, when someone else looks at the same experience with hopelessness and despair.  There are lessons here that anyone can take and use in their life, no matter who they are and what their situation.

Thanks to all our veterans who have given their lives so the world might live in freedom, thanks to all U.S. veterans (my dad, father in law, brother in law, and friends included) who have served to help protect that freedom and thank you Ms. Hillenbrand for writing this book,

Book Review – Click Millionaires: Work Less, Live More with an Internet Business You Love

 

I read a lot.  A heck-uv-a-lot.  I’ve been known to start reading a book on the commute home and stay up all night reading till I’ve completed it.   About a year ago I bought a laptop for work, and Dell tossed in a small tablet  (a “Venue” 7 inch) with the package.  I wasn’t expecting much but I sure have enjoyed it.  It has a full android operating system, so it has the clock, browser, games, etc. and the “Kindle” ebook reader app.  Definitely love that Kindle app.

Dell Venu 7 tablet

Dell Venu 7 tablet

I did a lot of searches for “Free science fiction download” and read a ton of Sci-Fi. (Tor is a great source for free and pay fiction)  I found out that the typical business model is to get Book 1 of a series for free, and the author hopes you like it enough to buy books 2,3,4,5, 6 & 7!  (I’ve done this, but only once!)

Recently, I discovered that my local library website has the capability to let me borrow e-books using the tablet.  Since then I have about 100 books in my queue.  I can have 10 checked out at any one time, I get them for 2 weeks, and they automatically “Return”.  No more late fees!  It even has the ability to automatically check out a book for me when something on my hold list becomes available.  Plus, the variety is pretty wide.  I have 2 main categories I like.  Non-Fiction & Science Fiction.  In Non-Fiction I tend to stick with business, history, and biographies (and sailboat repair of course!)

A book I recently finished is “Click Millionaires” by Scott Fox.

Click Millionaires

Click Millionaires

He had some great advice about setting up a website that fills a niche and provides income.  The main point of the book is that all you need is enough interest in a particular niche topic to provide other people interested in it with quality information and services.   I develop large enterprise web applications for a living, so the thought of having one of my own making me money without me commuting to the job is definitely appealing.

The book is full of practical advice and places to get more information and support.  To me, this did not come across as a hard sell.  I’ve read other books in this genre, and wound up feeling that all I did was read a very long commercial.  In the case of Click Millionaires, it really just feels like an extensive list of directions.

Unfortunately, the book has already returned itself.  I am actually considering buying it (gasp) to have it around to refer to.  A good bit of the book is devoted to deciding what niche to occupy, and then how to come up with meaningful content that has people coming back to visit the site.

Also, from what I remember, these niche websites can generate income by

  1. advertising and “clicks”
  2. subscriptions
  3. products  (ebooks, consumer products, consulting fees etc.)

First build your audience with valuable content, then convert them to customers with products that they want and need.  There were lots of examples of successful niche websites, so it seems withing a normal persons ability to do.

For a brief (very brief) moment I did consider that maybe the CapnRehab site might evolve into something like a niche website, but I think that the niche of my family, friends, and a few sailing bloggers that I’ve enticed over here might be a wee bit small of a customer base to support the lavish lifestyle I’d like to become accustomed to.  Instead, I’ve got business website that’s coming along and has actually made it’s first dollar before the site is even operational.  Very excited about that!

In summary, if you’re at all interested in having a website that makes you money then I think you owe it to yourself to read this book.  If you do, let me know that you did and how it’s going!