Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
and on Twitter

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Voices of the 21st Century

Voices of the 21st Century: Women who Influence, Inspire and Make a Difference, Gail Watson, WSA Publishing, 2018

This book consists of a group of short essays that are designed to help women of any age as they make their way through the twists and turns that constitute daily life.

Whatever your emotional challenge is, someone in this book has been there. It could be dealing with the death of a spouse, attempting to survive, let alone thrive, in a male-dominated field like construction, being in an emotional rut, or the aftermath of being shot by an AK-47. They show how they came out the other side, with the help of spirituality, a new mindset, or simply not giving up.

Anger and fear are normal human emotions. How a person deals with those emotions separates the adults from the children. It is not possible to change the circumstances of what happened to you; it is possible to change your reaction to those circumstances. Consider forgiving the person who has wronged you. It is not intended to let them off the hook. Instead, it is to let you off the hook by letting go of that anger that is keeping you from moving on. If you wish, consider yoga. meditation or a vision board. Set a goal for yourself, whether personal or professional, then break that goal into smaller, more manageable pieces.

These essays are short; just a couple of pages each. This book can easily be read while waiting at the doctor's office, or at the grocery store. This book can be picked up and read starting on any page. It is also very much recommended.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

First Amendment for Beginners

First Amendment for Beginners, Michael J Lamonica, For Beginners LLC, 2018

The forty-five words that make up the First Amendment to the US Constitution embody some of America's most basic rights. Among them are the right to follow the religion of your choice, and the right to express their opinions in public without fear of government interference. This book looks at the court cases that have turned those rights into reality.

The concept of a "wall" between church and state was never in the US Constitution. It comes from letters between President Thomas Jefferson and a group of Connecticut Baptists in the early 1800's. They were complaining because Connecticut had established Congregationalism as the official religion and did not guarantee religious freedom for other faiths.

When it comes to religion in public schools, in 1948, the Supreme Court struck down an Illinois law that set aside class time in public schools for religious instruction. Several years later, in 1952, the Court upheld a New York program that let students out of school to attend private religious instruction.

The Supreme Court has said that the First Amendment protects only speech, not conduct. What about "symbolic speech" like burning the American flag? The book also explores the question of whether money equals speech, like in the Citizens United case.

This is an excellent book. It is easy to understand for the average reader. It is also recommended for law students who need a First Amendment review. This is very much worth reading.