“Hawaiian Cardinal”

A “Hawaiian Cardinal” that we saw on Oahu. It really is a Brazilian Taneger that came to Hawaii quite some time ago. We found him in the parking lot outside of a Kentucky Fried Chicken. My wife took the picture and I painted him in our granddaughter Tansy’s hospital room. She like to watch me paint when she was too sick to do anything else.

David Copperfield

Author: Charles Dickens

Personal Rating 5/5

“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show”

Thus begins my favorite Dickens book. I cannot really tell you why I like it so much. Maybe it is relating to little Davy, though my own life is very much unlike his. I think it is the underlying theme of the shear goodness found in otherwise ordinary, quirky people. I just feel good living in David’s world, even through his trials and dark days. All those great characters: Agnes, Uriah Heep, Steerforth, Dora, the Peggottys, Traddles and Aunt Betsy.

Cry the Beloved Country

Author: Alan Paton

Personal Rating 4.5/5

A good, black man living in South Africa tries to deal the the pressures of poverty and race. He works so hard to save his son from the death penalty but in the end is unsuccessful.

In many ways this the a companion book for To Kill a Mockingbird. Like Harper Lee’s book, this is not an angry or protesting book. It is the sharing of the sorrows of people trying to live good lives against a background of unthinking, casual bigotry.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Author: Harper Lee

Personal Rating: 5/5

This is one of my personal all time favorite books. I grew up in the 1960’s and I remember the unrest at the time. I remember when blacks had separate drinking fountains and I remember when Martin Luther King was killed. These things did not happen in my little part of Central California, but they were on the news.

What I love about this book is that it reaches into the heart of a very difficult time of race relations. This is not an angry book. It is not a shouted protest. It is the view of a child watching a very good man try to do a very good thing and in the end he both lost and won. It shares a tone and theme with Alan Paton’s Cry the Beloved Country.

I have read this many times and enjoy it every time. The movie with Gregory Peck is equally powerful. In my mind he is always Atticus Finch.

George Marshall

Authors: Debi and Irwin Unger with Stanley Hirshson

Personal Rating: 3.5/5

George Marshall is one of the most underappreciated generals in American history. He never generalled armies in combat and fought no battles. His role was to organize the vast resources of the United States to win World War II. He is frequently slighted as a “managing general”. However, his vast personal integrity and dedication was respected by all. He was able to bring together huge egos so that collectively the war might be won. MacArthur never could have done it. He protected Eisenhower so that he could succeed.

I really like the topic, but I lowered the rating because the authors kept dropping out of their story to prove their credentials as historical skeptics. It is so easy to pick at flaws after the fact and they succumbed to this temptation a little too often.

Lorenzo Hill Hatch Journals

Lorenzo Hill Hatch was my great-great grandfather. He was an early pioneer of Lehi, Utah. He then helped found the town of Franklin, Idaho where he was elected to the Idaho Legislature. He was then called to serve a mission in northeastern Arizona. He helped found the town of Woodruff where his wife Catherine lived and the town of Taylor a few miles away where his wife Alice lived. All of his life he kept a journal. This is a transcription of those journals.

You can obtain a copy of “Lorenzo Hill Hatch Journals” at lulu.com

Writings of Dan Reed Olsen

During his lifetime my father, Dan Reed Olsen, wrote extensively about his life and his family. He grew up in the Depression, lost his mother when he was 16, sailed to China in the Navy, served a mission for the LDS Church in Denmark, and found purpose in life when he married my mother. After a long career in banking started over as a turkey farmer. When Mom died he married Cindy. Through all of this he was dedicated to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is his story in his own words.

You can obtain a copy of “Writings of Dan Reed Olsen” from lulu.com