#802 The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Any Hollingsworth

The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Any HollingsworthThe Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Any Hollingsworth

Mister Rogers didn’t generally do interviews, but he decided to grant Any one. Maybe Amy expected a personality that differed from Mister Rogers’ television personality, but what she got was the same Mister Rogers everyone grew up with. A friendship continued after the interview and Amy learned how great Mister Rogers really was.

Letters followed and so did stories. Mister Rogers never wrote a memoir himself, so Amy hopes that this book will serve as something of a biography for him.

Mister Rogers was always a spiritual and sensitive man. He wanted children to know it was ok to feel emotions. He wanted kids to know they were worth something. He took the time to take each child’s request seriously. When a blind girl asked if he fed the fish everyday, because he didn’t always say he fed the fish, he started saying he was going to feed the fish.

He created a world of himself inside The Land of Make-believe. Each puppet seemed to be a different facet of himself.

He taught the author that it was ok to be sad and that it was ok to be quiet. Some of the best things can come from silence.

Ultimately, Mister Rogers had to quit his show and he did for, but several decades of children grew up to his even-toned voice. They learned about emotions and they learned to be better people.

What I liked

I, like seemingly everyone else who got PBS on their bunny ears, admire Mister Rogers. He was a great man. He made an impact on the world in a way that so many people can’t. There are preachers and ministers galore, but it was Mister Rogers, who spoke with a gentle voice, that made an impression on children. Children learned that their feelings mattered. It was ok to be sad. It was ok to be angry. This might be a lesson some people could take to heart these days. We are not ever-cheerful automatons.

This man brought a voice of reason and sanity to more than one generation of children. When crazy was all they knew otherwise, Mister Rogers was a constant. He always put on those shoes and that sweater. He always fed those fish.

What I didn’t like

I really would have liked if this book had been more strictly a biography. I like Any, but it would have been nice to know even more about his life.


Won’t you be my neighbor?

Weigh in

What impact, if any, has Mister Rogers had in your life?

Is Mister Rogers an example of how television can impact our lives positively, in your opinion?

#802 The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Any Hollingsworth was originally published on One-elevenbooks


#676 Ghosts, Hauntings and Mysterious Happenings by Phyllis Raybin Emert

Ghosts, Hauntings and Mysterious Happenings by Phyllis Raybin EmertGhosts, Hauntings and Mysterious Happenings by Phyllis Raybin Emert

Sometimes we cannot explain everything in the world. Sometimes a house is haunted and science cannot explain it away. Sometimes a person has the ability to tell when something is happening hundreds of miles away, without having any connection to that place. Sometimes ghostly apparitions appear at historical locations. Sometimes someone writes a book that predicts something almost exactly as it happens in the future. Sometimes someone can seem to speak to the dead.

These are all very interesting occurrences. This book holds over twenty stories about various unexplained and mysterious circumstances. Prominent haunted places mentioned in this book are The Borley Rectory, The Whaley House, and The Tower of London. Another prominent haunting mentioned is the Bell Witch. Edgar Cayce and Rosemary Brown are both mentioned as mediums.

What I liked

I love mysterious things. If I can’t explain something; it’s very intriguing. I cannot explain any of the events in this book, although I’m quite skeptical on quite a few, especially the mediums. I have a hard time believing in the idea of mediums. Maybe it’s real, but I just don’t know. This book has always fascinated me, I’ve actually had it for a long time, but I’ve never reviewed it on this site. It’s all just so interesting.

It’s a short look at each item mentioned, which gives the reader a good overview of the occurrence.

What I didn’t like

I wish the book had more meat to it. I would love to read more in-depth on some of these subjects. In fact, I have on at least one of the stories in this book. The story in this book, The House on Plum Tree Lane, is actually the subject of the book Night Stalks the Mansion, which I have read and reviewed. Because I’ve read the other book, the story in this book definitely leaves out a lot, but it’s also a little inaccurate. This book states that the house was turned into apartments, which may have been the case, I don’t remember, but the house actually doesn’t exist anymore. It was burned down. This book could have been written before the house burned down, but I have absolutely no idea if it was or not.


This is quite an interesting book and always has been.

Weigh In

Are you more skeptical or believing?

If you hear of something unexplained, what is your first response?

#578 Lost and Missing-Volume 5 by Mike Riley

Lost and Missing-Volume 5 by Mike RileyLost and Missing-Volume 5 by Mike Riley

People go missing, but where do they go? What if you never know what happened to them? Where did grandma go? Did she really get run-over by a reindeer?

Joking aside, people go missing like crazy and some of these people are very high-profile, even including a Rockefeller. You would think that if anybody could be found it would be a Rockefeller, but he never was. He disappeared years and years ago. What happened to him? He probably drowned, but rumors run rampant. Maybe he went native and lived on an island. Maybe he was cannibalized. Maybe this and maybe that–but with all the maybes, the man was never seen again.

This book doesn’t only speak of Rockefeller. The colony of Roanoke is mentioned, which is an enduring mystery of the Americas. What happened to them? We may never know.

People disappear all the time and this book only holds a small fraction of those who have disappeared without a trace. It’s a bit terrifying to think that someone you know could just walk out the door and never be heard from again.

What I liked

I love mysterious and unexplained things. Some of it I call “woo-woo,” but none of this is woo-woo. Where did these people go? In the case of Michael Rockefeller, he probably drowned, but what about everyone else? Did somebody murder them? Did they go live other lives in secret? Did someone brain wash them into a cult? Amelia Earhart is a woman we have wondered about for years and now there’s a good chance she was eaten by giant crabs. Nice huh?

Books likes this serve several purposes. They educate us about our world. These prominent cases of missing people are part of history. These books entertain us. It’s a good thing to read about things that aren’t wrapped up in a nice little bow on the last page. It keeps us wondering and it keeps us thinking. These books also stay in our heads. They put little feelers out in our brains. Maybe, one day, one of us will see something that is a clue to one of these missing persons cases and it will help solve the case. This is why we have Unsolved Mysteries and other similar television shows on television. Those shows have helped find people and solve murders.

What I didn’t like

This book is pretty short and could have had more to it. It does belong to a series, so it’s not overly concerning in and of itself.

I would have liked more detail on some of the cases. A few of them I had heard of, the Beaumont children and the colony of Roanoke to be exact, and the other cases may have briefly flashed across my brain in my various readings.


This is all a bit spooky.

Weigh In

Do you think you could pull of disappearing yourself and living a secret identity in this day and age? Why or why not?

Do you think we’ll ever solve any of these mysteries?

#561 A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

 A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

Donald writes about his life, when some movie guys called him up and said, “We want to make a movie about your book about your life,” Donald was in, but he soon discovered that his life wasn’t very exciting. The story Donald tells in this book is not only about how to tell a story, it’s about living a life that would be worthy of a story.

When Donald met with the two men who would turn his life into a story, they almost immediately got him doing things he normally wouldn’t do, like sledding around on the snow in kayaks. They told Donald he would have to edit his life. He had to turn his life from the book into something that would be interesting to watch as a movie.

Donald found that writing a movie was different from writing a book. A movie had to keep people engaged at all times, while a book could meander and roam. Books could involve a lot of thought, while, in movies, you can’t really tell what a character is thinking unless they say it aloud.

When Donald started looking at his life he realized, even though he was a writer, that he was a bit boring. He did safe things. He did familiar things. He did things that were not risky.

Over the course of coming to this realization Donald learned that he had to make his life special. He wasn’t going to grow as a person if he did the safe things. He didn’t want to work his entire life for a Volvo.

He changed things. Donald took chances. Donald made mistakes. Donald got messy.

(Yes, I do have a particular love for The Magic School Bus.)

By the end of the book, Donald has made his life into something interesting and something worthy of living.

What I liked

I did not know this book existed before I started reading another book. I started reading a memoir and the author of that book said she had to read this book. I stopped reading that book and found this book. If a book is enough to give another author inspiration in life, it’s probably good enough for me too.

I was not disappointed. Donald seems like a great guy. Donald realized that he needed to step up his game in life. I am at a similar point in my life myself. Do I hang onto a boring story or do I move forward with my life? You don’t get anywhere in life doing all the safe things.

It’s a great message for anybody. Instead of sitting around doing things because they’re familiar, push yourself. Be that person you always wanted to be in your head.

This book gets an A+ from me.

It’s similar to The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho in some ways. Both books are essentially about taking the risky steps you need to take in your life to be the person you need to be. Donald’s book is a little more real-world applicable, especially to writers.

What I didn’t like

There isn’t really anything I didn’t like about this book. Go Donald.


I will look forward to Donald’s other books as I come across them.

Weigh In

If your life was going to be a movie, would it be a boring movie or an exciting one?

Do you think we fall into ruts of being too comfortable? Why or why not?

#466 Chew on this by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson

Chew on this by Eric Schlosser and Charles WilsonChew on this by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson

I have a thing for books about food, not cookbooks, but books about where food comes from, what’s in it, how to grow it, how to make it, what it does to your body, and so on. I enjoy learning about all of that. You should know about all of that; I’m not saying you have to enjoy it, but you should know about it.

This book is by Eric Schlosser, who also wrote Fast Food Nation; I’m going to be hitting that one soon. Both books are about how fast food has changed our nation, but they’re also about the history of fast food, which is interesting, believe it or not. Food used to be a  very slow thing. If you wanted biscuits and gravy, you made those darn biscuits and that darn gravy from scratch. There weren’t cans of biscuits you could pop open and put in the oven. There wasn’t pre-made gravy mix that was just-add-water.

Fast food really became a thing when people started creating hotdogs and hamburgers. Hamburgers were created for a fair. People liked them, so the man who created them kept going with it. This was over a hundred years ago by the way. It wasn’t until much later that the McDonalds opened their restaurant, which wasn’t exactly the first of its kind, but eventually came to be.

There had been other hamburger restaurants before McDonald’s, a lot of them, but people used to bring the food to your car. You sat in the parking lot and you ate your food. McDonald’s was really the first restaurant that made you come inside, order your food, take it to a table, and then clean up your own trash. McDonald’s was also one of the first places that allowed for an assembly line approach to making food. You’ll see this today if you go to any fast-food restaurant and peer into the kitchen. Ray Kroc was the man who came up with McDonald’s franchising and uniformity.

The uniformity is the killer here. That uniformity drove McDonald’s to only buy one type of potato, to only buy meat from one place, and to only expect one particular flavor of chicken. McDonald’s fries tasting the same anywhere isn’t exactly a bad thing, but it’s a bad thing when it forces many potato farmers out of business. McDonald’s only wanted one particular type of potato, so other potatoes began to be seen less and less. Singular companies began to get huge off the business from McDonald’s, which didn’t buy from the cheapest place, keeping a competitive market open, they bought from the most uniform place. This one place was able to buy up more this and more that and eventually become the biggest, but it wasn’t only with potatoes.

Beef is a big business to McDonald’s as well. They wanted all the hamburgers to taste the same, so all the beef had to be the same type and fed the same way. This fueled the rise of large feedlots in the United States. McDonald’s is the biggest buyer of beef in the country. As you may or may not know, cows aren’t supposed to eat corn, or other cows for that matter, but both have happened at feed lots. For the most part feeding cows to other cows has been nixed, but cows still chow down on corn, which is not good for them. The slaughterhouses aren’t the nicest places either, you wouldn’t really expect a slaughterhouse to be a nice place, but the United States falls way behind other countries. Europe uses a mainly humane was of killing their food animals, but gassing them, but here in the United States, we still stun our animals and hope they’re dead; they’re not always dead.

This book makes no mention of Temple Grandin. Because of Temple our slaughterhouses have gotten more humane over the past twenty years or so, but they’re still a long ways behind other countries.

Fast food has infiltrated our schools and hospitals. Students are overweight. Schools have had to fight to get fast food out. Fast food fights to get into war-torn areas. Burger King was one of the first American business in Kuwait after war broke out there. Nothing says Justice like a Whopper.

What I liked

There is a lot of this information I am already familiar with. There was some that was new though. I think the history of fast food restaurants is neat. These were people who did think outside the box to create these new businesses. They brought cheaper food out to the masses. If it wasn’t for fast food, there would be a lot of people who never get to eat out. I mean we all like higher-priced restaurants like Romano’s Macaroni Grill, but not everyone can afford meals that are $14 a piece, or higher. I have to hand it to the fast food industry for providing a night out for people with less money, but the stuff is still gross.

I think this book was pointed more towards young adults. I have started reading Fast Food Nation and it’s so much more complex than this book, but by the same author. This is a book a teenager could read and could understand quite well. I have to hand to Eric and Charles for creating something that teenagers might actually enjoy reading.

What I didn’t like

This book doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty of fast food. This book only involves battles that surround fast food. It’s more of a summary of what fast food has touched over the years. This book isn’t about what actually goes into your fast food. How about those flame retardants? How about radiating meat? How about some more details about how cows were eating cows? How about even more details about that? Cows eating cows is outlawed, but cows eating chicken protein isn’t really outlawed.

This book is more of a gateway book. It could pull you into the world of learning what goes into your food, but it’s not the hard stuff. It’s not the information you’re really going to want to know about what is going into your food. This book is the book where you decide to go further down the rabbit hole or you decide to step away and live happily with your ignorance.


I think this is a good book to get teenagers, and anyone else for that matter, thinking about their food.

charles wilson, chew on this, chew on this by eric schlosser and charles wilson, chicken, eric schlosser, fast food, french fries, history of mcdonald’s, mcdonald’s, potatoes
Health, History, Non-Fiction, ponder provoking, Schlosser-Eric, social commentary, Wilson-Charles