“Ghost of the Innocent Man”; “Before We Were Yours”; “The Immortalists”; & “The Varieties of Scientific Experience”

Books Read-7

“Ghost of the Innocent Man:  A True Story of Trial and Redemption”  by Benjamin Rachlin.  Non-fiction, 344 pages.

What a tragic story of an innocent man losing his freedom behind bars for 25 years!  I cannot imagine going through this horrific ordeal.  The police, courts, and our entire criminal justice system failed this man miserably.  Sadly, he is not the only innocent man to be sentenced to prison.

Excellent book that reads more like a novel but in reality is all true.  The author tells the story of Willie Grimes with compassion and truth.  By the end of this book it’s hard not to be angry at our broken legal system.  Thanks to this author for writing this compelling book and opening our eyes to a system that is meant to protect the innocent and punish the guilty but fails some of the time.


“Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate.  Fiction, 334 pages.

This heartbreaking yet hopeful book is based on a real life scandal.  Georgia Tann kidnapped many children from poor families and adopted them out to rich infertile families willing to pay big money for a child.  This was done without the adoptive parents knowledge.  This beautifully written book is based on a fictional family of 5 children who were abducted and placed in new homes.  Their struggles of separation from their family and adapting to their new homes is heart wrenching at times.

It is amazing one woman was able to get away with this scam for so long.  Another excellent book I highly recommend.

Books read-10

“The Immortalists” by Chloe Benjamin.  Fiction, 343 pages.

A fascinating book that makes you wonder, if you could know the date of your death would you?  This novel follows four siblings that visit a fortune teller and find out their date of death.  Armed with this information each sibling makes choices about their lives.

Throughout the book the reader is questioning whether the fortune teller is correct or is the death date impacted by this knowledge.  An interesting read that makes you ponder what you would do with this knowledge.


“The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God” by Carl Sagan.  Non-fiction, 260 pages.

This is a collection of the 1985 Gifford Lectures given by Carl Sagan.  In them he gives the audience his personal view on God and the meaning of life.  He explains the relationship between religion and science.  With his down to earth and easy to understand language, the reader (listener) is taken through various explanations of our vast universe and where our modern version (mostly Western) God stands in all of this.

Regardless of  your religious views or lack there of, it’s hard not to appreciate the views presented here by a much beloved scientist.

Note:  This book was not on my list but on Shane’s list.  Once he was finished I had to read it for myself.  It is one I will go back to again.

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