A New Roller Coaster

Babies in the hospital from https://www.flickr.com/photos/dherholz/4367511580

For those who have been faithful readers of this site and the 12 years I’ve written on it as a blog, anytime there is a huge life announcement, I announce it here. Here we go again.

La Casa de Kraft is again expanding! Vanessa is pregnant!

This is now our fourth time to the rodeo and couldn’t be more excited. As mentioned the last time we announced a kiddo, we weren’t trying, but we had both said we thought we were ready for another.

Vanessa went to the to the OB to get the kiddo’s first picture and called me on the way home. She told me what the doctor told her. I laughed because I wasn’t sure what else to do. I waited for her to tell me she was kidding. [Read more...]

Book Review: The Happiest Life

Book cover of The Happiest Life

The premise is so good. Solid reminders of seven gifts and seven givers that really matter in life are important and should be conveyed to a wider audience.

The book, too, had a great number of diverse people recommending it in the book’s fodder.

I wanted to write a good review for it. I really did. But alas.

Book cover of The Happiest LifeThe Happiest Life by Hugh Hewitt examines seven gifts that are truly important—not electronics, toys, diamonds, or any of those things, but the genuine gifts that a person can give another person. He follows that up with looking at the seven givers we need to be both receptive of and giving towards—parents, spouses, coworkers, teachers, etc.

On the positive side, I found nothing in the book that I disagreed with. For anyone looking for a reminder of the core elements of life, the book supplied it without trying to throw in (much) ideological mess that is all too common in this genre of subtly-faith-based guides to life.

The author is a radio personality and, I think, crossing the mediums, in this case, did not serve him well. Filling three hours a day of radio is hard, but the same tactics used there shouldn’t be used to fill the book.

The author repeated himself far too often. This isn’t a bad thing if he was driving home a point, but instead, he repeated items that really don’t matter. Without looking, he name-dropped that he used to work in the same office as the now-Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at least three times and there’s no good reason to repeat over and over again that the only interview he ran out of film on was with Richard Dreyfuss.

While the core of the book is solid, the 208 pages could have been cut to 75 and not missed anything. For example, the chapter of Coworkers began with a name-drop-a-thon of seemingly everyone the author has worked with in the past whose name might be notable to someone, followed by a brief description of how they’re the most amazing, bestest person in the whole wide world in whatever field. Four or five pages later, the actual topic of the chapter to anyone not looking to read an autobiography begins.

Generally, the author, while conservative and proud, does a fine job of not making the topic too partisan. He digs on Democrats a little, but considering he’s, by his own admission, a pundet, quite a bit less than expected.

For me, I wanted to like the book. If you’re wanting to help someone who would appreciate hearing a biographical telling from someone who has ran in power circles say that money, power, etc aren’t the reason for life, it is a fine book.

The publisher provided me a review copy of the book. I was not required to give a positive review.