Cobwebs and Dust Bunnies

Reviews by Hillary Lutter

Wintertime is for early nights at home, reading, eating dark chocolate and drinking wine, so I have some book reviews to catch up on. I’ll try to keep them short and to the point since there are a few.

Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church
By The Boston Globe Investigative Staff
This one grabbed my attention I think simply because it was written by newspaper reporters and it’s on a subject I admittedly didn’t know a ton about. I’m not Catholic and I either didn’t pay enough attention when it was all blowing up, or I’d forgotten most of the details. In my defense, I was sorta busy in 2002, getting married and graduating college… either way, the book peaked my interest.
To be honest, I don’t even remember if I finished this book. This is one of those books that really grabs you the first few chapters and by the time you’re two-thirds in, you’re stuck plodding along, wishing it would just wrap itself up already ‘cuz you don’t want to be a quitter! That said, I still learned a lot and I don’t feel like I wasted my money.
All I have to say is the things The Boston Globe uncovered are abhorrent. To think the Catholic Church knew and covered up these abuses, spent parishioners’ money to pay off victims, and then proceeded to enable abusive priests to continue to work in the church and have contact with children, is hard to wrap your head around.
Anyway, this was another eye-opener, despite that it only took me about two-thirds of the book for them to open.

Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath
By Ted Koppel
This one was definitely an eye opener, and what it opens your eyes to, is the fact that we are probably screwed.
The moral of the story is our enemies can, and probably at some point will, cut off our power. I’m not talking a nine-day blackout ice storm of 2005 style. What Koppel claims is that an attack on our power grid is not a matter of if, but when. The NSA happens to agree. FEMA has no plan. In fact, nobody does. Apparently, we are totally sitting ducks for a cyber attack and there’s not much being done about it.
What is the answer, though? More security and more regulation, which inherently come with losses of freedoms? Koppel makes a good argument, but for now the point is moot. Nothing is in the works.
My husband and I went shopping for generators after I read this book.

In the Heart of the Sea
By Nathaniel Philbrick
This was also a movie. It didn’t do well, but I’m still hoping to see it soon. I wonder if it really wasn’t very good, or if it suffered from bad advertising.
Billing your movie “the story that inspired ‘Moby Dick’” in my humble opinion was probably not smart. The American movie-going public, in general, are not literary kings. Nobody’s going to get excited to see the movie about the book they were forced to read in school and probably didn’t actually finish.
I, however, am kind of a nerd. I thought this book was really good (I’ll admit, I’ve never read “Moby Dick”). “Heart of the Sea” is, unbelievably, the true story of the Essex, a whaling ship from Nantucket that really was attacked and sunk by a sperm whale 3,000 miles off the coast of South America.
This is another all-true survival story, and it’s a crazy one. I’ll never cease to be amazed at the capacity of the human body to undergo hell.
The book takes you from Nantucket, to the coast of Africa, to the horn of South America, to the Galopagos Islands, to French Polynesia and back again. It made me want to cheer for the whale, yet commiserate with the crew.
Maybe I’ll read “Moby Dick” yet…

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