Reviews by Georgia

Make Your Bed: Little Things that can Change Your Life...and Maybe the World

By: William H. McRaven


Reviewed by: Georgia Rindler    


If you want to change the world start your day with a task completed. Admiral William H. McRaven gives a list of ten things we can do to change our lives, and maybe the world. The author is retired from the U.S. Navy after serving thirty-seven years. He recalls his own experiences and relates them to things learned during his SEAL training. Each chapter is a simple life lesson.


His first suggestion is make your bed. If you start your day with a task completed and the next 24 hours fall apart, at least you have accomplished something.

His second is to find someone to help you paddle. Making friends gives us people to rely on when the going gets tough. Success depends on others. No man is an island.

Respect everyone and hold back on judgment. It's the size of one’s heart that matters; everything else pales in comparison.

Numbers four and five are “Life’s not fair,” and “Failure can make you stronger.” During training, an instructor would randomly single out a trainee for an uncomfortable punishment. The reason given; “life’s not fair and the sooner you learn that, the better off you will be.” In the same thread, teams were intentionally set up for failure. True leaders found strength from their mistakes and came out stronger and better.

Take a risk, try something new and push your limits. You’ll never know if you never try.

Stand up to bullies. They thrive on fear and intimidation. Find the courage to fight. You may not always win, but by setting the stage, others may follow and the goal may be realized.

The next two go hand in hand. Practice being your best so you can rise to the occasion when the time comes and give others hope. No one is immune from dark moments. Sometimes all it takes is one person to start a movement and give people hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

And finally never, ever give up. Life is filled with difficulties, but quitting is not the answer. Find a way to adjust your sails to meet the wind and don't give up.


The book is based on a commencement speech McRaven gave at the University of Texas at Austin, his alma mater, to the graduating class of 2014. To the nearly 8000 students graduating that day, he wanted to impart the wisdom of how changing the lives of just a few could make an impact on the world.


This easy to read book provides words of encouragement along with practical advice. It can be found in the nonfiction section of the library; 179.6 MCR.


August 2017


Boomer’s Bucket List

By: Sue Pethick

Reviewed by: Georgia Rindler    

Jennifer Westbrook is a thirty-something living in Chicago with a busy PR job. After her divorce there hasn’t been much time or interest in a social life. The focus of her days outside of work is her beloved dog Boomer, a five year old yellow Lab/golden retriever mix.  When Boomer is diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a rare heart condition, and given only a month to live, Jennifer decides to finally use her vacation and spend the last days of Boomer’s life with him. She plans to do things Boomer likes while getting their kicks on Route 66, finishing the adventure in Santa Monica, California.

Their first stop is a NASCAR race where Boomer breaks free and nearly ruins his cover as a service animal.  They are rescued by Nathan Koslow, a reporter for the Chicago TRIB.  He is also driving the Mother Road, delivering a sapphire blue Mustang convertible to his brother on the west coast.  His editor reluctantly agreed to the trip on the condition he submit installments for a travel series along the way. The three cross paths several times and Boomer adores Nathan.

Unbeknownst to Jennifer, her firm back in Chicago has found a way to capitalize on Boomer’s illness. A website called Boomer’s Bucket List is established and a contest is underway. Anyone who spots Boomer in his travels and posts a photo with his location is entered into a drawing for fantastic prizes. The key for participants is not to let Jennifer in on the game.

The book is rather predictable with a few unforeseen and humorous events for all. The emergency stop at an animal hospital when Boomer has difficulties adjusting to the altitude evoked an unexpected response from this reader. Dr. Padilla’s words to Jennifer, “Ve con Dios” brought tears to my eyes. The veterinarian was telling them to go with God and enjoy whatever time they had left together. I had recently whispered those words to my pet and noticed a lump in my throat while reading them.

Boomer’s Bucket List is a heart-warming story about the love between animals and humans. Sue Pethick does a nice job of expressing the feelings between the two.

Boomer’s Bucket List is available in large print and can be found in that section of the library under PET.     

July 2017