Book Review: 2 books that can make an impact on you | SteamboatToday.com

Book Review: 2 books that can make an impact on you

Virgie DeNucci/For the Steamboat Pilot & Today

“A Deadly Wandering”

By Matt Richtel

“A Deadly Wandering” by New York Times journalist and Pulitzer Prize winning author Matt Richtel has changed my life … seriously. I think about this true story all the time, and I realize the impact it has had on me.

This nonfiction book is a riveting account of our country’s first texting-while-driving manslaughter case, a 2006 Utah double fatality. Richtel explores all the people and families involved — driver, victims, attorneys, investigative scientists — as he shows us the impact and the life changes this accident precipitated.

He cites a vast amount of scientific research data, presenting a fascinating look at the science of attention and inattention.

This account reads like a novel, full of real-life characters, cleverly exposing and objectively questioning our glorification of multitasking. Richter allows one to see how the brain is affected by the compulsive, addictive and devastating nature of tech-connectedness (and I don't mean simply texting).

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Although Richter does not impose his own judgements related to this research, I finished the book with my own strong opinions.

If you pride yourself in being a multi-tasker and a tech wizard, don't be afraid to read this account, accompanied by vast research. I challenge you to learn information that just may impact the way you think about the devices that keep you online. In my opinion, this is a must-read.

When you reach the last page, I wonder if you will feel the same transformation as I did.

“Don't Give Up, Don't Give In: Lessons From An Extraordinary Life”

“Don't Give Up, Don't Give In: Lessons From An Extraordinary Life” by Louis Zamperini and David Rensin

By Louis Zamperini and David Rensin

If the book “Unbroken” had an affect on you, then this is a perfect read. If you have not read “Unbroken” but have heard the rave comments from friends or anticipate attending the upcoming movie directed by Angelina Jolie, (Dec. 25 release) then this also is a perfect book to pick up.

Louis Zamperini, the hero of “Unbroken” led a life of inspiration. Two days before his death, at the ripe old age of 97, Zamperini completed this book of wisdom to pass on to his fellow mankind. How appropriate!

He tells personal stories in short chapters that reveal the values and lessons that sustained him throughout his life. Although he grew up in an era different than mine, his wisdom is powerful.

In his closing statement about this book, just days before he died, Zamperini wrote he was "just an ordinary guy who, when confronted with extraordinary circumstances resolved to not give up and not give in, to keep looking for answers and to make his life count up to the very last minute."

I guess it did. His was not an easy life. He overcame inconceivable obstacles yet believed it was these experiences that made him who he was. He would have it no other way.

Louis Zamperini is truly a champion, survivor, hero and legend.

This is a perfect holiday gift of inspiration to give to a dear friend or to yourself, like I did.

Virgie DeNucci is a bookseller at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore in downtown Steamboat Springs.

These books are available at the Bud Werner Memorial Library and at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore; e-books can be found at http://www.steamboatbooks.com.