Book Reviews

Between Donuts
Twenty years of the humorous, sobering, and heart wrenching
Reality of a street cop

By Paul St. John Fleming
AmErica House, Baltimore, Md.
ISBN: 1591292557

"Between Donuts" is
Perfect Reading for
Ahem, Between Donuts

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Author of "This is the Place"
and "Harkening:
A Collection of Stories Remembered"

The cover of "Between Donuts" is sure to catch your attention. Pictured are a chocolate donut with a bite from it, a jelly filled donut awaiting its fate and a deputy sheriff badge #507 with the name Paul St. John Fleming inscribed at the bottom.

We don't miss the message. "Ahh, copper stories," we think. Trouble is, we may carry baggage with us that would taint the tender, human quality of this book. These "copper stories" are not only unexpected, they have heart. They might cause a reader to laugh and cry. They will certainly cause a reader to reassess his view of what a cop does-besides eat donuts.

There is a heart warming story about an English constable who influenced our author to become a cop later in life. One, called "A Cold Day in Hell, " is about the day author Paul St. John Fleming's duty it was to guard a plane that had crashed in a city street with the corpses of two children in it that needed protection.

Another is a humorous piece about a pie-eyed Santa who Fleming encountered one Christmas eve when he was given a choice to "work Christmas night or work Christmas night." M

These are not real stories in the textbook sense. They are vignettes and they are mostly reprints from columns Fleming wrote for the Salt Lake Tribune; there are 50 in all.

It's my guess you won't want to miss a single one.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson's award-winning first novel,"This Is The Place," is a saga or four generations of women, from pioneer days to the 50s. Because it is of interest to western history buffs, it was launched at Autry Museum of Western Heritage.

She is a former writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, the newspaper for which the author of "Between Donuts" writes a law enforcement column.

Find out more at:

Or order it

Embracing Fear: And Finding the Courage to Live Your Life
Thom Rutledge, Ph.D.
Harper San Fransisco
ISBN 0062517740

Reviewed by David Leonhardt

Take a walk with Thom Rutledge 25 years ago, strolling across the campus of Austin College. Feel the cool breeze. And feel his fear, fear that didn’t show because he had learned already how to cover it up.

Embracing fear is not the first book this therapist writes, but it is unquestionably a book that comes from his heart as he teaches through stories and experiences from his private and professional life. Whereas many therapists write books replete with stories from “the couch”, Rutledge draws on his unique qualifications as “an out-of-the-closet, recovering neurotic-depressive alcoholic psychotherapist.”

The writing is nothing to get excited about, but it is clear, easy to read and accessible to a broad audience. This is a calm man speaking through his keyboard, sharing a few stories and offering a few lessons.

He offers four steps to transforming our relationship with fear: Face it. Explore it. Accept it. Respond to it. The fact that the first letters in each step form the word “fear” is purely coincidental, I am sure.

All in all, a very thought-provoking book by an author with solid credentials. I recommend it to anyone who feels fear is holding him back from something.

The reviewer is David Leonhardt, author of Climb your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness.

Retire in Style
Dr. Warren Bland
Next Decade, Inc. .
ISBN: 0970090803

Reviewed by David Leonhardt

Make Retire in Style your first retirement-planning stop, because it lists 50 great last stops. Actually, it lists 50 “affordable places” in the U.S.A. to retire, although not all of them a particularly affordable.

But author Dr. Warren Bland, an award-winning geographer, gives more than just a listing. That would make for a very thin book. Instead, this ¾-inch thick, 81/2 by 11 reference guide devotes five or six pages to each location. The information is divided into categories ranging from transportation to quality of life, from retail services (stores for us plebes) to health care, cost of living to climate. In fact, this is an excellent starting point for anyone thinking of relocating for any reason (except for families interested in schools for their children). Based on Bland’s 12 categories, Boulder, Colorado, is the most desirable retirement location in the country.

Of course, before making a move, you want to get much more information about a community, but this guide helps with triage - to select those communities worth that more detailed investigation.

What’s missing? well, my wife’s first take on the book was, “Oh great, where can we retire?” (which I hope won’t be for a few more decades). Her second take, as she flipped through the pages was, “What?! No pictures? They should have pictures.” There may be no pictures, but there are sketch maps.

Lack of photographic content aside, Retire in Style is an excellent way to kick-start the decision making, with a snapshot of 50 popular retirement locations.

The reviewer is David Leonhardt, author of Climb your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness.


The Musician's PlaceTo Shop!
Instant Gift Certificates!

© 2001-2005 Issues Magazine.
All Rights Reserved.

Get 15 FREE prints!