Meeting Report

March 16, 2014

Book Reviews by Members

Occasionally HAGSA has program meetings that allow members to review books they have recently read. This meeting was one of those.

Reason Center

Before the reviews started, Tom Ikelman reported on the progress towards Reason Center, an educational meeting facility that would be owned (or leased) for use by various freethought organizations in the Sacramento area, and where we could all have meetings and other events that would not require the renting of a large hall. We have money earmarked for this purpose, much of which came from a large bequest from an AOF member. Other donations are welcome. Reason Center has applied for 501(c)(3) status. Although several properties have been looked at, no property has been purchased and no lease has yet been signed.

Book Reviews

Anna Andrews reviewed Why We Get Fat by Gary Taudes. This is an argument for a low carbohydrate diet. The author says we should avoid sugar and not worry so much about fat.

Wayne Luney reported on In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larsen. This book focuses on the life and loves of Martha Dodd, the daughter of America’s ambassador to Germany during the early years of the Nazi regime. Early on, she realized the evil of Hitler and his gang, but unfortunately chose communism as her response to it.

Wayne also reviewed The Pope and the Heretic by Michael White. This is the story of Giordano Bruno, who was burned to death at the stake in 1600 for, among other things, supporting the ideas of Copernicus and advocating that people be allowed to follow the dictates of their own reason.

Mynga Futrell reviewed Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity. This is a manual on how to raise children with various types of physical and mental disabilities and make their lives as normal as conditions will permit.

Bill Potts discussed 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian by Guy Harrison.

Bill Potts finished off the reviews by giving a short talk on British author P. D. James’ Adam Dalgleish mystery Devices and Desires. The name P.D. James doesn’t say it all. In full, she’s Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE, FRSA, FRSL, and a life peer in the House of Lords. She will be 94 on August 3, 2014. In her writing, her fascinating attention to the smallest detail is unmatched.

Report prepared by Wayne Luney

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