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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
How to 'Kill' the Mocking Birds: Stories Concerning Intolerance, Patience, Irony and Independent Moral Courage by Bruce C. Nelson is an inspirational self-help guidebook that seeks to motivate readers into pursuing a life of courage and contentment. Bruce recounts stories from his wife's past, where her neglectful and abusive parents made Janet's and her younger sister Lynn's childhoods a harrowing experience, the scars of which followed them to their adulthood. Janet constantly suffered from PTSD and other health issues all her life. Despite being brought up as Evangelical Lutherans, Bruce and Janet drifted toward the LDS Church later on in their lives. Bruce also mentions the blatant abuse of power that populist authoritarian leaders display, using lies, verbal zingers, gaslighting, and propaganda to maintain the status quo. Unfortunately, they often seek the sanctuary of religious affiliations to justify their awful behavior.
Janet's story perfectly demonstrates the resilient nature of the human spirit and showcases how it can overcome even the most overwhelming of obstacles. How to 'Kill' the Mocking Birds underlines the many problems faced by society today, yet leaves readers with a sense of optimism and hope that with enough courage and spirit, humanity can survive anything. Bruce C. Nelson uses personal anecdotes of his own wife's life in the first half of the book. In the latter half, he sheds light on the fact that within each of the major religious groupings, there seems to exist the constant potential for both good and bad behavior, good and bad interpretations of religion, and good and bad leaders. If you're looking for something motivational, this is the book for you.