FINISH STRONG by Richard G. Capen, Jr : A Review

I have been waiting to finish (not necessarily “finish strong,” but just “finish”) this book since the first of this year. I started it during the Christmas Holidays in an attempt to read more non-fiction, and came within the final three or four chapters, then put it aside to finish library books by due dates and to read books I received for Christmas.  As the books on the shelf were shuffled, this book was transferred lower and lower until last week. While dusting my book stacks, I found the book with a bookmark sticking out of it and marveled that the book was almost completed. Fortunately, I remembered most of what I had read as I finished the book subtitled, “Living your Faith in the Secular World and Inspiring Others in the Process.”

Although the book was written in 1992, it particular resonates in today’s world, describing the state of today’s secular world and offering suggestions toward “making America great again.” The author is a Pulitzer Prize winning publisher, formerly of the Miami Herald, and ambassador to Spain under the Bush administration.

Capen interviewed his day’s notables and well-known names, asking: What three accomplishments do you consider to be the important in your life? / If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what two or three values would you want to be remembered for? / Who have been your mentors, and what did they teach you? / Name an unsung hero whose values you admire?  The writer sent our these questions to prominent names in government, education, entertainment, research, etc. and surprisingly, 80% of those approached responded. Evidently, those individuals contacted wanted to go on record about what they valued and believed in. Interestingly enough, Capen commented on his “research,” “It came as no surprise that many of the most respected leaders were the most humble in describing their accomplishments.”

After learning a bit about the author, his own answers to his questions were perhaps the most interesting part of the book for me.

Finishing the book some six months after I had started it, and reflecting on what I have read in those past six months, have reminded me that I need to read more outside my “comfort” or favorite genre–novels–and find some more good non-fiction reads soon.


Author: Rae Longest

This year marks my fiftieth year in AAUW (American Association of University Women). The Alvin chapter was begun in 1947, and as a new, green teacher to Alvin Independent School District, I joined in 1968. In the 80's we began a book group to share our love of reading, books,and fellowship with other women and girls who loved the same. We resurrected the group on-line in September of 2015. Eventually Powerful Women Readers folded as an on-line book club, but I kept the title and turned it into a blog. (See "Introduction,"first blog). This is my first experience at blogging or publishing anything and is becomes more fun with each blog posted. I have just completed 30 years of teaching as an adjunct at The University of Houston Clear Lake. This is after three years at Alvin Community College and an almost-twenty year career as a classroom teacher with Alvin Independent School District, adding up to a total of teaching 50 years in all. Reading and writing are "in my blood" just like teaching is. I hope you enjoy the blog.

4 thoughts on “FINISH STRONG by Richard G. Capen, Jr : A Review”

  1. Great post Rae. I also struggle with non-fiction but try to get a few in each year. I have a book that I started, a year ago and put aside, I really should get back to it, it is also non-fiction, but based a memoir from Africa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Africa is something I rarely relate to, but memoirs, especially immigrant stories of people coming to America from other countries, trying to improve their lives fascinate me and make me appreciate my birth in the US and its opportunities a great deal.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldn’t agree more. It really opens my eyes regarding immigrants. I get so frustrated/angry/sad when people say we need to take care of our own, send them back, don’t let them come here etc.


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