Horse Soldiers, The Extraordinary Story of a Band of U.S. Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan by Doug Stanton; 2009; $18.00; 395 pages; Scribner, New York, NY; 978–1-4165-8052-2; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 5/9/18-5/18/18
Why did I read this? Because I saw the trailer for “12 Strong”, which is the movie based on this book and I wanted to read the accurate account.
Shortly after the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 12 U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers traveled to Afghanistan to assist the soldiers of the Afghan Northern Alliance in their guerrilla war against the Taliban. When they reached the headquarters of the Northern Alliance Generals, they found the headquarters in a cave and an old mud fort. When they traveled and entered the battlefield they did so on horseback. Most of them had never ridden a horse before and suffered from saddle sores and sore limbs. Most of them were not willing to show to the Afghans that they didn’t know how to ride and wanted to respect the Afghan militia and their customs. They augmented the Afghans’ weapons, many of which were left behind by the Soviets, with some cutting edge guided bombs and other more modern equipment. Both sides had left over Soviet weapons, although the higher technological weapons like tanks and jets were utilized by the Taliban. At the point the story here ends the Northern Alliance had seemingly defeated the Taliban. The way the US Army special forces worked alongside the Northern Alliance has become a model for how U.S. Troops can work with fighters from other cultures. I hope the United States military does not forget the lessons they learned from the Horse Soldiers.
What is with the title of the review? 12 Strong is the title of the movie starring Chris Hemsworth that is based on this book.
Caddyshack, The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story by Chris Nashawaty; 2018;$26.99; 291 pages; Flatiron Books, New York, NY; 978-1-250-10595-0; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 5/8/18-5/9/18
Why did I read this? Because Caddyshack is one of my all time favorite movies.
This traces the path from the Harvard Lampoon through Lemmings to Animal House to Caddyshack for the writers and stars of Caddyshack. It has interviews with most of the people involved in the creation and production of the movie. It is an enjoyable read of what was a largely improvised comedy. The movie involved two of my favorite actors, Michael O’ Keefe and Bill Murray (what is the secret 800 number) in a movie that was targeted at the demographic I was in at the time. It was fun to read the behind the scenes recollections of those involved and to see how the movie evolved to what it was.
What is with the title of the review? it is the name of the title song of the movie by Kenny Loggins. It is a song that always makes me smile.
An American Marriage Tayari Jones; $26.95; 2018; 320 pages; Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC; 9781616208776; checked out from the Multnomah County Library; 4/26/18-4/26/18
Why did I read this? I read this because I read a review of it that was glowing.
Celestial grows up next door to Andre, her best friend, but when she goes away to college she meets Roy and falls in love with him. Set in the southern part of the United States these three African Americans deal with more than their fair share on racism. One night while Celestial and Roy are staying in an inn, Roy is accused of raping a white woman, and this being the south he is quickly sentenced to prison. While he is in prison he discovers things about his family. While Roy is in prison Celestial begins a business that is part art and part commerce. Celestial also learns about herself and those around her.
What is with the title of the review? A critical part of the story is several different triangles of people.
Warning Light by David Ricciardi; 2018; $27.00; 323 pages; Berkley, New York, NY; 978-0-399-58573-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library; North Portland; 4/26/18-4/26/18
Why did I read this? I read a review of it over at The Real Book Spy and decided I would give another debut novel from a new author a chance.
The CIA is mounting a recon mission to Iran when they find out that the agent that is supposed to go on the mission has been compromised. So analyst Zac Miller is tasked to take on the mission. After he is inserted into Iran he is arrested and interrogated by the Iranian Army he manages to escape and travese the country. He confronts forces allied against him from several agencies and country, he is also hamstrung by personal vendettas and turf wars within the CIA. He is a compelling character which I am looking forward to reading more of his adventures.
What is with the title of the review? Many of the series these drop you into an adventure with an origin story coming several books into the series, but gives us the origin story first.
6thThe 6th Man by David Baldacci; 2011; $27.99; 416 pages; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-0-466-57310-8; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 4/25/18-4/25/18
Why did I read this? Because I enjoy reading stories by Baldacci and am trying to read through his multiple series. I am currently reading through the King and Maxwell series, of which this is the penultimate book.
King and Maxwell are contacted by King’s old law school professor to look into an alleged serial killers life. The professor is defending the serial killer but before they are able to meet with him he is assassinated. The serial killer is a former intelligence analyst, one of the all time best the government has ever seen. The DHS Secretary and other intelligence agencies are jealous and overly protective of their turf. The agencies are pulling out all the stops to sideline the agency and company the analyst works for. King and Maxwell are subjected to all kinds of terrorism by their own government and forces within it. King and Maxwell manage to figure out the conspiracy and shut down the rogue elements within the government.
What is with the title of the review? It is well known that the intelligence agencies within the United States Governments don’t play well with each other and that they will do whatever is necessary to protect their turf and Baldacci builds on that.
Whispers of the Dead by Spencer Kope; 2018; $26.99; 323 pages; Minotaur Press, New York, NY; 978-1-250-07288-7; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Midland; 4/25/18-4/25/18
Why did I read this? Because I read the first book in the series and enjoyed it, so I will continue to read them.
A judge finds a Styrofoam cooler in his house, inside is a pair of fully clothed feet. Steps, who can see the aura (shine as the author calls it) that every person leaves behind. Steps and his FBI handler are assigned to the case and initially can’t identify the killer but are able to figure out who the victim is. They are able to backtrack and put two and two together and figure out who the killer is and figure out the motive for the feet that have been left in various people’s homes and they are able to find the killer and his latest victims. Meanwhile they have gathered more evidence about Leonardo, a serial killer that has attracted their attention. Steps is a unique hero with an outstanding supporting cast, I look forward to more from Spencer Kope.
What is with the title of the review? A serial killer that the task force has nicknamed Leonardo poses his victims as Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man with the limbs pointing in a specific direction each time.
An African American and Latinx History of the United States by Paul Ortiz; 2018;$27.95;276 pages; Beacon Press, Boston, MA; 978-0-8070-1310-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 4/19/1/-4/25/18
Why did I read this? Because I was only taught one perspective of the history of the United States.
Sir Winston Churchill said “History is written by the Victor”, while not completely true, most of what is taught to us as children is written by the dominant group. So most of the history of the United States was written by rich white men so the that the accomplishments of people of color and women have been diminished. Paul Ortiz has assembled many facts that augment the history that we have been taught. This was a very interesting read and added to my appreciation of under reported facts.
What is with the title of the review? This is not an alternative history but is facts that augment what I already knew.
An Archaeological Biography of the Garrity Family in Presque Isle, Michigan by Sophia Stuart; 2018; 115 pages; a manuscript copy of Sophia Stuart’s Masters Thesis, given to me by Sophia; 4/18/18-4/19/18
Why did I read this? I have always been fascinated by lighthouses and the people who cared for them, prior to automation and I know the author.
Presque Isle, Michigan, (not to be confused with Presque Isle, Maine) is on the upper northeast part of the Michigan mitten, on the western shore of Lake Huron. The Garrity family manned the Presque Isle lighthouse for over 70 years, with at least two different generations living there. Sophia used items from two different spots that were excavated on Presque Isle to ascertain somethings about the family. It was an interesting way to find out a family, it would be interesting to see more biographies augmented by artifacts.
What is with the title of the review? Some of what Sophia discovered about the Garrity family was discovered through the items that were excavated from around the lighthouse.
The Amish Quilter by Leslie Gould & Mindy Starns Clark; 2018; $14.99; 336 pages; Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR; 978-0-7369-6294-0; Provided by the publisher for review; 4/16/18-4/18/18
Why did I read this? One half of the author team is a friend of ours and I like the authors writing, they are good storytellers.
Linda is the youngest daughter of an Amish family, a perfectionist and a straight edge rule follower. She puts the other Amish folk to shame with her ability to judge others and herself when it comes to following the rules. She finds herself confronting some facts that challenge her perceptions of the rules and of those closest to her. In doing some genealogical research she discovers even more about balancing truth and justice. She also tends to assume too much and speculate too much. She is an amazing quilter who perfectionism even mandates how she quilts, she is creative but only in a certain way. As she is confronted by new truths in her life and as her relationships grow with her family and with her beau the truths she learns about life also expands her creativity.
What is with the title of the review? I really enjoyed the way the authors talked of art here and the word pictures they painted of paintings and quilts were quite moving. r
Seward Unleashed, Volume 1 by various authors, 2014; 102 pages; Seward Senior Center, Inc, Seward, AK; given to me by Dana Paperman, Director of the Seward Senior Center; 4/15/18-4/16/18
Seward Unleashed Volume 2 by various authors; 2017; 100 pages; Seward Senior Center, Inc, Seward, AK; given to me by Dana Paperman, Director of the Seward Senior Center; 4/16/18-4/16/18
Why did I read this? This was given to me by my sister in law, Dana Paperman, Director of the Seward Senior Center, which published these.
A collection of non fiction memoirs, Volume 1 asks the question why did you come to Alaska? and Volume 2 asks the question why did you stay? These stories provide insight into the people who live in Seward, it is a group of individual memories that combine to provide a history of Seward. Each of these stories is intriguing in its own way.
What is with the title of the review? While we were in Seward in February of 2018 we got to meet at least one of the people who are profiled here.