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.