What It Is Like To Go To War by Karl Malantes

What It Is Like To Go To War by  Karl Marlantes; 2011; $25.00; 256 pages; Atlantic Monthly Press; New York, NY; 978-0-8021-1992-6; purchased from Multnomah County Library’s Title Wave Used Bookstore; 9/9/16-9/17/16

Why did I ride this?   I first read this in December of last year and was so moved by it that I nominated it for the book group I am part of.  So I reread it with a slightly different eye so that I could lead the discussion.

I read Karls’ first book, Matterhorn, back in 2010 and so when a veteran and good writer writes something with a title like this I decided to read this.  This is a look at how we as a society can better prepare people to be warriors and then support them better when they return from warfare.  He looks at things in a physical, metaphysical, spiritual, psychological and practical sense.  This is a book that should be read by everyone.  It can be a difficult read as it has some frank discussions about what the author has experienced in combat.



Warhawk by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood

Warhawk by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood; 2016;$27.99; 368 pages; William Morrow, New York, NY; 978-0-06-213527-8; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hillsdale; 4/26/16-4/27/16

Why did I read this?  James Rollins is one of my favorite authors, alone or with others.  This is a follow up to The Kill Switch.

Tucker Wayne and his dog, Kane are back.  Kane is half of a duo of dogs that Tucker had in Afghanistan.  They have retired and are just moving around the country trying to get their footing back.  Tucker is approached by an old companion from his time in country, who is worried about the disappearance of another soldier they both knew.  Tucker agrees to look into it and he travels all over the world following the clues, until he finds out what has happened to so many people who have worked together. Some of the plot reminds me of the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies, with a media magnate manipulating the news for his own ends.



The most important book I read this year

warWhat it is like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes; 2011; $25.00; 256 pages; Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, NY; 978-0-8021-1992-6; purchased at the Multnomah County Library’s Title Wave Used Bookstore; 12/10/15-12/16/15

Five years ago I read a little book by Karl Marlantes called Matterhorn about a Marine in Vietnam.  It was awesome to read and I gave an A++.  Shortly after that he wrote this and I just now got around to reading it.  This is an awesome book that explores spirituality, morality, ethics and more.  It is a guide to how we can prepare our warriors to deal with the implications of war in so many areas.  He uses his experience as a Marine and others and also a vast array of classical literature to make his points.


Did I learn from it?  I did indeed.  It was very moving.  I was reading a part of it while lunching and a passage made me stop chewing and put my fork done.  There is so  much here that would help us all.  If I could afford it I would give a copy to all the people who make the decisions in Washington D.C. to sacrifice their young, physically, mentally, emotionally and in many other ways.  Everyone should read this.

What is with the title of the review?  I feel that this is the most important book that I read this year and will influence my life going forward and I will be reading it again and again.


The Promise by Robert Crais; 2015; $27.95; 402 pages; G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, NY; 978-0-399-16149-0; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Kenton; 11/12/15-11/15/15

Elvis Cole, Joe Pike, Scott James and Maggie come together in this long awaited thriller from Robert Crais.  Scott and Maggie were introduced in Suspect, Scott is an LAPD detective suffering from PTSD after the death of his partner, Maggie is a Marine Corps explosive sniffing dog who also suffers from PTSD after the death of her handler in Afghanistan.  Maggie and Scott are teamed up as an LAPD K-9 unit.  Elvis is hired to find a woman who has embezzled a massive amount of money from her employee.  As Elvis begins to investigate he is confronted by Scott at a crime scene.  As the investigation continues both Scott and Elvis come to realize that they are not getting complete information from the client or Scott’s superior.  The story involves terrorist, bank robbers, Homeland Security, and corrupt officials.  It is another amazing story from Robert Crais, as with each new book from him it has become my favorite book by him.

Grade A

Did I enjoy it?  Immensely.  It is always an exciting adventure with Elvis and Joe and throwing Scott and Maggie into the mix makes it even more compelling.

What is with the title of the review?  The publication of this book was repeatedly postponed and it has been 32 months since I finished the last Robert Crais book.

One of the two best books so far this year!

Burdy by Karen Spears Zacharias; 2015; $15.00; 182 pages; Mercer University Press, Macon, GA; 978-0-88146; 539-6; purchased from Amazon.com; 9/4/15-9/8/15

A follow up to Karen’s debut, Mother of Rain, Burdy begins to receive someone that she thought was dead.  As she corresponds with him she decides to visit him and see if she can determine while he has hidden his true fate from those who love him.  She decides to visit him and learn from him what happened.  Her adventures while traveling far from the hollers of Tennessee are extremely moving.  There are things that I did not see coming and I was incredibly moved by the story.

Grade A+

Did I enjoy it?  Yes, I was incredibly moved by some of the passages in the book.  There are several dog eared pages in my copy because I want to remember Karens’ phrasing.  I am looking forward to the third book.