He did so much

Rickenbacker by Edward V. Rickenbacker; 1967; 458 pages; Prentice-Hall, Inc; Edgewood, NJ; purchased from Multnomah County Title Wave Used Bookstore; 7/2/14-7/8/14

I remember going into a bookstore in Oakland, CA shortly after I reported aboard the U.S.S. Kansas City (AOR-3) in early 1976 and buying this book because I had heard so much about Eddie Rickenbacker growing up.  One of the first “adult” books I remember reading is We Thought We Heard the Angels Sing by Lt. James C. Whitaker about being adrift in the Pacific for 24 days with Eddie Rickenbacker during WWII.

This came through the Title Wave last year and I picked it up, it took me a year to actually get around to reading it.  Eddie Rickenbacker was born in 1890 and dropped out of school in 7th grade when his father died.  He worked in a glass factory and other labor intensive jobs before getting a job as an auto mechanic in his hometown, just as automobiles began to gain popularity.  He then went on to become a race car driver, racing at the first Indianapolis Speedway race, he eventually also started his own automobile manufacturing company.  He taught himself to fly and became an Ace in WWI, he was also an aircraft mechanic and parlayed those two things into becoming president of Eastern Airlines, which he grew into a thriving enterprise.  During WWII he served as a special messenger from Secretary of War Stimson, Eddie and FDR did not like each other, he went behind Russian lines, all over  Europe and into the Pacific, which how he ended up adrift in the Pacific.

He was truly an incredible man who pushed himself but didn’t ask anyone to do what he wouldn’t do himself.  He got to know all the employees of what ever company he was head of and asked and carefully considered input from all levels of his company.

Did I like it?  Yes, once again I was impressed with the strength and resilience of Eddie Rickenbacker.  He went through trials, an airplane crash in Atlanta that broke most of the bones in his body and being adrift in the Pacific for 24 days, but always seemed to bounce back stronger and more sure of himself.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  Eddie Rickenbacker did more in his lifetime than many people would manage in several lifetimes.

A day that will live in infamy

Pearl Harbor by Peter Miller; 2001; 36 pages; National Geographic, Washington, DC; purchased at Multnomah County Library’s Title Wave Used Bookstore; 6/30/14-6/30/14

I did several school reports on the attack on Pearl Harbor in Junior High, Middle School and High School and I still learned some things from this report.  24 sets of brothers and 1 father and son were killed in the attack.  Military Intelligence (in this case that really is a oxymoron)  failed to recognize what was about to happen from a year before right up until minutes before the attack.  The Japanese military thought that the attack would demoralize the American public, but it did just the opposite galvanizing the public into wanting to join the conflict.

Did you learn anything new?  Yes in addition to the facts above it was recently discovered by divers that the class ring from the Naval Academy of Admiral Kidd is welded to the mast.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke to the American public shortly after the attack he referred to December 7th as a Day that will live in infamy.

Again forget every thing you thought you knew

Dreams of Trespass, Tales of A Harem Girlhood  by Fatima Mernissi; 1994; $17.00; 242 pages; Basic Books, New York, NY; 305.4869M566d; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gresham; 6/4/14-6/6/14

The author describes growing up in Morocco in the early 40’s, she lived in a harem with her mother, aunts, grandmothers,some cousins and various other female relatives.  The idea was to keep them separated from the men of the town but a harem could be either a four walled building with no windows to the outside world or a secluded farm.  Each of these was where the authors grandmothers lived.  Even with the seclusion the author had a good time growing up due to the efforts of her mother and a couple of aunts.  She also was taught by her mother and some aunts that she could be anything she wanted, her mother was also a feminist in a country where it wasn’t permitted.  She taught her daughter quietly and Fatima went onto get her doctorate and is a well known scholar on the role of women in Islam.  I found it interesting and illuminating.

Grade-A

Did I like it?  Yes it was well written and interesting.  It opened a window into a world that I had a wrong impression of.  I really like books that illuminate things I didn’t know about.

What is with the title of the review?  Much of what I thought I knew about women in the Middle East was changed through this book.  I learned much about daily life.  A harem is not what we have been shown in several movies.

Like the DC Universe.

In War Times, An Alternate-Universe Novel of a Different Present by Kathleen Ann Goonan; 2007; $15.99; 348 pages; Tor Books, New York, NY; 978-0-7653-3243-1; Science Fiction; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Woodstock; 4/18-4/21

Why did I pick this up?  I don’t really remember what prompted me to pick this up.  I read it because it was in my to be read pile and it looked interesting.

What is the story?  The story starts just before the attack on Pearl Harbor, when Sam meets a beautiful physicist who gives him some theoretical papers that lead him to see time differently, with parallel universes which often have the same people in them but events differ between timelines which cause differences, some minute, some grandiose and some of importance to the entire world.  A few people seem to be able to travel between timelines through certain nexuses.  Time is like bebop, two sounds sometimes coming together and then diverging and repeating over and over.  I really can’t do justice to the theory.  The story starts in 1941 and continues to now.  The characters are fully rounded and very relatable.

Did I like it?  For the most part, although I got lost at the end.

Grade-B

What is with the title of the review?   In comics DC has multiple universes most of which contain the same characters each of which are slightly different.