Book Reviews

Reviews of books by MWSA members. Reviews appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent review posted appearing first.
Note: Some older reviews are being reposted to this site and those will appear out of order.

God Does Have a Sense of Humor

Title: God Does Have a Sense of Humor
Author: Rob Ballister
Genre: Creative Non-Fiction, Humor
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0595363431

Author Rob Ballister delivers a touching and entertaining portrait of his journey through dating, growing up in New Jersey, and surviving cancer. Along the way, he learns that God Does Have a Sense of Humor. Follow him:

Through surgery—My understanding was that the doctor, while hopping up and down on one foot and singing the national anthem, was going to remove my lymph nodes using a butter knife, a hacksaw, and some 10W-30 motor oil.

Into the confessional—There sat Father Riener, who was technically old enough to have been one of the original apostles. As I began reciting my list, Father began falling asleep. Being only in the fourth grade, I did exactly what I did at home when my younger sister fell asleep. I kicked him.

Through family Christmas traditions—That first year, Dad put up a wreath and Mom put up a tree, and things were pretty much low key that season. Then I was born, and as I grew, so did Dad’s commitment to having the house visible from orbiting spacecraft.

With an incredibly wry sense of humor, Ballister offers a hilarious look at life, guaranteed to make you smile!

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Ballister, Rob

Vietnam in Verse: Poetry for Beer Drinkers

Title: Vietnam in Verse: Poetry for Beer Drinkers
Author: Michael "Moon" Mullins
Genre: Poetry, Book of Poetry
Reviewer: Lloyd A. King

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0595420702

I am Michael D. Mullins. I have written a book of poetry, telling my story when I was a grunt in Vietnam. I served there from March 1968 until March 1969. My unit was Delta Company, 3rd Battalion of the 7th Infantry in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. Our motto was “Light, swift and accurate.” It could have easily been “light, sweaty and persistent.” We were mobile and proved it every day.

The stories I tell are about friends, vets I have met in various situations and my own experiences in the rice paddies of Southeast Asia. I continue to seek stories that inspire, concern, and delight me. They make me thoughtful, proud, and committed to their telling.

I have more to write and will continue to listen to the veterans I encounter on life’s road. There are 8.2 million of us, so I am sure I will not get to everyone, but to those from whom I have already learned and those in my future I offer my gratitude, my respect, and my thanks.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Mullins, Michael "Moon"

Life After Deployment: Military families share reunion stories and advice

Title: Life After Deployment: Military families share reunion stories and advice
Author: Karen Pavlicin
Genre: Non-Fiction, Reference, How-To
Reviewer: Andrew Lubin

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0965748375

Life After Deployment captures the tender and moving stories of military families during their reunion. Service members and their spouses, parents, fiancees, and children share the joy and anxiety of homecoming, the adjustments of living together again, and how they coped with anger, depression, PTSD, injuries, grief, and other challenges. Some families had fairytale endings. Most worked hard to rebuild their relationships after much time and change. A few suffered great losses. These military families talk candidly about what their experience was really like, offering hope and advice to others who walk this journey.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Pavlicin, Karen

Charlie Battery: A Marine Artillery Unit in Iraq

Title: Charlie Battery: A Marine Artillery Unit in Iraq
Author: Andrew Lubin
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Reveiwer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1555716423

"Charlie Battery" is the harrowing and personal account of a Marine Corps artillery battery fighting for survival in the opening days of Operation Iraqi Freedom as they fight in the vicious battle at An-Nasiriyah. Written by the father of one of Charlie Battery's Marines, the story follows their sudden call to war, their deployment in the largest convoy since WW2, and their baptism-by-fire at An-Nas. Through extraordinary interviews with the Marines, their families, and their superior officers, we are given a rare glimpse of what they early days of the war in Iraq were like for the Marines and their families - not only for the Marines who foughyt, but for all those who watched it unfold live at 0330 one morning on MSNBC

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Lubin, Andrew

Perfect Assassin, The

Title: The Perfect Assassin
Author: Ward Larsen
Genre: Fiction,
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1933515155

One perfect shot will change the course of history. Christine Palmer, a young American doctor sailing solo across the Atlantic, makes an incredible discovery - a man narrowly clinging to his life in the frigid waters. But there is much more to this desperate survivor than meets the eye.David Slaton is a Kidon - a highly-trained, highly-precise, and highly-dangerous assassin. The Kidon is both the hunter and the hunted, and he and Christine are in grave danger. Will they win in this race against time?With the precision of a sharpshooter, author Ward Larsen weaves an intricate tale of espionage and intrigue.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Larsen, Ward