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.

Famous Dogs: Changing History One Dog (& Cat) at a Time

Title: Famous Dogs: Changing History One Dog (& Cat) at a Time
Author: Pat McGrath Avery
Genre: Young Adult
Reviewer: Dick Geschke

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1937958345

As human companions, dogs have taken part in much of man's history and in some cases, actually created change by their actions. These stories of twenty-six dogs and a cat are suitable for adults and children who want to know more about dogs and their role in history.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
McGrath Avery, Pat

Turns: A Collection of Memoir Chapbooks

Title: Turns: A Collection of Memoir Chapbooks
Author: Nancy Arbuthnot
Genre: Poetry
Reviewer: Lee Boyland

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0982922876

A volume of short memoir chapbooks comprised of compelling narratives. The following authors and titles are featured: Deep Blue: Poems of a Navy Life Nancy Prothro Arbuthnot My Life in Shoes Pamela L. Laskin The Enigma Gerri Luce Scenes from My Life on Hemlock Street: A Brooklyn Memoir Arlene L. Mandell Learning from Lady Chatterley Gloria Nixon-John My Two Years in Priest Corps Joe Novara Notes from 1970 Claude Clayton Smith

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Arbuthnot, Nancy

Dare Not Blink

Title: Dare Not Blink
Author: Gerald Gillis
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Reviewer: Margaret Brown

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0985252340

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer... The Old Man is dead. Langdon Elerbee—the chairman and founder of Elerbee Engineering—has been struck down by cancer, and the multi-million dollar company that bears his name has devolved into clandestine corporate infighting. The company president, Jeff Wylie, has kept the old man’s illness a secret, so no one but Wylie is prepared to exploit the power vacuum created by Elerbee’s death. Now, Wylie is quietly pulling strings and making backdoor deals to consolidate his own position at the top of the pyramid. Dave Paige is a young gun. A regional vice president at age forty-two, he’s one of the company’s rising stars. He believes in playing the game the way that Elerbee himself had played it: with loyalty, integrity, and a personal devotion to excellence. He suddenly finds himself going head-to-head with corporate backstabbers who will pull every dirty trick in the book to achieve their own short-sighted goals. Dave isn’t just fighting for his job, or the millions of dollars at stake, or even for the company he has grown to love. He’s fighting for the soul of corporate America, and no one is guarding his back.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Gillis, Gerald

CIB: Combat Infantryman Badge

Title: CIB: Combat Infantryman Badge
Author: Wilbur (Bill) Rambow
Genre: History
Reviewer; Mindy Lawrence

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0983687889

Specialist Fourth Class Philip Lawson arrives in Vietnam after re-enlisting with the promise of assignment as a helicopter door-gunner. But when he arrives in country he is assigned as a replacement to a mechanized infantry ­company and his dreams of action in the sky over Vietnam evaporate in a haze of red dust and sweltering humidity.

Phil sets out with a youthful desire to prove not only who he is to himself, but also to earn the confidence and respect of the more experienced men around him. It's not long before action finds him and he discovers the immense physical, psychological and mortal toll he must face to gain his comrades' respect and quiet his own lurking fears. The misery and daily quest for survival are leavened by the combat soldiers' unbreakable bond, and a cast of eccentric pets and mascots that ride the M113 "tracks" with the mechanized grunts. But further complicating Phil's life is the unexpected arrival in the combat zone of Captain Paul Lawson, the domineering older brother whose influence he has been trying to escape for years.

During his R&R in Sydney, though worried that the war may have forever hardened and brutalized him, Phil finds love and the promise of a bright new future-if he can survive his tour of duty. Ultimately he must fight alongside the hardened soldiers who will become his brothers, against an unseen and ruthless enemy to earn the coveted Combat Infantryman Badge.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Rambow, Wilbur (Bill)

Codename Aphrodite

Title: Codename Aphrodite
Author: Charles S. Faddis
Genre: Thriller/Mystery

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 061553967X

Ex CIA ops officer, Bill Boyle, has been languishing in limbo in Mexico since the day his wife, another CIA officer, was blown to pieces in front of him during an op on the streets of Athens. Now he's been given a chance to redeem himself and find his wife's killers, but to do so he is going to have to return to Greece and dig up an old, and very dangerous asset, codenamed Aphrodite. Based on the author's own real experiences as a CIA operative working against terrorist groups in Europe and the Middle East, this is as close as you can get to running an operation yourself without signing up for the Company.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Faddis, Charles S.