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.

Valdinato, 1943

Title: Valdinato, 1943
Author: David Westwood
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer: Betsy Beard

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B006PW43EQ

The story begins in New York, but since the central character, Ennio, an Italian-American pastry chef, decides he should sign up, the action soon moves to the invasion of Italy. He becomes a cook with a company moving north from Naples, village by village, toward Rome. Meanwhile Lucia is working the family farm in the Liri Valley below the Abbey of Monte Cassino. Ennio and his friends are stopped short by the Germans at their Gustav Line, of which the Abbey forms a crucial part. Lucia’s farm is bombed, and she and Ennio are soon involved personally in one of the worst battles of WWII.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Westwood, David

Lion's Pride: A Tail of Deployment

Title: Lion's Pride: A Tail of Deployment
Author: Grace Anne Remey
Genre: Childrens'
Reviewer: Jim Greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0985544503

Lion's Pride: A Tail of Deployment is written and illustrated by Grace Anne Remey who is eight years old. She has experienced 7 deployments in her young life. In her book, Grace Anne tells her story from the perspective of an 8 year old lion cub who shares her experiences and feelings through all the stages of the deployment cycle. The book also includes a 'How To' section where Momma Lion describes ideas families can use at home during a deployment.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Remey, Grace Anne

Sea Story, A

Title: A Sea Story
Author: Joseph Pignataro
Genre: History
Reviewer: Jim Greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B007W9F4A8

The U.S. Navy was among the first responders on 9/11. Entrusted with the
iconic Ground Zero flag, the Roosevelt battlegroup took to the seas searching
out those responsible, and to bring justice to a nation in mourning.

1145 September 2001, the U.S.S. Leyte Gulf deployed within hours of the
attack on the W.T.C. with orders to shoot down and destroy any "birds not
squawking" over New York City. We were entrusted with the Ground Zero flag
raised by the NYFD. We flew that flag with pride and determination from our
mast on our important mission. After two days we were then redirected to the
gulf and given orders to destroy the Taliban with the Tomahawk missiles
onboard. During transit, we were told by our Captain that the Taliban would
be waiting for us in the narrow Suez canal. So narrow in fact, only a single
ship can go through at any one time. If the first and last ship were to be
hit by surface to air missiles, there would be no way out. The aircraft
carrier U.S.S Roosevelt, would be trapped in the middle and defenseless.
There they were, waiting for us on horseback atop the sandy Suez
dunes...following us. Just a bunch of scared kids manning the ships 50 cal
guns, wondering what was to happen next.

One late night in the gulf, Bush declared war. It was our task to launch the
first Tomahawk missiles and kick off the war on terror. We were cut off from
the outside world. Email and any other means of communication had been banned
for security reasons. Television reports of Anthrax gripping the country with
fear and WW3 rumors scuttling through the ships decks. A six man boarding
party manned up to routinely search an unresponding suspect Iraqi
tanker...what was found would change our lives forever.

This is our sea story.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Pignataro, Joseph

Battle for Baqubah - Killing Our Way Out

Title; Battle for Baqubah - Killing Our Way Out
Author: Robert Colella
Genre: History
Reviewer: Ron Camarda

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1469791080

The Battle for Baqubah: Killing Our Way Out is a firsthand account-and sometimes a minute-by-minute tale-of a raw, in-your-face street fight with Al Qaeda militants over a fifteen-month span in the volatile Diyala Province of Iraq. This story is presented through the eyes of a first sergeant serving with B Company 1-12 Cavalry (Bonecrushers), 1st Cavalry Division, out of Fort Hood, Texas.

The author takes the reader into the midst of the conflict in and around Baqubah-Iraq's "City of Death"-a campaign that lasted most of 2007. The author and his fellow Bonecrushers watched as the city went from sectarian fighting amongst the Shiite and Sunnis, to an all-out jihad against the undermanned and dangerously dispersed US forces within Baqubah and the outlying areas.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Colella, Robet