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.

Pilots and Normal People: Short stories from a different attitude

Title: Pilots and Normal People: Short stories from a different attitude
Author: Walt Shiel
Genre: Fiction, Collection
Reviewer: Mary Sullivan

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 097465535X

Is it really possible to forget a prejudice ingrained during war? Does death really close the door to life? Can a grounded pilot find another way to return to the sky? Are physical laws the same throughout the universe? Is aviation mostly intellect or mostly emotion? Are criminals just as smart as the law-abiding? Can one man fight back against society's increasing crudeness? Do space explorers really need a spaceship? These and many other intriguing questions are explored in this eclectic collection of short fiction by Walt Shiel, which includes the award-winning "Remember."

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Shiel, Walt

The Mailman Went UA: A Vietnam Memoir

Title: The Mailman Went UA: A Vietnam Memoir
Author: David W. Mulldune
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Bob Flournoy

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0557025516

Memoir by a Marine who served in Vietnam with the 27th and 7th Marines from May 1968 through June 1969. His book is not so much about the Vietnam War but about the experiences, horror, and tragedy of war, based on his experience, so that others will see the futility of it, unless there is absolutely no other way. He hopes that what he has written will be the next best thing to actually being there, and that it will give a taste of what it is like to go through it, and his hope that it will change the way people look at war as a viable solution. He wants people to see it from the less privileged viewpoint and get a taste of real war. The title, The Mailman Went UA, came from their little song and dance routine that they performed when they didn't receive any mail. Strong language, racial and sexual references. 18 photos, glossary.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Mulldune, David W.

Last Roll Call (One of the last Memoirs of WWII. The adventure of a B-17 Tailgunner, volume 1)

Title: Last Roll Call (One of the last Memoirs of WWII. The adventure of a B-17 Tailgunner, volume 1)
Author: Kenneth Tucker & Wanda T. Goodwin
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Don Farinacci

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0975474952

Synopsis of the book, submitted by the author.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Tucker, Kenneth
Goodwin, Wanda T.

Heaven in the Midst of Hell: A Quaker Chaplain's View of the War in Iraq

Title: Heaven in the Midst of Hell: A Quaker Chaplain's View of the War in Iraq
Author: Sheri Snively
Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational
Reviewer: Pat McGrath Avery

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0981992609

War exposes the divide between who we think we are and how we behave in extreme situations. Commander Snively has crafted a vivid, unsettling, and ultimately hopeful personal account of the effects of the Iraq war on soldiers and civilians alike who find themselves astride that dilemma.

From her unique perspective as a Navy Quaker chaplain serving with Marines working amid the boredom, tension, and seemingly meaningless carnage at a trauma hospital and morgue between Ramadi and Fallujah, Commander Snively negotiates a compassionate path to healing marked not by formulaic answers, but by an open and questioning spirit.

Lavishly adorned with the author's own evocative photographs, Heaven in the Midst of Hell is a compelling and unforgettable journey into the human soul

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Snively, Sheri

Waiting for the "Word": Recollections of my life in the United States Navy from January 25, 1943 to November 6, 1945

Title: Waiting for the "Word": Recollections of my life in the United States Navy from January 25, 1943 to November 6, 1945
Author: Ulmon Bray
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1598582860

Even though the Navy provided considerable shelter for its young recruits and certainly didn't encourage individual behavior over that of the group, it expected responsible compliance with its rules and regulations whether individually or otherwise. And so it was at the age of eighteen years, three months, I entered the maze of activities designed not only to produce an able seaman, but would most certainly turn "boy" into "man." The events and accompanying experiences that occurred during the several levels of training and more than seven months of combat duty contributed to the growth of technical as well as social skills, which in the long view, might have been of much greater importance. It was the interaction with other people that created the most emorable events that are described here. The military deeds were necessary, but it was the men who supported my efforts to do my share who remain forever in the shadows of my memory.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Bray, Ulmon

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