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.

Z Square 7, A B-29 True Story

Title: Z Square 7, A B-29 True Story
Author: Frank L. Grube
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1930847947

They flew from Saipan, Tinian and Guam to Kobe, Nagoya and Tokyo! They flew to Osaka, Yokohama and Tachikawa! The B-29s reaped destruction and devastation on the entire country of Japan during World War 2. The destruction was so thorough throughout the country that the Japanese were asked to surrender months before the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Major General Curtis E. LeMay, Commander of the B-29 bombers, wrote in a commendation to his crews , "Men of your courage, resourcefulness, and determination enabled the B-29s to lay waste to the heart of the Japanese mainland and thus hasten the close of World War 2."

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Grube, Frank L.

The Young Draftee

Title: The Young Draftee
Author: Monte Howell
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0595226140

Of all of the stories to come out about World War II few are written about the young 18 year old inexperienced soldiers who were thrust into a brutal part of the war. None were professional soldiers, most were draftees or civilians who were allowed to play soldier for the duration of the war. This true story identifies those everyday occurrences which a "young soldier" experiences as he goes through Army basic training, being sent overseas to an infantry replacement depot in New Guinea, never quite knowing where he was or where he was going. Finally experiencing the horrors of combat in Leyte and Luzon, Philippines and wondering if his luck was going to see him through these ordeals. The war in the South Pacific was beyond being called a brutal, savage war or some other words, which can explain what these men went through. The terrain, climate and disease those men had to fight besides the enemy was unbearable. The war in the South Pacific was a war without mercy. This is a descriptive march through history.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Howell, Monte

Jugs & Bottles

Title: Jugs & Bottles
Author: Nelson O. Ottenhausen
Genre: Thriller Mystery
Reviewer: Jim Greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0979164257

Jami Unice Gamble, a woman deaf since birth, is targeted for murder after witnessing a Mafia style killing and identifying the two killers to the police. She, along with her hearing aid dog Bottles, becomes involved in a story of romance, chaos and murder by organized crime as the Morgan brothers, a contracted two-man hit team, tries to kill her.

The brothers, Vinnie and Bennie Morgan, are petty crooks and amateurs at trying to commit murder, having never killed anyone before. They make several bungled attempts on Jami’s life and get themselves into a series of comedic situations. Jami’s dog Bottles tries to befriend the criminal duo each time he meets them, but fear of the dog and the brothers’ reactions in trying to avoid him only causes them no end of embarrassing moments. The ongoing encounters between the dog and the brothers are oblivious to Jami because of her deafness.

Lt. Randall Casey, a handsome police officer, is the only one in the police department who can communicate with their key witness to the mob style execution. He takes on the responsibility to protect Jami and soon begins a romance with her. His twelve-year-old son Joey is also deaf, and he too likes the woman and her dog, forming an immediate bond with both of them.

During a failed attempt to kill Jami, the Morgan brothers end up in the hospital and another Mafia mobster tries to fulfill the murder contract in order to meet a deadline ordered by mob bosses. He too fails because Bottles goes through an instant metamorphic personality transformation from a docile and gentle pet into a primeval attack animal, killing the assailant in a necessary act to save the members of his adopted pack.

After the death of the assailant, Lt. Casey and members of the police department wonder how to keep Jami safe from the Mafia in the long term, but an unknown ally solves the problem and for a reason that will never be known by the police.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Ottenhausen, Nelson O.

Walking the Tigers Path

Title: Walking the Tigers Path
Author: Paul Kendel
Genre: Military Army
Reviewer: Jim Greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0984154353

Deployed to Iraq with his National Guard unit out of Georgia, the author hoped to use his knowledge of the Midddle East and Islam (possessing an M.A. in the subject) to bridge a gap between American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. However, the realities of war quickly challenged his idealism. On a whim, he emailed the Shambhala Buddhist community, finding unexpected guidance in retaining his humanity and compassion as he faced the lethal insanity of war. Upon his return home he faced more challenges with the loss of his mother as well as the end of his marriage. The book is both a military memoir and a story of spiritual transformation.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Kendel, Paul