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.

To Serve My Country

Title: To Serve My Country
Author: Jenna Turnipseed
Genre: Non-Fiction, Autobiography
Reviewer: Frank Evans

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1602643547

Young woman searching for purpose, a young soldier making her mark in the world. The author puts her life, her thoughts, her challenges, and her pride on display in this insightful story of a young woman's discovery of self. This coming-of-age biography shows how she discovered meaning in her life; conveying an honest and emotional portrayal of life in service to her country. This is the true story of a young woman venturing out into the world seeking adventure, and discovering life, love and herself.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Turnipseed, Jenna

White Train, The

Title: The White Train
Author: Larry Purcell
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Rob Ballister

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0595288510

A secret train-carrying nuclear missiles and protected by the most lethal anti-terrorist devices available-has vanished without a trace.The President receives a fax in the Oval Office, the contents of which carry an impact of icy terror. His efforts to place nuclear warheads in the hands of an unfriendly Third World nation, to achieve a strategic advantage for the United States, has started to unravel.The fax, signed by a mysterious militant group, has a simple ransom demand-one the President can neither meet nor acknowledge.The President must rely on a shady cast of unscrupulous advisors and ruthless agents to effect the return of the train to its mission, without going public, alarming the American people or incurring the wrath of the Congress of the United States.All that stands in the way of this highly illegal and clandestine mission's success is a strange alliance between an Air Force special operative, an investigative reporter for the Washington Post and a world-renowned anthropologist.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Purcell, Larry

Remains of Company D: a Story of the Great War, The

Title: The Remains of Company D: a Story of the Great War
Author: James Carl Nelson
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Reviewer: Dave Brown

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B0057DBJH8

Haunted by an ancestor's small tale of near-death on and salvation from a French battlefield, a journalist expands and completes his grandfather's story, following the men of Company D, 28th Infantry Regiment, US First Division through their trials at Cantigny, Soissons, St. Mihiel, the Meuse-Argonne -- and beyond.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Nelson, James Carl

Nearly Perfect Plan, The

Title: The Nearly Perfect Plan
Author: Karl Boyd
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Reviewer: Joyce Gilmour

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0557034981

A lighthearted fiction crime thriller, The Nearly Perfect Plan is the first in a trilogy chronicling the adventures of Roger Booth and Carl James, two young ambitious confidence men.

Fate works overtime when Roger and Carl stumble upon the perfect way to hijack three Brinks armored trucks in broad daylight on the open highway and make them and their $34 million payloads disappear in a matter of minutes. They enlist the aid of twenty of their ex-Army buddies from the Kuwaiti war to pull off "The Perfect Plan".

Everything goes as designed, until the gang is celebrating their victories over the law enforcement agencies of two states and the FBI. Then, the fickle finger of fate steps in and they are captured.

As a result, their spoiled venture soon becomes known as The Nearly Perfect Plan. But sometimes, (as you will see), if you are clever and resourceful, nearly is close enough.

Filled with suspense, thrills and a little romance, The Nearly Perfect Plan will tickle your funnybone and make you ask for more adventures with Roger and Carl.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Boyd, Karl


Title: The Overcoat
Author: Conrad Larson
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1931916535

I would like to have a couple of points made about this book. THE OVERCOAT

1; the character of Charlene in this book represents a lot of the character that makes this area special and the heritage of the Midwest special.

This character Charlene endures nearly impossible circumstances to live to her eighties and leave a heritage of warmth, love, a witness of strength of character through her life, daughter, and grandsons.

This individual could be recognized by many of your readers and they will attest to the above statements. All of the tragedies are real but the circumstances have been changed for purposes of the fictional plot of the mystery novel. The struggles of character Charlene are almost impossible to believe and the depiction through the historical fiction style makes the telling of this story easier to divulge the magnitude of pain and suffering in this manner.

The book was written to make a source of knowledge for heirs of the main Character in the book.

The family which this historical fiction is based had nearly been lost through the years. The ability to find information about the family tree is left to searching historical museums as very few acquaintances might know much information. The current generations will have very limited access to information in 20 years when there interests start to peak.

My next book will be an intense biography which is nearly complete as we speak and will be based on the daily logs of the trench warfare of WW1 veteran about his personal time in war with written experiences by and of Oscar Dahlgren of Nora Township , Lowry, and Pope County. Every effort is being made to represent the actual feeling and stresses of the war by duplicating the journals as written. The journals surfaced within the last five years and are very valuable, fragile and very old. The book will preserve this piece of history for ever.

Additional research at Pope County Historical Museum found a similar report of some of the same incidents mentioned in these journals of other local WW1 hero's. This set of journals includes a lot of mention of other local WW1 soldiers from this area. The hero's of this era are now down to one living soldier alive as we speak. The details of this war are compelling and worth understanding for us to understand the character of our families that sacrificed so much for our freedom and good life we now have.

Further research is planned to see if a map of Oscar Dahlgren's war encounters can be put together to add proximity to the cities in a map for Belgium and France that his Company had been engaged in warfare activities. Some of the communities listed in the Journals were completely destroyed and the maps aren't listing the old names.

The title of the next book will be "CARRY ON Pvt Dahlgren"

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Larson, Conrad