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.

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

Heart of a Lion: The Leadership of Lt. Michael P. Murphy

Title: Heart of a Lion: The Leadership of Lt. Michael P. Murphy
Author: Gary Williams
Genre: Military Navy
Reviewer: Jim Greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0984835121

Over the course of his short life, Michael Patrick Murphy came to personify three critically important pillars of leadership. First, before you can lead, you must positively influence others. Second, you must develop an unshakable moral character. Third, you must always act with integrity consistent with that character… an integrity and character that transcends position-only leadership and provides the all-important moral authority to lead. On June 28, 2005 LT Michael P. Murphy faced two profound moral leadership questions; the first after capturing three civilian non-combatants. The second to deliberately put himself in the enemy’s direct line of fire in a final effort to get help for his men. How Michael P. Murphy chose to answer those two questions will forever separate him from those he fought. This book details the leadership traits of the most celebrated Medal of Honor recipient since World War II.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Williams, Gary

Unsinkable Sailors

Title: Unsinkable Sailors
Author: Paul Sherbo
Genre: Military Navy
Reviewer: Jim Greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0979164230

"Unsinkable Sailors by retired US Navy Reserve Captain Paul Sherbo is a chilling historical account of the at-sea collision of the USS Frank E. Evans (DD-745), a United States Navy destroyer, and the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne. This book is the only comprehensive source of original interviews and research along with official naval records that centers on the Evans crewmembers. The story of the collision that sank the bow half of the Evans is told by those who lived the nightmare on the morning of 3 June in 1969. It is a story of personal tragedy, survival and perseverance."

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Sherbo, Paul