Tag Archive: United States



Lethal Warriors: When the New Band of Brothers Came Home View a preview of this book online

Lethal Warriors: When the New Band of Brothers Came Home

by David Philipps

 

 

I have decided I need to start this review by saying upfront that I have never supported the involvement of Americans and Canadian military in the war in Iraq. I am proudly Canadian, and while I do not support the war, I do support our men and women who have taken part in the war. I believe these people join the military to support their country and that is why I support them. And I feel the same about the American military personnel. That being said, I will also say that I was in two minds about reading and reviewing this book. I didn’t particularly want to read about the war in Iraq, but I did want to see what the author had to say about PTSD.

 
My papa was a boy in Finland in World War II. He and his family hid in the hills when the German army came through, and then again a few long years later, when the Russians came through chasing the remaining Germans back. He only spoke of it infrequently and usually only after something had caused him to be reminded of that time, some sound, some sight or some smell that would cause him to think back. I still get tears in my eyes thinking about the things he saw as a young boy, things he could do nothing about. Even writing this short amount brings to mind the look he would have on his face. That is actually why I decided to read this book, his look. I know that he suffered mental trauma because of what he went through, and I know that to deal with it, he drank. I believe that he suffered from PTSD and that is why i decided to read this.

 
David Philipps takes us on a journey through the lives of several young men who volunteered to serve their country and served in the American Army. They served their country, were given several weeks, sometimes months of training in weaponry, tactics, fighting, shooting and physical endurance and then were returned to their own country broken, sad, struggling to cope in the aftermath of all they had witnessed and been involved in. With most receiving little to no help with their mental issues (I hate how that sounds, but I’m not sure how else to word it), they were sent home to their families and friends different people than when they had started in the military.

 
Some coped well and returned to mainstream living with little or no discernible changes. Others suffered from insomnia, nightmares and other troubles that they were helped with and then returned to living with some help and were able to barely cope. Still others returned, denying to themselves and others, that they were suffering from any problems and then couldn’t cope. They received no help and ended up in jail, charged with various crimes including murder, rape and assault. And still, these people who had served their country, were denied help.

 
PTSD has been known by a variety of names including combat fatigue, and has existed as long as man has warred. It is a difficult disease to diagnose and treat, made harder by the stigma attached to mental illness and the don’t ask, don’t tell approach that is still seen today.

 
The author does not excuse what these men did, but he does try to help explain the WHY. And also what the government, the military and the people themselves need to do to change the system and to get help for people suffering from PTSD.

 
This book is not for the faint of heart, it goes through all the harrowing details of what these young men went through while they were serving in the army and the crimes they did when they returned home. It goes a long way to showing how PTSD changes lives and what can be done to combat PTSD in our military and in civilians as well.

 
A very well researched, well written book. It gives an objective look at the trauma war causes to our troops and what can be done to help them heal from their experiences.
The copy I have has an updated forward written in January 2012. It has a quote by journalist Tom Ricks that to me sums up the Iraqi War…’The Vietnam Memorial is a gash in the ground, like a grave, I think ideally, the Iraqi War memorial probably would ideally be a dead end.’

 
I received my copy of Lethal Warriors through LibraryThing and my review was unsolicited.

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I am so excited!  Tomorrow I will be holding my first guest blog.  Graham Parke, author of several novels including

 

 

 

No Hope for Gomez!

No Hope for Gomez!  by  Graham Parke

Winner of the Forewords Book of the Year Awards, nominated for the International Book Awards and the USA Book News Best Book Awards, featured in the Kirkus Best Indie 2011 list.

It’s the age-old tale:
Boy meets girl.
Boy stalks girl.
Girl already has a stalker.
Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.

 

 

 

and Random Acts of Senseless Kindness  will be be leaving a guest post about the launch of his newest novel

 

 

 

Unspent Time

Unspent Time by Graham Parke

 

 

 

Along with the quest post, Graham Parke will be offering the chance to receive free books and a chance to win either a Kindle Fire of a Kindle Touch.



downTown USA

downTown USA  by  Susan Madden Lankford

 

 

This book intrigued me from the start. My husband and middle son are both amateur photographers, so I knew a little about Susan Madden Lankford. Her first book in this trilogy Maggots in My Sweet Potatoes: Women Doing Time, was a powerful visual commentary on women prisoners. I was looking forward to Downtown U.S.A. as I wanted to see what her vision would be for the homeless.

 

 
The cover of Downtown U.S.A. helps set the stage for our journey through the lives of some of America‘s homeless. We start with the eyes, the windows of our souls. These eyes are just arresting, beautiful, intoxicating and at the same time frightening, scary, creepy. The eyes compelled me to open the book, I wanted more!

 

 
As I slowly made my way through this book, the combination of powerful photos and poignant stories, saddened and yet, at the same time, lifted me. I felt for each of the people photographed, the surly, the happy, the crazy, the addicted. But it wasn’t just sadness, or pity there was also amusement, joy and the biggest feeling of all, respect. Respect for these people and how they’ve coped, how they’ve shared their stories, how even with everything that life has thrown at them, they can still carry on. And respect for Susan Madden Lankford for making this beautiful book that shows how quickly life can change, and how people can survive those changes.

 

 
Filled with interviews of people such as Micheal, Papa and Mrs.Walton and filled with incredible photos, observations, and stories by Susan, this wonderfully visual and written commentary on the homeless is a must read/view! If you are a photographer, you really must view this book!


Strike: The Hero From The Sky

Strike: The Hero From The Sky by  Charlie Wood

 

 

Tobin Lloyd is a 17 year old practical joker, who thinks not of how to save our country, but how to keep out of trouble for his latest practical joke. His buddies, Jennifer Robins and Chad Fernandes, have had his back for years but its senior year, time to look to the future, think about being an adult. But Tobin’s still far too busy having fun to worry about what lies ahead, except for maybe being a game show host, that’d be cool.

 
Imagine then waking up in an alien land, on an alien planet, with alien buddies AND if that’s not enough for you, being told of alien super heroes and alien super villains.

 
How can Tobin and his friends, both old and new, cope with all the changes. And just what is so important about Tobin that makes everyone want him on their side?

 
A great action, fantasy, YA romp with overtures of super heroes and super villains. I would love to see this as a graphic novel!

 

 

This to me is more of an older child or teen book, however as I am not sure what level of violence you deem acceptable for your children, I would consider looking the book over first. I believe there is worse on regular television, but as I said, there is violence. Good moral story, good teen roll models.

 

 

I received this through a LibraryThing Giveaway


The Lost City of the Condor

The Lost City of the Condor by Vickie Britton  & Loretta Jackson

 

 

Arla Vaughn is an assistant Dean at the Chicago University. At the end of the month, she is to join her friend Lance Hayden, head of the archaeology department at the university, in Peru. She hasn’t been able to reach him for a few weeks and is growing more concerned as each day passes. When she is called to Chicago Memorial Hospital by Ted Langston, a man she has never met and who has been hit by an unknown driver, her concern turns to dread.  She is given a deathbed commission by this man, entrusted with information that is imperative to Lance, if she can find him alive.

 
Traveling to Peru early, she is waylaid and kidnapped by thugs who want the information she has. She is rescued and left at the police station, but she doesn’t know who she can trust. The situation gets red-hot as more people enter the picture. Arla has to trust someone but is she trusting the right person?

 
From the start, the book drew me in. An interesting locale, a feisty smart heroine and a good mystery story that keeps you guessing until the end are some of the highlights.

 
I didn’t like that Arla, who is supposedly a smart woman, would trust some of the people that she did. With what was happening in the story, that didn’t make sense to me.

 
I did love the diversity of characters, the Peruvian locale and the knowledge of Peruvian culture and people who were an integral part of the story.


Dark Genesis (The Darkling ... Dark Genesis (The Darkling Trilogy, Book 1).  by  A.D. Koboah

 

 

Now I must admit, I requested a review copy simply because this was a debut novel for the author A.D. Koboah and not because I’m a particular fan of paranormal fantasy fiction. But this is not just a paranormal fantasy fiction, it’s a beautiful love story, a touching look at mother-daughter relationships and a haunting look at the lives, loves and feelings of slaves in early America.

 
Atlanta, 2011  –  Dallas Marshall is a family rebel, in no small part because she receives psychic impressions or vibes. She disliked most of her family, finding them to be driven only to increase their already substantial fortunes. When her grandma had passed away, the only one left in the family who was like her was her artist aunt, Rose. There was a joke in the family about a guardian angel. Needing a refuge from her other family, Dallas is staying with her aunt. Wanting to be close again to her grandma, Dallas goes to the basement where her grandma’s things are stored. Inside an old chest, Dallas finds what appears to be a journal. Receiving an impression when she touches the book, she knows it is written by an unknown woman, but a woman she has some kind of connection with. She opens the book and enters a different world, one that will change her life.

 
In 1807, Luna is a beautiful slave woman, owned and abused by Master Henry, and then by his son Master John. The only control Luna has in her life is to get rid of the pregnancies resulting by this abuse. Getting caught would be deadly, but she will not allow a child of hers to be owned by the Master. Her mother, Mama Akosua, had been sold away when Luna was 3. But she had found a way to remain close to her daughter, living a 2 hour walk away. Mama Akosua is an herbalist and some say, a witch. She helps her daughter to abort the children, except the first one, a daughter, that she had spirited away.

 
Luna has turned to God and has trouble believing in her mother’s powers, even though there are times she feels them within herself. At a fire ravaged chapel on master’s property, Luna has hidden a bible she had stolen from master’s wife. She loves that book, and wishes so much that she could read the words herself. She feels something evil at the chapel, but cannot stay away.

 
After leaving the chapel, she meets the creature. Luna stares in awe at him. He is beautiful in his guise as a human man, but it is just a guise. But there is another entity in the clearing by the chapel, and it is pure evil. Luna needs to get away, run fast and get away from them both.

 
After the creature in human guise stops Master John from having his carnal way with Luna, it is revealed the creature is a vampire. He spirits Luna away, to keep her safe. As times pass, she falls in love with Avery, the name of the man he was before being turned into a vampire.

 
I can’t say more as I don’t want to spoil the surprises in this wonderful paranormal, vampire fantasy romance novel.

 
The only thing I would change about this novel is to make the story of Luna read like actual journal entries. I believe that would have made a more powerful statement.

 
I received my copy through LibraryThing and was asked for my honest opinion.


Project Moses  by  Robert B. Lowe

A great mystery/thriller.
Originally from New York, Enzo Lee traveled to San Francisco to revive his journalist career. Now with the San Francisco Times, he is the undisputed King of Fluff.

 

Ordered by his editor to cover the police beat while the regular reporter is out covering a brush fire, Enzo would rather stay with his own feature stories. Suddenly Enzo goes from a fluff feature reporter back into the world of investigative reporting when he looks into the deaths of a judge and a prosecuting attorney.

 
This is a very well written, smooth flowing suspenseful mystery. Very creepy in that this story could actually be written from facts.


Cameron Nation: Going All-In to Save His Country  by  David Carraturo

 

Christopher Cameron has led an interesting, varied life. Born from an Italian mother and an Irish father, he grew up in Tuckahoe, New York with his older sister Sabina. Growing up in a close-knit community, he has retained many friends from his childhood. With a background in the military, football and an American history and economics double major from the University of Texas, Chris tackles the business world with the same hard work and determination he showed growing up.

 
His interests in poker, politics, economics and world events eventually pays off in the most exciting challenge of his life.

 
A great read, smooth flowing, with a lead character who is both inspiring and believable. The secondary characters are well-formed and add a lot of flavor to the novel.


A Short History of the World  by  Christopher Lascelles 

A Short History of the World is a very well written account of world history from the start of the planet (the Big Band theory) to the events of the 20th century and ending with what we can expect from the near future in terms of our natural resources and the world’s population.

 
The book flows easily and clearly through all phases of world history.  It gives short, concise details and moves on to the next chapter. This is a history book that anyone, whether you’re a history buff or someone just wanting  a general overview, will enjoy reading.

 
Included in the book are 33 maps which show the changing world and an easy to read and follow timeline which shows the changing continents, religions, key events and key people.

 
This would be a great starting book for students, teachers and anyone with little knowledge of the world’s history.


Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb  by  M.J.A. Ware

A humorous tale of friendship complicated by growing up, zombie invasion and lemonade.

 
This YA story relates the story of Nate and Misty, best friends who have grown up together, and what happens to them after they decide to go camping one night, without permission from their respective parents.  Returning home, knowing they are going to be in big trouble, they find that almost everyone in their town has vanished. When they meet up with Mayor Frank, things go from bad to worse.

 
This book has a good mixture of gore (not too explicit), zombies, friendship and humor which will appeal to the YA reader.

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