Monday, December 7, 2009

The Reading List

by The Usual Suspect

Ladies and gents, I've been reading a book that was passed on to me. It's written by COLONEL Jack Jacobs (Ret.), so you can imagine my skepticism towards an account from the commissioned perspective. Then I noticed that he's a Medal of Honor recipient, and immediately shut my mouth.

It's called "If Not Now, When?" and it's exceeding my expectations. The details, that's where he convinced me that he was for real. He talks about the way that sweat leaves a chalky outline on uniforms, the tendency to stare at the ground instead of ahead of you, watching fat beads of sweat splatter in the dirt. The little things that you don't think to tell people about.

He has a friendly way of storytelling, like you can see him sitting on a porch, sipping lemonade and reminiscing into a dictaphone. It's very humble honesty. I consider this to be the counter-balance to John Leppelman's Blood On The Risers, also a Vietnam memoir. He pulls no punches describing combat, describing it in ways that let you almost see it.

After I finish this one, Travis L. Ayres' "The Bomber Boys" is next. It's about the B-17 bomber crews that flew in World War II.

Give 'em a look, and feel free to pass on recommendations.


JT said...

A bit older but highly recommended. The planning of our response to today's anniversary- Pearl Harbor:

The Doolittle Raid: America's Daring First Strike Against Japan

membrain said...

Excellent reading choices. Let us know what you think of Bomber Boys.

My Dad served on bombers in the RCAF during WWII.

Pattie Matheson said...

Thanks for the link! Picked it up for 99 cents - gotta love!

Try AN UNEXPECTED LIGHT by Jason Elliot. Its non-fiction, not about war but the kind of writing I can see you doing.