The Burning Shore, by Ed Offly
I was shocked and a little disturbed by the e-Book The Burning Shore by Ed Offly. This book describes the "cat and mouse" game between United States Naval forces and the German U-boats, which lurked just off our eastern shores during World War II. The submarines were able to infiltrate our coastal waters, and sink many merchant marine and US Navy vessels carrying critical supplies to our forces in Europe. If this stream of supplies was shut off, we could have lost the war.
Our naval forces had been severely taxed by the loss of the Seventh Fleet at Pearl Harbor. There weren't enough boats to defend convoys in the European and Pacific theaters. Enter the infant US Army Air Corps. Despite a lack of aircraft and pilots, these brave aviators were able to fight back and reduce the loss of American vessels in the western Atlantic. This also gave the country time to increase its production of battleships, destroyers and aircraft carriers to fight the Germans.
This is a great book for anyone interested in military history. It provides firsthand accounts of officers involved in military engagements. It will certainly give you a different view of the war.
April 2014 Archives
The Burning Shore, by Ed Offly
The Death of Santini : The Story of a Father and His Son, by Pat Conroy
Pat Conroy has attracted a huge legion of fans for his books over the years with The Great Santini being one of his more popular titles. The Death of Santini could be considered a sequel of sorts to The Great Santini as he writes, obviously from the title, about the death of his father, Donald Patrick Conroy. The majority of the book though is Conroy relating the story of his relationship with his father throughout his life. Donald Conroy was a troubled and difficult man beset by alcoholism, a tendency for outbursts of violent verbal and physical incidents towards his wife and children, and a rigid personality formed by his career as a Marine Corps fighter pilot. Pat Conroy somehow maintained a father/son rapport with this difficult man over the years and his story is at times sad, frustrating, humorous but very engaging. Conroy himself reads the introduction which is a hair-raising summary of life as a son with his father. Dick Hill reads the rest of the book and is terrific. While appealing particularly to Conroy fans, this book is also an absorbing account of a son dealing with a troublesome father as well as a writer detailing his emergence as a best-selling author.
My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor
Sonia Sotomayor is not only the first Hispanic Supreme Court judge, the third woman appointed to the Supreme Court, but also the author of the totally engaging and charming autobiography My Beloved World. As she writes in the preface to her book, "some readers may find comfort, perhaps even inspiration, from a close examination of how an ordinary person, with strengths and weaknesses like anyone else, has managed an extraordinary journey." Her writing style is clear, lovingly descriptive and totally absorbing as she recounts her growing up in a Puerto Rican family in New York City and her rise to the Supreme Court. Diagnosed with diabetes at a very young age, Sotomayor details her troubles with accepting this condition throughout her life. Yet, she excelled in school and attended Princeton, Yale Law School and had a brilliant legal career. Her wonderfully supportive family life bolstered her determination to exceed in school and her legal profession. My Beloved World is indeed interesting and inspirational reading as Sotomayor has written about her life's journey to the Supreme Court with candor and in a terrific style of writing. It is highly recommended.
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things, by Lenore Look
There are things you should know about Alvin Ho. He is afraid of everything (or so he says). For example, Alvin is afraid of school. He can talk at home and on the bus, but never, ever at school. That makes it very difficult to make friends. This very funny story of Second-grader Alvin follows his adventures as he tries to overcome his fears, avoid going to school, and deal with the fact his best friend just might be a girl.
Pie, by Sarah Weeks
After the death of her favorite Aunt Polly, whose award-winning pies made the small town of Ipswitch, Pennsylvania known all over the US in the 1950's, Alice finds herself amidst some very suspicious goings-on. Who took Lardo---the cat Aunt Polly left to Alice? Who broke into Aunt Polly's bakery "Pie"? Why are all the townspeople, including her mother, trying so hard to win the next award for best pie? And where is Aunt Polly's secret pie crust recipe?