Mosquito Junction

#1

MOSQUITO JUNCTION Memories ISBN: 9781648039911 Westwood Books Publishing, LLC. Copyright and written by Robert S. Saito.

This is a memoir of a Japanese man from California who spent time as one of the members of an internee family during that fiasco in the US during WWII. From this beginning, it proceeds through a rambling life spent largely as an enlisted sailor after some schooling including attendance at a California junior college with assignments for the rest of his enlisted life mostly as a lifer second class petty officer and rising eventually to an E-6 grade enlisted man. Included are many changes in area of service (including many of which this reviewer did not even know existed, although spending tours of duty during WWII [4/44 – 3/46] and the Korean War [7/50 – 2/55]). His duty stations were somewhat removed from the ‘ordinary’ including a start in Mosquito Harbor and time in part of the Aleutian Island chain that is the last such U.S, Naval Base before the Russia owned territory. His duty assignments also included Viet Nam – First. Sea Bee Base Camp Faulkner which was past China Beach and check point Charlie along the Bon Son River. Second starting at Camp Campbell in Hue Phu Bai near the city of Hue. Beyond recounting some of the less often reported details of these duty stations and activities, he sets forth extensive and frequently unusual detailed description of much of the rest of the world he travelled during intermittent leave and retirement travels experienced with Naida, his Mexican-American wife of fifty years. Now at 84 years he sums up the story in the simple and straightforward words: “This is my memoir of the many people I have met and places I have been: “The people are ordinary hard working devoted to duty military men and women from all walks of life from many countries I have visited.”

Discussion: This perhaps, is one of the most fascinating memoirs this reviewer has read. It is written in simple unadorned English in a rambling style frequently missing connecting words in a sentence but most enjoyably understood. It also provides an introduction to unusual explanations of types of previously unthought-of (by most non-Asians) fish preparations, and provides extensive descriptions of places seldom so thoroughly covered by other individuals in describing places and/or activities of interest. This is a book that is highly recommended.

5* Rambling, unusual memoir simply written by 84 year old retired sailor. Highly recommended

The Uquiet Genius

The UNQUIET GENIUS ISBN: 9780999117378 TMR Press, LLC by Glenn Dyer.

In this Conor Thorn (Book 3) the author again has provided his readers with a rapidly moving thriller taking place in the European theatre during WWII. This time it is as a result of Mussolini, and the Vatican wanting to retain a brilliant nuclear scientist, while the Germans, Russians and Americans’ all wish to convince him of the need they have for him to join them in their final movement toward building an atomic missile. The scientist also is an ordained man-of-the church who had successfully faked his demise and for four years successfully hidden in a monastery high in the Italian mountains. Deciding what he has done to his family was an unbearable action, he writes them a letter. A copy lands in ‘unfriendly hands’ and the secret is divulged, thus creating the involvement of the groups mentioned.

Discussion: The author has set forth an action-packed suspense/thriller/romance complete with Nazi cruelty as well as displays of betrayal, deceit, treachery and deception involving quite a large cast of characters who are sufficiently under-developed to result in fundamentally a plot-based tale. Enough empathy is developed among enough characters, however, to provide interest for those who enjoy other than plot –based stories. A particularly interesting note from this reader’s perspective is the inclusion of thought relative to the horrific results from atomic fission – a subject beginning to be addressed more frequently in the scientific community as time passes and circumstances change, but not previously noted so prominently in fiction.

5* Largely plot-based suspense/thriller/romance with interesting aside.

All We Have to Believe In

     All We Have to Believe in ISBN: 9781957013039 Hybrid Global Publishing published copyright and written by Jeffrey J. Lousteau.

The story opens in May 1919 in San Francisco with a parade followed by celebration in the rose garden of the Parthenon for the soldiers just returned from Europe with termination of WWI and selected family members. The book describes the WW1 horrors, the men who participated and the many levels of suffering they encountered, the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, the ‘mockery’ of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, the Great Depression, the government’s attempt at legislating the curtailment of personal consumption of alcohol termed Prohibition, the racial hatred, and more. All has been encapsulated in a family and their acquaintances in a time when wide spread unrest existed. The protagonist is Edward Dooley, a young Irish immigrant who enlists in the army directly from high school, and participates in heavy combat, returns suffering from a degree of what today finally has been determined PTSD, maries a loving and understanding woman with whom he has three children. But, to include a more complete overview of the era, he has been placed in the position of the son of immigrant parents upon whom his family becomes heavily dependent.

Discussion: The author has set forth a history of the 1900’s by employing a main character fully representing the average American man who was involved totally in the activities of the chaotic century making the errors made by most members of the generations struggling through with tenacity of purpose to survive. Generally speaking, it is a depressing story that in attempting to ‘cover-all-bases’, often becomes entrapped in unnecessary details. However, if the reader can accept these oversites, he/she will discover a quite extensive knowledge of the era told plainly and setting forth the main protagonist as an individual of strong character indoctrinated with the strong morality and work ethic existent within the generation as well as the other firmly established beliefs that appear to have been included in the members of those generations so as often being referred to as The Great Generation.

* 5* history of an era; -2 lengthy discussions; depressing but recommended.

Who’s Killing All My Old Girlfriends

Who’s Killing All My Old Girlfriends ISBN: 9798402869110 published, copyright and written by Jon Spoelstra.

Sub-titled Old Guys Murder Mystery #1, the author has set forth a most unusual story of an elderly gentleman who encounters a serious set of problems by deciding to ‘look up’ former loves of his life. Charlie North, a former news reporter for a Chicago newspaper, now in his early seventies, widower of a happy 41 year marriage and a highly successful Blog writer, had been thinking about fate as the cause of one’s selection of marriage partner, and decided to find three of his ‘almost’ partner selection. Regrettably, each of the three are murdered with his visitation marking him immediately as a ‘person of interest’ by the police in each of the cities.

Discussion: First impression is an interesting plot presented in a charmingly laid-back manner that at once is amusing, yet irritatingly rambling, redundant and repetitive with jokes included that are plentiful but mostly old, many references and examples of aging presented which are painfully correct but will be read and remembered. This reader for one, could not stop reading. The book does not even end per se. At its conclusion the next book in sequence is begun and, even if you don’t want to, the reader discovers that he seems to have acquired an addiction to want to see where the next venture is heading. A fascinating experience.

5* Unusual, charmingly dichotomous admixture of seemingly almost addictive proportions.

The Rise of the American Navy

The Rise of the American Navy: Published, copyright, and written by John Williams Ptolemy.

This author has contributed numerous books and articles to help the person with similar interests gain knowledge of this fascinating subject. Subtitled Maritime Battles through the First 100 Years, he again has added a sizeable number of not particularly well-known activities by several individuals and has provided a large number of footnotes from whence his supportive data have come.

Discussion: Simply stated, the author has proceeded to write another volume to add individual, lesser known facts about this section of the country’s history. The book contains a certain amount of redundancy and repetition that, if removed by thoughtful editing, would greatly enhance one’s pleasure in reading.

4* 5* addition of interesting material; -1 as explained.

Cameleon: The Poacher’s Enemy

Chameleon: The Poacher’s Enemy: ISBN: 9781801284127, published, copyright and written by Brandon Kimbrough.

The author has written this story to heighten awareness of the high level of illegal poaching imposed upon the beautiful animals of the world and inspire people to aid in saving them from their rapidly approaching extinction. Reviewing this completed apparently first volume in an anticipated series will require a somewhat difficult procedure to do justice to his goal as well as his manner of presentation.

Plot: To accomplish his goal, he has chosen a young, seemingly oversensitive boy raised in a loving and supportive extended family including a Veterinarian father, doting mother, grandparents and siblings and subjecting him to a heart-rending experience at a very young age. Ben’s first discovery that all ‘bad’ activities cannot be overcome and conquered by ‘good’, and certainly not by immediate direct action when he was reprimanded for fighting with another grade school child “because he had hurt  a friend, the groundskeeper’s dog”. His loving and understanding father attempted to enlighten the child with perhaps a modicum of success and life went on in a somewhat curtailed manner. Somewhat later, the father arranged to take Ben and the family on an African Safari where they were able to witness these magnificent animals living in all their glory. The trip was progressing beautifully until they were observing a male Lion sitting regally surrounded by his pride on the open plain when the animal was struck in the head by a high power rifle round from a distant stand of trees that literally destroyed the magnificent animal’s head. The young boy experienced a traumatic psychological shock of almost inexplicable magnitude hat required extensive treatment. Ultimately he recovered and became a highly understanding and successful Veterinarian, but with a burning hatred for all poachers and especially a gradually developing desire to destroy the particular killer he had witnessed. His post-kill life provides the basic plot of this book- his desire to wreak havoc on all poachers and especially the one who had killed the lion.

Discussion: The author has made an exceedingly good effort to present a case against poachers for the totally uninformed reader and has employed several characters with nicely explained flaws to aid in this endeavor. There are Dylan, a lifelong childhood friend who has provided Ben with much of the social familiarity he exhibits; Jill, his well-positioned, beautifully adept at many functions office manager, Dana Harper, the well-trained investigative journalist with additional talents and Stan with his group of somewhat unusual animal activists. The overall attempt has been a well-worthwhile endeavor that hopefully will increase interest in this important subject. Most regrettably however, from the perspective of what this reviewer hopefully would believe to be the more generally knowledgeable individual, the level of approach would appear to be positioned toward the less knowledgeable and/or young adult.  Too many occurrences depend upon chance and facts per se are totally distorted or missing. The description of ‘poaching’  largely, is distorted, jungles really are not that close in appearance as the ‘woods or forests’ he appears to indicate, transport to the United States of animals to be ‘poached’ is not a usual operation, and most ‘poaching’ per se, is done by a different breed of individuals, although financed, no doubt by wealthy individuals. The ‘fight scene’ descriptions are obviously put together by individuals unacquainted with such activity. And as a pertinent aside, Krav Maga, a prominent attack/defense developed I believe in the 1940’s and reportedly used effectively by the Israeli is not a sport that is ‘picked up in one’s spare time’. As with all martial arts, time and constant practice are required to acquire and maintain any level of competence. Also, the shot destroying the lion’s head that Ben witnessed as a child, probably was a ‘miss’. A prize of the type described would not be one to destroy, rather a trophy to be retained. Thus a killing shot but non-destructive of tissue would have been more likely.

In Summary: Chameleon is a book that provides many interesting features, especially of the effects life’s vicissitudes will force upon one’s psyche, and ‘en toto’, an interesting indoctrination for the uninformed on animal ‘poaching’. As such, it is a well-worthwhile read. It is hoped that the author will acquire more familiarity with some of the other subject matter he discusses.

5* important message for the uninformed; – 2* or more for oyhers.

Fifty States

 

50 STATES A collection of Short Stories, published by Copyright, Ink, and copyright and written by Richard R. Becker.

The author has set forth a series of fifty short stories, each taking place in a different state of the United States on a different date. Each is unique, many on the dark side and all of different length and level of ability to generate carrying a projected interest in advancing thoughts beyond the material presented.

Discussion: The author has provided a highly ‘thought producing’ series of independent stories. They are well-written by a man who understands how to generate an interesting plot that  a reader can ponder and dwell upon, and as such, are most thoroughly enjoyable for the many reasons short story readers follow their work. A number of the stories would make longer, complete stories most interesting as well and, according to statements by the author, are exactly the future he has in mind for many of these individual ‘samples’. Thus, it would appear to be well worthwhile for the interested reader to look for these proposed releases.

5* with an additional eye to the future.

The Authors Institute Method

      The Author Institute Method The quick and Easy Way to Become an Author by Jason Schenker Founder of the Author Institute ISBN: 9781946197 87 (Paperback) 795 (Hardcover) 757 (EBook)

The book opens with a Preface, presenting the fact that the author established The Author Institute Method “to teach you how to quickly and easily write a book and become an author”; because “Everyone wants to have written a book, but no one actually writes a book”. “Becoming an author sounds awesome. But it also sounds hard.” He claims it is not that difficult and is why he created the Author Institute Method because he now has decided to share his secrets in this book so others also can “reap the rewards” quickly. An Introduction in more detail explains why he wrote this book and chapters ensue explaining how it will help “you write your own non-fiction book in under 30 days” and build your leadership and visibility as a professional speaker and consultant. To accomplish his goal, he has reduced the presentation into an Overview, The Format, The Value and Looking Ahead and briefly describes his approach in each. He emphasizes establishing a team for proceeding it the selection of a title, cover, format, production and ultimate production as well as eventual marketing and distribution. The team also can be most helpful in aiding determination of your target audience. He also explains the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing, and how a book can make the best Business Card. But again he emphasizes first you must identify the audience you wish to reach, establish reasonable goals and establish your team to aid the writing and selection of an attractive cover, title and format and ultimate production, and eventually for marketing and distribution. He also explains that a lot of people don’t read more than the first part of what is written, so you have to get that material into the very first to be read and points out why cover and title also are so important. Also an admonishment that people seldom read a book in one sitting so summaries of what has been presented, often are necessary. Also touched upon are Audiobooks and a reminder that you don’t make most of your money from book sales, but from the recognition your name generates through lectures, consultation, etc. You know more than anyone else about your subject – act like it.

He summarizes with attention directly to “The Author Institute training program” which “has 7 online courses in the program as well as “The Vault” which includes templates, checklists, and other documents I have personally used to write dozens of books.” Other help beyond that can be obtained online. The book concludes with End Notes and About the Author.

Discussion: The author is an accepted authority in the field of finance and as the author of several successful books on the subject, is eminently qualified to present a book of this nature. As such an individual, he has indeed assembled a rather complete overview of the requirements – all of the minutia as well as the highs and lows of the subject. The only caveats this reviewer* would suggest is a cautionary note really with respect to publishing a successful book of the type he is describing in the time he sets forth. Such a feat is possible, and especially for the purposes he indicates. However, it would seem that a ‘newbie’ might require a little more time than 30 days to move through the steps Jason lists. I always told my students that writing books is a ‘crap-shoot’ and becoming a successful author, no matter what your goal, better include a tremendous amount of desire to reach that pinnacle, or you would need to settle for accomplishing only ‘writing a book’.      *(author of several textbooks, an anthology in four languages, a memoir and several award-winning novels, as well as time spent providing a university level course in writing and marketing.)

5* Recommended; but important caveat included.

Awful Reckoning

   Awful Reckoning. A Cade Chase and Simon Pack Novel by John M. Vermillion.

Seemingly, the author is beginning a new series based upon his successful run of the Pack series and a character, Cade Chase introduced in the last of the Pack series. Here Cade again is presented in a Preface as a non-West Point graduate who finished as a heavily decorated four star general now residing in a small Appalachian town because he hated the type of crime that is steadily growing in this country and was trying to do something about it. Following is a list/description of the principal characters The story itself is to retrieve the Stanford Univ. student daughter of a highly successful multibillionaire entrepreneur who has been kidnapped by members of Antifa with threats of dire action if any investigative authorities are notified. Cade receives a call from the father who calls in a long standing mutually reciprocal assistance in desperate circumstances agreement. Cade accepts, gathers his small but highly efficient team and proceeds to devise a brilliant plan that is carried out without a hitch leaving the Antifa Head almost without funds, how it happened and any even vague ideas of who was involved.

Discussion: For readers who like well written action, presented by an eminently qualified author and loaded with suspense and activities that are totally credible this definitely is a book for you. One particularly noteworthy feature is that the plan as devised and executed does not leave any weak spots that can provide the one feature that causes the ‘last minute appearance of some factor that allows for an unexpected ‘hiccup’ that provides for a last minute introduction of ‘surprise’ activity. However, there is even more for the ‘thinking’ reader, especially if adverse to vigilante activity. A fact the author briefly addresses.

Summary: Generally speaking this is a book that will be thoroughly enjoyed from the perspective of the action/suspense aficionado as well as from that of the more cerebrally inclined individual.

5* Enjoyable thriller/suspense on many levels.

Dutch Preacher Boy

        Dutch Preacher Boy ISBN: 9781098382420 TunaFiscch Publishing by John Kommerinus Trinstra.

Sub titled “Coming of Age in Grand Rapids, Taking Wing Beyond* From Ethnocentric Religion to a Wide World of Wonder. A MEMOIR.

This is a fascinating tale most especially if you have an interest in any phase of religion. It is told by a man born and raised in the Netherlands in the Dutch Calvinist faith – Calvinist College 1962-1966 and Calvin Seminary 1966-69 and after immigrating to America, 2 weeks at Moody Bible Institute – and wanted to be a Fundamentalist (Religion defined as Religion as written is the last word). However, as explained in the gradually developing story, his extensive travels throughout a goodly part of the world changed quite drastically his perspective. His description of these travels and the changes wrought make for a story similar to few, if any other ‘coming-of-age’ tales in that the process extends far beyond what usually is considered that period in one’s life, into sessions as a missionary where threats were encountered in the Mexican Border area; working with Inmates in Cook County Psychiatric Hospital where he picked up a most thought-provoking answer to a simple question and read a sign posted on a near-by wall the reader will love. It simply read “I’m absolutely crazy about change. I just can’t handle it well.” And many more incidents of interest including close encounters with royalty and celebrities, a number of ‘secrets’ of well-known radio/TV preachers of various faiths, “sexual awakening, athletic fields of battle, heroes, tragedies, escapes, with lots of humor and playful banter”.

Discussion: The book ends with a brief notation about the former pastor, educator, and entrepreneur author and an Index of his wide range of people encountered and exact page(s) where it took place with the referenced person. Some of the discussion with respect to the individual and/or his/her perspectives may appear biased to varying degrees, but certainly lie within the author’s prerogative.

5* Interestingly, thoughtfully assembled memoir