Last Stand at Khe Sanh: The U.S. Marines’ Finest Hour in Vietnam by Gregg Jones

The Vietnam War – one of the subjects that lured me into exploring and loving history. I can never read enough about this war – everything from the failed strategy to the individual acts of valor on the battlefield. Gregg Jones takes his turn at documenting the events surrounding the siege of Khe Sanh in Last Stand at Khe Sanh: The U.S. Marines’ Finest Hour in Vietnam. The book generally covers the fighting between the Marines and the North Vietnamese Army from January until...

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The Weaver Fish by Robert Edeson

The Weaver Fish by Robert Edeson is a unique and confounding work of fiction. It is fascinating and frustrating. Here is a bit about the book: Cambridge linguist Edvard Tøssentern, presumed dead, reappears after a balloon crash. When he staggers in from a remote swamp, gravely ill and swollen beyond recognition, his colleagues at the research station are overjoyed. But Edvard’s discovery about a rare giant bird throws them all into the path of an international crime ring. The Weaver Fish is...

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Adam’s Rib by Antonio Manzini

The second book of the Rocco Schiavone Mystery series by Antonio Manzini, Adam’s Rib, is just as good as the first – Black Run. Here are the basics to the plot: Six months after being exiled from his beloved Rome, Deputy Police Chief Rocco Schiavone has settled into a routine in the cold, quiet, chronically backward alpine town of Aosta: an espresso at home, breakfast in the piazza, and a morning joint in his office. A little self-medication helps Rocco deal with the morons that...

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Black Run by Antonio Manzini

The newly translated novel by Antonio Manzini, Black Run, is a great mystery that takes place in northern Italy. Manzini is an Italian actor, screenwriter, director, and author. Black Run is the first of two novels that have been translated into English. Here is a bit about the plot from the publisher: Getting into serious trouble with the wrong people, deputy prefect of police Rocco Schiavone is exiled to Aosta, a small, touristy alpine town far from his beloved Rome. The sophisticated and...

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A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams

I do not typically read novels about rich and glamorous people, but Beatriz Williams’ latest novel A Certain Age caught my eye. It caught my eye because it is a mystery hidden inside accounts of New York City life in the 1920s from the perspective of two women. From the publisher: As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young...

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First Entrepreneur by Edward G. Lengel

Edward G. Lengel again brings his extensive knowledge of George Washington to his latest book entitled First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His – and the Nation’s – Prosperity. At 280 pages with 8 pages of black and white pictures, the book is a good read. The United States was conceived in business, founded on business, and operated as a business—all because of the entrepreneurial mind of the greatest American businessman of any generation: George...

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The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

In the second book of the Tearling series, The Invasion of the Tearling, Erika Johansen delivers another well-written book. Although the book is 514 pages, it is a quick read. Below is a synopsis of the plot from the publisher: In this riveting sequel to the national bestseller The Queen of the Tearling, the evil kingdom of Mortmesne invades the Tearling, with dire consequences for Queen Kelsea and her realm. With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as...

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The Pawnbroker by Edward Lewis Wallant

The Pawnbroker by Edward Lewis Wallant is a recent republication from the 1960s. It is an excellent portrayal of a Jewish man who survived the Holocaust and came to America. Here is a summary of the book from the publisher: For most of us, remembering the Holocaust requires effort; we listen to stories, watch films, read histories. But the people who came to be called “survivors” could not avoid their memories. Sol Nazerman, protagonist of Edward Lewis Wallant’s The Pawnbroker, is one...

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67 Shots: Kent State and the End of American Innocence by Howard Means

Although I know several people who attended Kent State University in the 1980s and 1990s, I never truly understood the events that occurred there on May 4, 1970. In college, I learned more about the tragic events surrounding the shootings. Howard Means in his book 67 Shots and the End of American Innocence brings to the forefront again the debate about what happened at the University that fateful day. The book’s publisher provides a brief overview of the book: At midday on May 4, 1970...

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