Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review of "They Met at Gettysburg" by Gen. Edward J. Stackpole

I enjoyed "They Met At Gettysburg". I've studied the Civil War pretty extensively, but much of my reading has been about the Trans-Mississippi and western war. I only briefly studied the big battles of the east in college. I grabbed this book to help expand my knowledge to a more full picture.

This book gives a great overview of the major players of the battle on both sides with particular emphasis on Lee and Meade. It draws mainly from secondary sources to paint an overall picture of both commanders' leadership style. This is not a minute by minute account of the tactical actions. It's more of a strategic overview. It kept me interested because I've never been overly interested in blow by blow looks at major battles unless they come from the line soldier's point of view. I liked the style of this story and how it was told.

There are maps and pictures throughout the book. I found them very hard to read on a Kindle. In a paperback, they would be interesting. I love to read maps and see pictures as I go through a history book and was disappointed that I couldn't see any details. I must have picked up this book on a free promotion because I see it's now $9 on Kindle. I wouldn't pay that for it on Kindle. It is worth the regular price in paperback to me.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in learning a bit about a pivotal battle of the American Civil War and the commanders who engineered it.

The Met At Gettysburg

Thursday, July 26, 2012


It's amazing what can stir up memories. My first book "SAT & BAF!" was sparked by re-gaining contact with one of my old team leaders from Germany. He sent me a message on facebook that reminded me of what an amazing, life-changing experience we had over there. That flooded into the book. The memories came back so fast that I could barely get them down on paper.

I tried to find as many of the main characters as I could when the book first came out. I wanted to send all of them a copy. They're really why I wrote the book. It isn't that I think my experiences were all that amazing. It's not that I was some kind of super-soldier. I was just one of millions. I wrote it for all of us. I think I was pretty typical of the American soldiers who served overseas in the Cold War. Yes, we were a unique unit that did an important job, but everybody did something we did. I wrote the book for the guys who were next to me literally and for the million who were figuratively. It's a book for the Cold War warrior.

Well, a week or so ago a fan showed up on my Author page on facebook. He's one of the main characters I couldn't find. I tried very hard to track him down because he played such an important role in my life and in the book. I heard from his old roommate that he stayed in the Army and went on to become a helicopter pilot, but the last contact he'd had was in the mid-'90s. Since then, he'd just dropped off the face of the earth. The last time I saw him was in a chow hall at Fort Carson around 1989. Then he showed up on my fan page! I sent a friend request, but I hadn't heard anything back...until early this morning when I got this message.

"Doug, I just finished SAT & BAF! in one sitting. Thank you brother for a fascinating journey through some of the most cherished memories of my life."

Gregory A. Mc(deleted) aka Egghead

That's exactly why I wrote this book.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review of "Plague" by Lisa C. Hinsley

I finished "Plague" late last night...probably a huge mistake. It's an extremely detailed account of a family's descent into Bubonic Plague's grasp. It actually could be a town, a nation, or a world's descent. The deeper plotline of love and loneliness made the graphic descriptions even more horrifying. It's well done.

I began to feel like this must be how the victims of the plague felt. Ms. Hinsley just managed to move them to a modern day setting. I believe she did a masterful job of capturing that experience. I recommend this book highly. I don't recommend it just before bed, though.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Review of "The Scorpion" by James A. Anderson

I just finished "The Scorpion" last night. It's an extremely fast-paced thriller that definitely kept me entertained. Mr. Anderson weaved together several plotlines that flash back and forth throughout the book. We have a terrorist plot, a newspaper story, and a wedding all entwined. They reminded me of the strands of a rope winding through each other until he finally tied them into a knot at the end. It was quite well done. The style reminded me a bit of the Bourne movies.

I haven't read Mr. Anderson's introductory novel, "Deadline", yet, but I look forward to it. I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a quick, high-action thriller. I found it quite entertaining.

The Scorpion

Monday, July 2, 2012

Review of "Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip" by Harry Leslie Smith

I just finished "Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip", and I'm nearly speechless. I spent a couple years living in Germany decades after the author, but I still found many bits and pieces that seemed familiar. Harry Leslie Smith has written a masterpiece. The plotline is gripping, the narrative flows, and the dialogue is stark. This memoir is beautifully written. He sets scenes with such detail that I felt as if I was experiencing the story with him. It's just a great book.

I truly got to know Harry, Friede, and the other characters as this story progressed. It gives us a glimpse into a little told part of the World War II story. Prior to this account, I knew almost nothing about life in the British zone of occupation Germany. Mr. Smith has given us a rare gift by telling his story and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in WW-II history or a good love story.

Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip