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Book Review: An Odyssey: A Father, a Son and an Epic

December 8th, 2017 No comments

An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic by [Mendelsohn, Daniel]

While mothers are a child’s “safe space,” fathers — contrary to their current oafish pop culture stereotype ala Homer Simpson — are all too often familial labyrinths.  I guess it’s easier to make fun of something than admit you can’t really figure it out.  Daniel Mendelsohn’s paternal “odyssey” uses the other famous Homer’s epic as a template to get a measure of the kind of man his father really was.  If you’re a fan of The Odyssey (and I am), this book is an intriguing and enlightening look at both a classic of literature and the tangled relationships between fathers and sons.  (5 of 5 stars)

Link to An Odyssey: A Father, a Son and an Epic on Amazon.com

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: The First Air War: 1914-1918

December 1st, 2017 No comments

The First Air War: 1914-1918 by [Kennett, Lee]

Only a decade or so after the Wright Brothers’ first flight, the airplane went to war, which proves that when motivated by self-preservation government can move rather quickly.  While most of us pilots have a rather myopic view of the importance of the duels in the air by the likes of Rickenbacker and von Richtofen, Lee Kennett puts aviation’s role in the “War to End All Wars” into proper perspective as more of a supporting player–but certainly one that would quickly move to center stage just two decades later.  (4 of 5 Stars)

Link to The First Air War on Amazon

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: Eddie Rickenbacker, An American Hero

November 17th, 2017 No comments

Eddie Rickenbacker: An American Hero by [Adamson, Hans Christian]

If Rickenbacker were alive today, I can’t help but believe he’d be one of the wizards of Silicon Valley.  An American Hero gives a fascinating account of his involvement, first, in the emerging automobile industry at the turn of the Twentieth Century — as a factory worker, a car salesman, a successful race car driver and team owner, then as a designer and manufacturer of his own brand and owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With the coming of World War I, he set his sights (so to speak) on aviation and finagled his way into becoming Billy Mitchell’s personal driver as a stepping stone to a set of Army pilot wings and a seat in the cockpit of a “Hat-in-the-Ring” pursuit plane. From there he became the 94th Squadron commander, America’s leading ace and eventually president of Eastern Airlines.  Written before the final chapter of Rickenbacker’s life was closed, this unfinished bio is not only the story of an amazing man, but in its narrative style is also a glimpse into a by-gone era.  (4 of 5 Stars)

Link to An American Hero on Amazon

Book Review: The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook

November 10th, 2017 No comments

This was a fun read — but, of course, I’m a sucker for crosscut kinds of stories:  Hints from Heloise meets Igor the Assassin.  It reminded me a lot of my second favorite Kathleen Turner movie, Serial Mom. Grisly good fun with enough twists and turns to leave Bond, James Bond, scratching his head.   (4 of 5 Stars)

The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook on Amazon.com

 

 

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: Terror of the Autumn Skies

September 15th, 2017 No comments

Besides Waldo Pepper, Rickenbacker, Richthofen and Brown are the only pilot names that come to mind from World War I.  So, learning about America’s very first Ace of Aces, who was also the first aviator to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, was  a great discovery for me as a pilot and a history buff.  Luke’s missions against German observation balloons also revealed aspects of the air war over the trenches I had never known.   (4 of 5 Stars)

Link to Terror of the Autumn Skies on Amazon

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