Archive for the ‘What I’ve Read’ Category

Book Review: Mavericks of the Sky

September 14, 2018 Leave a comment

“Mavericks of the Bureacracy” might be a fair alternate title for this book. While plenty of ink and/or pixels are devoted to pilots and planes, budget battles in Congress; political infighting between the Postmaster General and the U.S. Army for control of the air mail program; technological competition between planes, trains & automobiles; and postal officials butting heads with their own pilots over schedules versus safety form the back story of the government’s efforts to establish mail delivery by air. The events here predate Charles Lindbergh and Juan Trippe, so Rosenberg offers a unique perspective on the subject. I’m amazed he resisted the obvious comparison to the Pony Express—brave men relaying the mail across the county. (4 of 5 Stars)

Mavericks of the Sky on



Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: The Memory Box

September 7, 2018 Leave a comment

The premise sounded intriguing in a Memento kind of way, so I willingly suspended my disbelief and dug in. But as the story moved on, eye rolls became winces, winces became groans, and groans became slaps to the forehead until I had no choice but end my disbelief’s undeserved timeout. I have a general rule not to read novels with writers as the main character. Alas, I shouldn’t have broken it for this one. (2 of 5 Stars)

Link to The Memory Box on Amazon

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: Noir

August 31, 2018 Leave a comment

About halfway through Noir, sweat started pouring out of me like beer at a Delta House toga party and my gut wrenched hard as if a Mike Tyson body shot found home.  I was afraid. I’d been here before. Like yesterday’s déjà vu redux.

I didn’t want to believe a book could be so cruel, like a dame, leading you on and leading you on, then leaving footprints on your stomach as she walks out of your heart.  Heels. Always in heels.

I was having a good time. What if it ended with a hard fall just like that? I shook it off and read on into the night. I had to…

As I closed my Kindle app and the glow of my iPad faded off into the foggy night, I took a long last look back…It was done. And it was good. Very good.

“You. Yeah, you. Author Guy. We’ll meet again, we will.  Soon.”

(5 of 5 Stars)

Link to Noir on Amazon

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere

August 10, 2018 Leave a comment

I’m kind of a sucker for stories that start at the end, go back in time, then circle around again, like Little Big Man, It’s a Wonderful Life, and yes, of course, Somethin’ for Nothin’.  Little Fires Everywhere uses the technique to good effect in holding reader interest in the trials and tribulations of teenagers in Stepford-like Shaker Heights, which is mainly a set up for a fascinating study of motherhood, particularly biological vs. artificial, i.e., adoptive vs. surrogate.   (4 of 5 Stars)

Link to Little Fires Everywhere on Amazon

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: The Dog Stars

June 1, 2018 Leave a comment

For me, The Dog Stars pushed quite a few personal buttons. Set on the Colorado Front Range. Check–lived there for ten years. Main character is a pilot. Check,–I am a Commercial Pilot & CFI. Has a dog named Jasper. Check–mine was a Siberian Husky. Influenza infused post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy. Check–who hasn’t read The Stand? (Hmmm, which also ends up in Boulder, Colorado…) Heller’s story has its own showdown between good and evil, but his story is much more personal than epic. The narrative style takes some getting used to at first, but craftily fits Hig’s tale perfectly, so stick with it. The awards won by the book were well-deserved. (5 of 5 Stars)

The Dog Stars on



Categories: What I've Read

Book Reviews: Billy Mitchell, Long and Short…High & Low

May 25, 2018 Leave a comment

Billy Mitchell: Stormy Petrel Of The Air [Illustrated Edition] by [Miller, Roger G.]

A too brief biography of an early aviation game-changer, who, after dogfighting the likes of of the Red Baron during World War I, came home to do battle with the military-industrial complex in a mission to establish an independent air power service branch–a fight that that ended in his court martial, but paved the way for the Army Air Corps success in World War II. Stormy Petrel of the Air is a good high altitude fly-over look at the father of the United States Air Force, but left me hungry to learn more about Mitchell. (3 of 5 Stars)

Link to Stormy Petrel of the Air at Amazon

Billy Mitchell: Founder of Our Air Force, Prophet Without Honor by [Gauvreau,Emile, Cohen,Lester]

On the one wing, Prophet without Honor is an interesting up-close look at General Mitchell from a man who knew him personally, offering insights into Mitchell’s relationships with other aviation pioneers like Glenn Martin and Hap Arnold and detailing his battles on behalf of air power against the Army and Navy brass before Congress, in the press and in the court room. On the other, Gauvreau’s obvious reverence and near idol-worship for the father of the U.S. Air Force became somewhat tiresome. His contemporary perspective also led to assumptions about the reader’s knowledge which left open some pretty big gaps, the worst of which was an inadequate explanation of the early Twentieth Century “Aviation Trust” working against Mitchell.  (3 of 5 Stars)

Link to Prophet without Honor at Amazon

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: The Cold Dish (A Longmire Mystery)

May 19, 2018 Leave a comment

The Cold Dish: A Longmire Mystery (Walt Longmire Mysteries Book 1) by [Johnson, Craig]

Like most, I came to the Longmire series dishonestly, i.e., via Netflix. The written word may disappoint those too heavily invested in liberties taken by the TV series over the course of six seasons. Vic’s not blonde. Henry is physically much more bear-like than Lou Diamond Phillips. And Walt is a lot more verbose than on the screen–which, of course, is to be expected since the book is told from the sheriff’s first person point-of-view. But the essential Longmire elements–Wyoming, the Cheyenne nation, murder and the pursuit of justice by a dusty, dedicated lawman–are all there and the story worked for me just as well and in some ways even better in novel form. (4 of 5 Stars)

A Cold Dish on



Categories: What I've Read
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