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review 2018-08-11 02:31
Wonderful book about POW's during WWII in the Pacific theater of the war.
The Jersey Brothers: A Missing Naval Officer in the Pacific and His Family's Quest to Bring Him Home - Sally Mott Freeman

The Jersey Brothers: A Missing Naval Officer in the Pacific and His Family's Quest to Bring Him Home, by Sally Mott Freeman

This is an amazing story about the search for Barton Cross, who was lost during World War II, somewhere in the Philippines. It will take the reader on a journey into the midst of the horror and brutality that the prisoners of war were subjected to by their Japanese captors, captors who did not abide by the Geneva Conventions, or any conventions, for that matter, that could be described even resembling human decency. From all the evidence, it shows that they mistreated the prisoners in the most despicable ways. Story after story emerges about the savagery and viciousness of the Japanese government and their commanding officers and soldiers. Some readers who might have doubted the judgment of President Truman when he agreed to drop atomic bombs on Japan, may soon have a change of heart. I know that I did after learning about atrocity following atrocity that was committed by the Japanese against the captured POW’s.

I have read so much about the Holocaust, that I thought I could not be surprised again by man’s inhumanity to man, but this very detailed, and well researched presentation of information on the Pacific Theater of World War II, separate and apart from German barbarism, has enlightened me further. There seems to be no end to the capability of man to be inhuman to man. I came away from this book feeling that an unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor began our war with Japan, and it was fitting that our retaliatory attacks against Nagasaki and Hiroshima ended it. The book will also help the reader to understand why the Japanese internment camps were set up, and why they might have been very necessary. Dual allegiance was very real.

The author is the daughter of Bill Mott and the granddaughter of the parents of Barton Cross. She has done one masterful job of research. She has painted the most lucid picture of battle after battle, of disputes within the ranks, of missed opportunities to rescue captives, and of the politics that governed the conduct of many moments in the war, influencing decisions that often led to the unnecessary death of thousands American soldiers in order to preserve the arrogance of one man, presumed to be very powerful and influential, Douglas MacArthur. He and his minions were responsible for the deaths of many POW’s at the hands of the Japanese when they actively inhibited the attempts to rescue them. 

Reading this is not easy, but it is necessary. I was on the battlefield, in the conference room, in the POW camps, experiencing the bestial conditions that the men were made to endure. It is a horrific tale, made more so by the fact that it is true. Detail after detail exposes the deplorable behavior of the Japanese. They had neither respect for the lives of the enemy soldiers, or for the lives of their own soldiers. To lose was too shameful, so every effort to maintain their pride was expended. Surrender was unacceptable and fighting continued longer than necessary. The infighting that existed between the branches of the armed services caused unnecessary loss of life and, in hindsight, Douglas MacArthur and his enormous ego, coupled with the hero worship of his ardent followers, in addition to a President weakened by war and illness, were responsible for the loss of many more of the lives of our heroic soldiers than necessary.

Barton Cross was the youngest son of his mother. Her two other sons, from a previous marriage, were largely neglected by her, but they never resented their half brother for her greater show of affection; they adored him. One of the half brothers, Bill Mott, worked in the White House; the other, Benson Mott, was on the Navy ship Enterprise, and their half sister, Rosemary Cross, was a Wave. When Barton enlisted, Bill used his influence to station Barton in what he hoped would be a safe place, especially to please his mother who favored Barton. Barton, however, wound up in the Philippines. When the Japanese successfully invaded the Philippines, Barton became a prisoner of war. This is Barton’s story, and what a story it is! It follows the unending search for a brother and son that was very well loved and very much missed.

The book is so exhaustively researched and finely detailed that facts, hitherto unknown by me, and I am sure many others, were revealed. The most eye-opening information concerned the details of the brutality that the POW’s under Japanese control faced and dealt with. The story is based on the facts gleaned from eye witnesses, records, letters and other forms of correspondence giving a bird’s eye view of the carnage and destruction wrought by the Japanese. The POW’s were starved, beaten and tortured. Their illnesses and wounds went untreated. The living conditions they were subjected to were subhuman. Many were outright murdered by Japanese soldiers whose orders and behavior were barbaric.

The author expressed herself so capably that the reader was placed on the battlefield, on the Naval vessels under attack, and even on the improperly marked Japanese vessels that were carrying the POW’s from prison camp to prison camp in the foulest of conditions. Because the Japanese deliberately did not indicate that they were carrying POW’s, the American soldiers, unknowingly, condemned their fellow Americans to death when they dropped their payloads on Japanese ships. Friendly fire casualties mounted and numbered in the thousands. POW’s were hidden and crammed into the holds of ships for lengthy periods of time, with little or no clothing, shoes, food, water or air, in terribly unsanitary, germ ridden conditions, and they had absolutely no way to protect themselves from danger or to warn the incoming planes that they were there.

From all accounts told, even though Barton was subjected to horrific conditions, he was always an inspiration to the fellow prisoners. He never lost faith and encouraged others to keep up their spirits. He believed they would be rescued and sent home when the war ended. The worst part, however, about Barton’s plight, for me, was the fact that MacArthur only evacuated Army personnel from the hospital in which Barton was being treated, early in the war. That decision effectively condemned all of the injured naval personnel. They were deliberately left behind, to be captured. Finding Barton’s whereabouts was then made more difficult by Barton’s own behavior. Rather than worry his mother, who tended to extremes, he did not tell her of his injury. He told her he was well and expected to be home for Christmas.

I learned so much about the history of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, of the Philippines occupation by Japan, and about the general conduct of the war. I recommend this book to all. The author has the gift for language, and it is very well written as well as being a very interesting read.However, be warned, it will not endear you to the Japanese people, and it may make you wonder why Americans, for years, avoided German cars, but never seemed to react that way toward Japanese car makers. The Japanese were responsible for the unnecessary loss of America’s human treasure.

   

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review 2018-08-08 02:52
Release Day ARC Review: The Missing Ingredient by Brian Lancaster
The Missing Ingredient - Brian Lancaster

About a year ago, Marcus, a busy chef in London, lost his best friend Raine in a car accident, and in one fell swoop, Raine's husband and their children as well, due to being asked to "give them time to grieve".

Marcus respected Tom's wishes, though he misses his two "nieces", never mind the grief of losing his friend and ersatz family. 

But then he runs into them by chance and realizes that Tom doesn't look like's holding it together at all, and it's obvious that Marcus is needed. He immediately steps up despite Tom's feeble protests, and soon, he's caring for the girls and taking care of Tom as well. Obviously Tom is straight, and any resurrected attraction Marcus may be feeling mustn't be acted upon. Because Tom is straight.

Or is he?

This is by design a slow burn romance, covering almost a year's worth of time, and the relationship between the two men develops realistically and organically, as Marcus and Tom and the girls start to mesh their lives together, with Tom relying on Marcus, and Marcus giving more and more of himself to prop up his late friend's family. 

There's also a bit of a side plot with the mystery of why Raine was in the location of the accident, with someone not her husband in the car. This side plot's resolution also serves as a point of conflict between Marcus and Tom, as Marcus relays to Tom what he found out, and as Tom has a hissy fit when he does. 

Tom struggles with his feelings for Marcus, and even goes so far as to attempt to deny that part of himself by showing apparent interest in dating a woman. This leads to him using Marcus' revelation of the mystery behind Raine's travel that fateful day to break off their budding romance, and mostly cut off communication. I really, really didn't like this Tom at all. I felt for him while he was coming to terms with his feelings for Marcus, but he then treated Marcus abysmally, and the man didn't deserve that at all. 

Despite the slowly developing romance, the book is actually quite fast-paced, and the pages just flew by. Marcus forgives Tom's behavior time and again, the fact that Tom is hiding him, until Tom does a really hurtful thing and Marcus has had enough. 

And then Tom comes to his senses, finally, realizes what's he lost, and makes the "grand gesture" to regain the man he loves. That scene had me a wee bit choked up. 

The epilogue - OMG! For a few moments there, I was in utter shock, not quite believing what I was reading, because seriously the epilogue is supposed to be where we get their HEA, and it just didn't seem to start out that way at all. I was all like "WTF?" and "WHY?" and then I turned the page and about died laughing. Clever, Brian Lancaster, real clever. 

The supporting cast was well-rounded, with Tom's parents, Moira and John, Tom's two daughters who were front and center but never overshadowed the relationship building, Tina, who's Marcus assistant... even some of the more minor characters who all played a role in moving the plot forward.

The book is told entirely from Marcus' third person POV, and we thus don't get a whole lot of insight into what makes Tom act the way he does, but we do see them both grow, retreat, and grow some more. In many cases, due to the circumstances, Marcus felt like the more mature of the two, even though he's 10 years Tom's junior. 

I enjoyed reading this book, and I think this would be a good choice for anyone who loves the hurt/comfort stories. Incidentally, while Tom's wife dies at the beginning of this book, it never feels as if this is simply a plot device to clear the way for Marcus and Tom - it's more that Raine's death leaves them both adrift, and they honor her memory in a myriad of ways, always mindful that they are in each other's lives because of what she meant to both of them - a wife to Tom, and Marcus' best friend, the person who's stood by him since their school days. 

Recommended.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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text 2018-08-03 11:29
Epson Printer Printing With Missing or Blank Lines: How to Fix the Banding?

The system including the printing aspect is a widespread issue with the Epson Wireless Printers. However, often times there are problems with the Epson printer printing with lines missing or any other printing error for that matter. In such cases, the printer fails to work. Sometimes the user chooses a wrong IP address and loses to configure a static IP address with the Printer. The problem is faced mostly by the new Epson Wireless Printer users. A new user may not know how to configure the network settings in the Printer, hence miss-configured the device. Similarly, there are times when the user faces issues in its banding. They have no idea on how to solve the error, therefore to troubleshoot it the user needs to follow the following instructions which would help them with the solutions and support.

 

 

Troubleshooting Banding Issues in Epson Printer

 

To fix the printing and banding problems which include the  can be conquered via these steps:

 

Horizontal Banding

 

  • Verify that the printable surface of the paper is face up in the sheet feeder.
  • Operate the head cleaning utility to clear any clogged ink nozzles.
  • Operate the Printhead Alignment utility.
  • Remove all customized settings by choosing automatic as the mode setting on the printer software's main menu (Windows) or in the print dialog option.
  • Verify the ink out of the light. If the light is flashing, substitute the appropriate ink cartridge. Verify by replacing an empty ink cartridge for details.
  • Verify that the Maximum is not chosen as the printable area setting in the printer software. When this setting is chosen, banding may happen in the expanded area.
  • Verify that the media type is selected in the printer software is suitable for the kind of media loaded in the printer to troubleshoot Epson printer printing blank lines.
  • Verify that the microwave checkbox is chosen when available in the advanced dialog box. For Windows users, see making advanced settings for details.

 

Vertical Misalignment or Banding

 

  • Verify that the printable section of the paper is facing up in the sheet feeder.
  • Run the Print Head Alignment service.
  • Often times Epson printer prints the image where the lines are seen above it.Epson printer lines through pictures due to the error in vertical banding
  • Clean the High-Speed checkbox in the advanced dialog box. For Windows users, see the making of the advanced settings for details.
  • Operate the head cleaning utility to clean any clogged ink nozzles.
  • Verify that the media type setting is chosen in the printer software is a suitable way for the kind of media loaded in the printer.
  • Make sure the microwave checkbox is chosen when available in the advanced dialog box. For Windows customers, see making advanced settings for details.

If the user is still facing issues in the print job of Epson printer where there is the hindrance of vertical and horizontal banding, then the user can contact the helpline service of Epson printer support number. It is a 24/7 online service which helps the user with all the issues and problems. The experts and professionals help the user at any point in any time.

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review 2018-07-31 02:18
Fun cozy mystery.
Murder Gone Missing - Lida Sideris

This was a fun read. It is the second in the series, but the first I have read. The mystery had plenty of surprises. The characters were varied and a lot of fun. I giggled as I read, rolled my eyes a couple of times, and did not want to stop reading. I recommend this read.

I received a copy of this ARC through Goddessfish Promotions, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2018-07-12 19:32
Living and Dying
The Bright Hour - Nina Riggs
When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi,Abraham Verghese
The Year of Magical Thinking - Joan Didion
Blue Nights by Didion, Joan 1st (first) Edition [Hardcover(2011)] - Joan Didion
A Widow's Story - Joyce Carol Oates
Missing Mom - Joyce Carol Oates
About Alice - Calvin Trillin
How We Die: Reflections of Life's Final Chapter - Sherwin B. Nuland

So, I've been off BL for a long, long time. A lot has happened, I got pregnant and had a daughter. My mom got sick and passed away. I had to clear out and sell my childhood home and all the contents while trying to balance all of that and my full time job. It's been...something.

 

For a while, not long after my mom died (3 days before Christmas 2016 when my daughter was only 5 months old) I started searching out and reading books that dealt with death and grief. I read a lot of Joan Didion The Year of Magical ThinkingBlue Nights. I read When Breath Becomes Air and About Alice and A Widow's Story. I started Missing Mom and couldn't go any further because it was too hard and How We Die.

 

The Bright Hour is one of the most beautiful books I've read, ever. I can't possibly describe it except to use it's full title--The Bright Hour: a memoir of living and dying. It is so full of life, all the messiness and happiness and tragedy and humor and it faces death and mortality head on, unflinching. 

 

I recently reread it, now a year and a half since my mother passed, it still has such power and peace. I can't recommend it enough.

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