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review 2017-09-12 16:50
A Navy SEAL book that talks about PTSD
Battle Ready: Memoir of a SEAL Warrior Medic - Mark L. Donald,Scott Mactavish

This is a great book from the perspective that it is the first SEAL book I have read where the author talks about PTSD and how he deals with it and firstly by not dealing with it.

 

Mark Donald is humble and the part of the book where he is awarded the Medal of Valor and the lesson he learns from the ceremony, the guilt he feels, and one of his many mentors about the medal is great!  (I'm not giving it away for those of you who want to read it).

 

The Battle of Khand Pass and the QRF chapters are the only chapters that contain page turning, edge of your seat, adrenaline rush battle scenes or descriptions which is not much of the book and makes it very different than many other SEAL books in this respect.

 

This book is rather a story of Mark's childhood and the struggles he faced as a Mexican American living in New Mexico being raised by ostensibly a single mom due to his father's own demons with PTSD.

 

The book goes on to detail how Mark first joined the Marines then moved to the Navy and started BUD/S training and became a SEAL then a corpsmen, then a PA and had to do double duty after 9/11.

 

This is a great book that I highly recommend and one of the most humble and respectful of SEAL books I have read.

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review 2017-09-11 22:07
MIDNIGHT by Erin Hunter
Midnight by Hunter, Erin [HarperCollins, 2005] Hardcover [Hardcover] - Hunter

A new series in the Warriors series has Brambleclaw receiving a dream from Star Clan.  He along with 3 other cats have received the dream.  What does it mean?  Why are the medicine cats not receiving the dreams?

 

I liked this story.  It starts off about a year after the first series ends.  We are now just about on the second generation since Firestar has become the leader of Thunder Clan.  Brambleclaw has to determine what his dream means and how the other cats fit in.  They must work together and travel to Midnight.  I like this group of cats.  We still have Firestar and his generation as well as a few elders but this next generation looks like it might change things up in the status quo.  I liked the Yoda-like character that appears.  I am anxiously waiting to see me niece to get the second book in this series.

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review 2017-08-18 02:58
My Review of Chased by Fire
Chased by Fire (The Cloud Warrior Saga Book 1) - D K Holmberg

Chased by Fire by D.K. Holmberg is the first book in The Cloud Warrior Saga. When Tan meets a stranger on the road, his mother sends Tan on a mission to assist the stranger in finding an artifact.

 

There is a lot of potential with this story. There is magic, creatures, fighting, and romance. The creatures and characters are vivid, but the descriptions involving certain aspects of the magic are rather detailed causing the story to be slow paced for most of the book. I feel this story is for middle grade children and adults alike. Overall, I'm curious to see where the story takes Tan.

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text 2017-08-07 16:54
Purple Heart Day: Military Romance Boxed Sets by Leslie North

Make sure not to miss Leslie North’s Massive Military Romance Sale on August 7th only!

All of her Military Romance boxsets will be $0.99 (a 70%+ Discount)!

PLUS: 100% of revenue will go to the Wounded Warriors Project.

All boxed set details and links can be found here!

 

Author Bio: Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women's contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres. The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren't afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east. Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie. She LOVES reader feedback, and if you have any comments, don't hesitate to contact her via e-mail: leslie@leslienorthbooks.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

GIVEAWAY! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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review 2017-07-24 22:43
The Warrior Woman
The Woman Warrior - Maxine Hong Kingston

In the world of memoirs, this one was a little difficult for me to rate. I was confused for a decent portion of it, not sure whether this was fiction or nonfiction at times. I had chosen it as part of the Read Harder Challenge for this year, task 17: read a classic by a woman of color. I suppose I could have counted Kindred but I didn't realize that it was written in 1979 until I was actually reading it and had already listed this memoir as my option for the challenge. Besides, I prefer using nonfiction for challenges anyway.

That said, I did eventually wander back over to the Goodreads and Amazon pages for this book and get it figured out.

As a whole, the book really was an amazing look into being the first US-born children of Chinese immigrants. There are flavors to the story that are familiar with my own experience of being the first US-born generation in my family too. The stories from where the family is from that don't make quite make sense in the US and the feeling of having lost so much in the migration are things that I grew up with too. I could relate to it without feeling like I already knew what was going to happen.

Here is a little bit about each story:

No Name Woman - this is the story of an aunt of Kingston's who had died back in China. She had been scorned for becoming pregnant while her husband was away and the entire family was forced to deal with the aftermath. Her mother told her of the story as a morality tale but Kingston also offers quite a bit of introspection about what it must have been like to be her aunt and what it must have been like to be a woman in China under those circumstances. She decomposes the story a bit too, rooting through for wholes in her mother's account. Set in China, it is one of the stories that showcase her heritage and the way that heritage can continue to effect even those of us not born in those countries.

White Tigers - this is the one that totally threw me for a loop. It's also written in the introspective memoir style but is actually one of the "talk stories" her mother told her and is delivered in the first person. I was so confused and kept looking at the info to make sure that this was definitely listed as non-fiction. I don't know, maybe I was just not paying an adequate amount of attention to catch it at the time because I hadn't realized from the last story that she wasn't even born in China and the entire story also takes place there. It's a great story and one that I understand her being captivated by, but it isn't her story nor does it appear to be based on one of her ancestors.

Shaman - I think this was my favorite. I love the idea of women making a great situation out of something that begins less than favorable. This takes place before Kingston is born and is about her mother deciding to be a doctor in China while her father is in the US making money. He makes more than enough to send home and for the mom to be comfortable at home, but she wants to do more with the money. Not only can I appreciate that sentiment but the very idea of going back to school after so long and how she becomes a great doctor are intriguing and uplifting.

At the Western Palace - I just love her mother so much. I get how it may have been a little hard to live her sometimes, but I love her attitude about things. My mother was much the same way. Go get what's yours. Don't take an unnecessary amount of crap from people. If life disappoints you, figure it out and move on. This story isn't actually about her mother, it's about an aunt but her mother is the larger image in it. She brings the aunt to the US after her husband never asks her to and then there's a some drama about the husband and the story is told from the point of view of Kingston herself who is just a little too young to really understand what's happening.

She understands, but doesn't grasp the gravity of the situation. She doesn't understand why it's such a big deal for the aunt and why she is so timid and so broken. Still, she gives the reader enough to see it and to feel for her aunt while also giving us a feeling of how alone she must have been with the rest of the family not understanding her. It says a lot about how culture does or does not migrate with the people who come from it.

A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe - finally we get to Kingston's own story. I did appreciate her story being the last once I understood the format because I can also understand the people around her. It would have been like reading the New Testament of the Bible without reading the Old Testament first, or even know what the Ten Commandments were. Her family and the other Chinese around her would have made less sense. I was a little horrified in the scene with the silent girl but kids can be cruel. On the other hand, I loved everything that came after her yelling at her parents to not marry her off. I cracked up at her mother's response to that.

I had looked over some other reviews when I was trying to figure out what was going on and it seems like this is generally a love it or hate it kind of book. I loved each story and would have loved for it to be advertised more as a collection of personal stories or life stories from a single person. It does paint a good overall picture of what the experience can be like to migrate to the US from China in that timeframe. It can be hard to remember what the threat of communism was like then and how countries that were engrossed with it treated their people. I am just old enough to remember seeing coverage of the Berlin Wall going down. I am also the first US born of people who came here to escape the devastating effects of communism. It's hard to explain to the younger generation now just what it meant. For that, I will endlessly appreciate this book and that it appears to have been brought into American literature classes.

Not only is the book about figuring out culture and heritage and what it means to live somewhere that you don't share the heritage, but it's also entirely about relationships among women. It's about her unnamed aunt and society and the ways that she is allowed to be remembered or not. It's about her relationship with her mother, her relationship to other Chinese children, her mother's relationship with both her own sister and her niece, her relationship to the legends of past Chinese women and the hopes of Chinese women contemporary to her.

There is one tiny problem though, and it's pointed out by almost every single person who I saw that didn't like this book. She does have a way of generalizing the Chinese. I get it, though, because I have generalized Cubans. I actually had to be taught to not do it by people like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and the danger of a single story. I had lumped all Cubans into a single version of the refugee story and that's just grossly untrue. Likewise, Kingston makes it sound like all Chinese do this or that or don't do this or that.

But then again, this was written well before my time. I also recognize that there have been times in the US when it was hard to set a people behind unifying themes and ideas. I recognize that there have been times when it has been necessary to make distinctions that WE are like this and not that. Perhaps that was a part of the intended purposes of all those generalizations. Perhaps, it was important to Kingston to make a claim on what is or can be Chinese vice what is or can be Asian as a whole or vice what is or can be any other group. I don't know.

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