Saturday, October 31, 2009

A few book reviews . . .

Two Tankers Down: The Greatest Small-Boat Rescue in U.S. Coast Guard History Two Tankers Down: The Greatest Small-Boat Rescue in U.S. Coast Guard History by Robert Frump


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this well-researched story of the breakup and loss of two WWII-surplus oil tankers off Cape Cod fifty-some years ago. It gives a real insight into what rescue service was like before the advent of helicopters and electronics, but after the end of the age of sail.

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Twenty Million Tons Under the Sea Twenty Million Tons Under the Sea by Daniel V. Gallery


My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The author of this book commanded the US Navy ship that drove U505 to the surface during World War II, and then successfully siezed the sub and towed it back to the United States.

The Road to Woodstock The Road to Woodstock by Michael Lang


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this book because it took me back to people and places from when I began in the music business, a few years after Woodstock.

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Riding Toward Everywhere Riding Toward Everywhere by William T. Vollmann


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have read a few other stories of riding the rails, and I've ridden a number of freights myself, so I've always got a sort spot for these stories. If I have any criticism of this book, it's that there are two many "literary diversions" and not enough current storyline. That said, it's still an enjoyable tale of modern day train hopping; a subject about which little exists.

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Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life by Neil Strauss


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Follow Neil as he moves from skeptical reporter to survivalist to defender of his community. That sounds sarcastic but it's not . . . it's really a commendable journey and something many could benefit from, me included

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You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas by Augusten Burroughs


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
You might say I'm biased because I appear in many of my brother's stories, but I will say this . . . the last two stories are by far the best and most meaningful.


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2 comments:

Stimey said...

Excellent! I hadn't heard of most of these books, but am very interested in a couple. Vollmann is one of my favorite authors, but he definitely IS guilty of "literary diversions." That's a great way to put it.

And, honestly, I'll buy anything your brother writes. :)

Eric said...

Excellent choices John, I especially like Two Tankers Down. I've always been interested in the various maritime disasters off of New England. I would also suggest "Collision Course" about the Andrea Doria/Stockholm collision in 1956. You may have to hunt for it, I don't believe it's in print any longer. As for Augusten's book, it was fantastic. I just finished it last night, and yes, I choked up. I remember you briefly mentioning the flooding of their house in your book, but reading the whole tale was incredible. He really looks as though he has found peace in his life, and I am so happy for him. Any other book suggestions, by all means post them. You and I have a very similar taste in reading. Woof!