I’ve read 3 books in the last month: one great, one very good, and one meh. Interestingly, those reviews correlate with their length. Pure coincidence.
Red Platoon by Clinton Romesha
Netflix has a new docuseries called “Medal of Honor”, sharing the stories of valor of the recipients. Clint Romesha was profiled in the second one. That spurred me to buy this book at the end of last year. When we celebrated NYE at a friend’s and I saw it on display, I knew I had done the right thing!
Red Platoon chronicles the 14-hour Battle of COP Keating, as told by Romesha and his fellow soldiers’ memories. This was a long (nearly 400 page) read, but well worth it. Despite being closely tied to the Army, some of the more technical details went over my head, but this book is very, very accessible to those who know nothing about any branch of the military. This book is a great reminder that there are still soldiers deployed overseas defending our freedom right now.
A couple of years ago, I read Sacred
The Warrior’s Silence by Ord Elliot
I bought this book back in college hoping to read it right before I met Mr. Elliot. I never got around to it then. I thought a Vietnam veteran’s perspective on the Global War on Terror might be interesting to juxtapose with Red Platoon, which it what prompted me to read it now.
This book was okay, but it wasn’t what I wanted. It’s one veteran’s thoughts and evolution as he goes from yearning for war as a young, testosterone-driven, collegiate male to a veteran jaded by death and the effects of returning to civilian life post-combat. The invasion of Iraq brings him back to feeling like a twenty-something and prompts many buried feelings to return.
My biggest criticism here is the Google-able facts that were just plain wrong. He refers to the Invasion of Iraq in 2001. That wasn’t til 2003. Those small details really do matter.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I’ve had this one of my shelf since 2016 when I got it as a birthday gift. I’m not really a fiction reader, but this year I’d really like to push myself outside of my reading comfort zone.
Since I’m not very good at reading fiction, it took me a bit to get into this one. I had to draw a character map on the inside cover. Once I was into it, though, I could not put it down. It was absolutely wonderful. I now understand why it’s called a thriller! I see myself definitely reading more fiction thrillers this year.
Protagonist Rachel’s life is a bit upside down. She’s an alcoholic whose husband left her for a younger woman with whom he’s started a new family. Rachel’s regular train rides to London turn out to be much more when she inserts herself in a local murder investigation.
I have not yet watched the movie, but now I’m excited to!
Up next: The Female Brain by Louanne Brizendine, M.D.
Emilie is an Army Wife, Data Engineer, and CrossFitter with a love for working through her thoughts in this space on the internet. She is a contributor to many open source projects including dbt, Meltano, and GitLab. She lives with her husband Casey, their son RJ, and their pup Bo in Columbus, GA.