Monthly Archives: June 2018

One Rough Man

I have been on a spy novel kick of late. So I had read Ghosts of War, another Pike Logan book earlier in the year. It was, I think, the tenth book in the series. I decided that I needed to start at the beginning. One Rough Man is the first Pike Logan book. I listened to this book on audio and had picked up the hardcover at a library sale. I think I am going to have to read the paper because the audio book’s narrators annoyed me at times so much that it pulled me out of the story.

Pike Logan is a former special ops soldier who works for the Taskforce – a top secret anti-terror group. He is about to deploy for a mission when his family is killed. He goes off the deep end and is kicked off the Taskforce. He settles on a boat in South Carolina, where he meets Jennifer Cahill one night. Her uncle is an archeologist, working in Guatemala who finds a secret tomb, and possibly, a WMD. Arab terrorists, working with a Guatemalan smuggler, learn of the WMD and try to get it. The archeologist sends an MP3 file to Jennifer and the chaos starts.

One Rough Man is a roller coaster ride of Pike, no longer with the Taskforce, and Jennifer, a civilian, trying to stop a terror attack while forces within the U.S. Government are trying to let the attack happen.

Like I said, the book is a roller coaster ride. But, if you listen to the audio version, the way the two male narrators made Jennifer sound whiny and weak and it really bothered me because she is anything but. Overall, the story, while having some unbelievable points, is pretty good. I’m going to read book two and see if Pike is someone I’m going to stick with.

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The Trident

This is Jason Redman’s story of his life. He was wounded in Iraq. I say wounded. He was shot twice in the arm and once in the face. That shot destroyed his nose and has required many surgeries to repair the damage. But this is also the story of his life.

I’m going to flat-out say that I hated him in the beginning of this book. He was arrogant and didn’t take responsibility for anything he did. But, as I learned later. That was the point. Jason learned – the very hard way- how to be a leader.

What I loved about this book is that he admits fully and completely that he was arrogant and obnoxious. But he overcame those characteristics before he was wounded. He’s honest about how hard his recovery has been and how depressed losing SEAL buddies has been. He founded a non-profit and has made his life after the Navy meaningful.

I also loved that he loves his wife. I admire her for her strength, character, and unwavering supports of Jason. This book is also a good reminder that many of us who have not served do not do enough for those who have. We tend to ignore the war because it’s been going on so long and it’s not every other headline any more. That is wrong. I hope he knows that the vast majority of use, while we may not outwardly say so, appreciate his service and anyone who serves.

I listened to the audio book and I really liked the narrator. His voice was calm and commanding. If you are interested in Navy Seals or anything related to Jason, this is a good book to read. I really enjoyed it.

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So Close To Being The Sh*t Y’all Don’t Even Know

I love Parks and Recreation. It is one of the funniest shows ever. So when I saw Retta was writing a book, I was excited. And the book didn’t disappoint. When I say this book is laugh out loud funny, I am not lying. My daughter told me to be quiet twice when I was reading it while she was watching tv because I was laughing out loud.

The book is a collection of essays about her life. She doesn’t really talk much about Parks and Rec and I thought that would bother me, but it doesn’t. My favorite chapter was actually the one she wrote about Hamilton. Though I haven’t seen it, I want to now, more than before.

The worst part of the book was the mention Fresno got. Some asshat (pardon the language) from my hometown threw out a racist tweet about her when she was live tweeting a show. She handled the situation with such grace. Just know not all people from Fresno are backwards racists.

I’m not a huge reader of celebrity memoirs. That being said, the cast of Parks and Rec has a lot of talented writers. I’ve read Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please and Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance, both of which I truly liked. And Nick Offerman’s Paddle Your Own Canoe is on my TBR. And while I really loved Yes, Please, I have to rate Retta’s book at the best. Truly the funniest thing I have read in a really long time.

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Rising Out Of Hatred

I grew up in a middle class home. My parents are both white. I attended public school and went to a public college. Derek Black was raised in a lower-middle class family, whose parents are devout white nationalists. He was home schooled and was a rising star in the white power movement when he went to New College in Florida. While at school, he was outed as a racist.

Eli Saslow writes Derek’s story from being the heir-apparent of the white nationalist movement to disavowing his racist beliefs and renouncing his former life. Derek renounced his beliefs, not just because he was outed, but because a group of students who had befriended him and slowly and surely got him to see the error of his ways. Most important in this group was his girlfriend, Allison, who challenged his beliefs with facts and studies and educated him that what he had grown up believing and being told was wrong. Derek began to see the harm that his racist beliefs had caused.

I rated this book 5 stars, not because it’s well-written (and it is), but because it has a very important message. The last three chapters of this book are the most important. It explains how Donald Trump won the Presidency by mainstreaming alt-right beliefs and white nationalist language. It explains how frightening and dangerous and frightening those beliefs are. There is discussion about Steve Bannon and Richard Spencer – whose names wouldn’t be known today were it not for Trump. If for no other reason, this book is important to read for that.

I won this book from Goodreads and received no other compensation in exchange for my review. The opinions expressed herein are mine and mine alone.

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