Sunday, December 26, 2010


The Vietnam War has long been a mystery to me. Nobody in my family served during that war - they were all too young or too old. My American History teacher in high school was a Vietnam vet who still had flashbacks, so we very briefly breezed over that time in history.

Matterhorn is a story told from Lieutenant Waino Mellas' point of view.  Along with Lieutenant Mellas, we are dropped into the middle of the jungle with Bravo Company.  Mellas is new to the company, and has no experience in the field, so he is forced to find a way to gain the respect of his men.

During Mellas' struggle to prove himself, we meet the other men of Bravo Company who become more than just characters in a book.  They become real people, people we know and love.  As they fight for their lives, and for the lives of their brothers, we are introduced to the comraderie and conflicts within the Company, and we feel their frustrations, joy, and sadness.

Matterhorn is a wonderful novel that will take you beyond whether the Vietnam War was right or wrong.  It will make you think long and hard about all the men who fought and died there, it takes you straight to the humanity.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Magician's Nephew

I've been a fan of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe since I first saw it on tv when I was quite young, but it was many years later that I found out it was just one from a series of books. Sad to say, I never read any of the Chronicles of Narnia...until now.  I just finished The Magician's Nephew, and really enjoyed it. 

It took me a little while to really get into the story, but I think that was because I went into it thinking this book would be about Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy.  The Magician's Nephew is about Professor Digory Kirke when he was a boy, his uncle Andrew Ketterley (a magician), the neighbor girl Polly, and the Queen of Charn named Jadis.

This is the story of Digory's curiosity and braveness, Andrew's deception and cowardice, and Polly's perserverence and compassion.  We are introduced to Aslan and get to watch as Narnia is born.  There were also two very important questions (to me) that were answered; Why do only some of the animals speak, and How did the White Witch find Narnia?

Up Next: Matterhorn