Memoir – The Gringo

The Gringo: A MemoirThe Gringo
by J. Grigsby Crawford
Publisher: Wild Elephant Press
ISBN: 978-0988482272
Published: December 2012
Pages: 240
Genre: Memoir, Travel

Within weeks of arriving as a Peace Corps volunteer in a remote corner of South America, Crawford gets a lot more than he bargained for: a narrow escape from a kidnapping plot hatched by the people he was sent there to help.

Then things only get stranger.

In his quest to find adventure, Crawford undertakes a savage journey of danger, drugs, sex, and alarming illness. When anyone else would have packed up and quit, he endures—despite the unbearable pain and isolation. What resulted is The Gringo: one part literary tale of two lonely years in the Amazon jungle and one part gonzo-journalism account of a government agency wandering aimlessly through the twenty-first century.

Crawford doesn’t glamorize the darkness or poverty he encounters. Instead, with fragility and toughness, he delivers a memoir of life abroad that is unlike any other. Filled with sharp humor and eye-opening observations about the human condition, this is an unforgettable story that grabs the reader and doesn’t let go.

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Memoir – Memories

MemoriesMemories
By Capt. Weston H. Ament
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-0615523934
Published: February 2012
Pages: 208
Genre: Memoir

Other than being born by caesarian section in California in 1921, nothing would portend the momentous life Weston H. Ament would go on to live. By the time he was in High School, he was already drawn to flight and was soon to be enrolled in aviation studies at Boeing School of Aeronautics, a division of united Airlines. What followed next was the stuff legends are made of.

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Memoir – The Long Escape

The Long EscapeThe Long Escape
By Jeff Noonan
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 9781466434264
Published: January 2012
Pages: 326
Genre: Memoir, Naval Adventure

Jeff Noonan was raised in the mountain country of Montana in a happy home…until his father turned to alcohol and became a violent abuser. In early adulthood, Jeff’s globetrotting in the military did nothing to extinguish the pain of that abuse, but through perseverance, hope, and an iron will, he transcended his abuser to create a successful and fulfilling life. An extraordinary tale of courage and horrific violence, this memoir is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and that through perseverance happiness can be achieved.

As a child, Jeff idolizes his father: a former boxer, park ranger, and congressional candidate. As the boy grows older, however, his father’s transformation into a full-blown alcoholic results in increasingly abusive behavior that involves, one by one, the horrific beating of his mother, himself, and his seven siblings. Life becomes a daily struggle, both physical and financial, for the boy and his family. After working as a laborer for several years, he is still in his teens when he joins the service to escape the abuse and provide an income to his family.

From Asian adventures and shipboard hijinks to killer typhoons and Hong Kong bar battles, he fights his way to acceptance in the rough and tumble world of a destroyer sailor. But you can never run from yourself. He is continually drawn back to Montana where his meetings with his father become predictably more violent until an epic confrontation where Jeff’s younger brothers emerge as his greatest allies. In the meantime, he is assigned to an entry-level position scrubbing Navy bathrooms. Through hard work and non-stop studying, he eventually becomes a Navy leader, supervising teams that work on experimental shipboard guided missile systems.

A sobering, visceral, and shockingly real portrait of domestic violence, the boy’s relentless drive for survival is nothing short of extraordinary. An uplifting journey to redemption and self-acceptance, The Long Escape sends an unforgettable message to the abused that there can be hope and love in their futures if they can find a way to escape.

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Military Memoir – Angles of Attack: an A-6 Intruder Pilot’s War

Angles of Attack: an A-6 Intruder Pilot’s War
Author: Peter Hunt
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1467924214
Pages: 396
Published: March 2012

From the carrier launch in total darkness to the gut–dropping rolls through enemy antiaircraft fire, Peter Hunt puts you in the pilot’s seat for the flight of your life.

Moments after the first Gulf War began in 1991, attack pilot Pete Hunt was catapulted into the night sky from the deck of the USS Ranger. For the next six weeks, Hunt executed dozens of bombing missions into Kuwait and Iraq, including all–weather low–level attacks, A-6 Intruder missions so hazardous that they would never be flown in combat again. Whether Hunt was dropping laser–guided bombs on precision targets, supporting the Marines on the ground, or conducting attacks along the infamous “highway of death,” America’s mission was clear—to force the invading Iraqi army out of Kuwait.

Operation Desert Storm—America’s first full-scale conflict since Vietnam—proved to the world that the U.S. military was still battle–ready after decades of Cold War and set the stage for military interventions for years to come. Hunt’s gripping depiction of A-6 Intruders in combat is a thought provoking account of what America asks of her military every day.

“This…Gulf War memoir is excellent; it really does put the reader in the cockpit…Peter Hunt’s enthusiastic account is one of the best of the type this reviewer has read in recent years.” — Peter Mersky, The Hook – Journal of Carrier Aviation Book Review, February 2003. Second Edition (first edition published by Ballantine Books, 2002)

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