Thursday, January 22, 2015

Guadalcanal Diary

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*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Given the chance, I'll die like a baby
On some faraway beach
When the season's over . . ."
                                                                                 --Brian Eno, On Some Faraway Beach

GUADALCANAL DIARY

  Although it has been over 70 years, I can still remember my best friend When Books Went to War (9780544535022) 25.00 by Molly Guptill Manning like it was yesterday.  We were a cheeky lot.  We were young and foolish.  We thought we'd win the war single handed and then we'd be back home in time for our reading group.  We pitied the Japs.


  He did make it back, but there were so many who didn't.  I remember when we found our American Sniper (9780062238863) 9.99 by Chris Kyle on the beach.  He had been missing for days.  The tides had half buried him in that Guadalcanal sand.  That cursed sand got into everything.  From your rifle to your underwear, it rubbed and chafed until it gummed up your gun or was painful to leave your foxhole.  When we found him, his spine had been broken and his exposed pages fluttered in the wind like the wings of butterflies.  After a month of fighting the Japs, I wanted to fashion a basket from pond fronds, grab a few butterflies, and fly away home.


  As for Unbroken (9780812987119) 16.00 by Laura Hillenbrand, he was captured by the Japs near the end of the first week and put aboard the Tokyo Express.  That was the last we saw of him until after the war.  He was so beaten up that a used bookstore buyer wouldn't even take a second look at him.  But I'm sure you know the rest of the story.


  Our medic, Redeployment (9781594204999) 26.95 by Phil Klay, had lost a few pages during his stay on Starvation Island, but he shipped out with the rest of us when it was over.  He was later transferred to the 7th Marine, and he bought it on Iwo Jima.  I heard that both of his covers had been ripped clean off by a booby trap.


  We never saw our company chaplain again, All The Light We Cannot See (9781476746586) 27.00 by Anthony Doerr, after he was pulled out.  When you've been to Hell, it changes you, especially for a pastor.  He prayed over and over for our dead brothers, he prayed for the rain to stop, and in the end, he prayed for the war to end.  It didn't work and I think he took it real personal like.  He cried every night and nobody really wanted to share a foxhole with him anymore.  I hope he found his faith again.


Unlikely, I'll be remembered,
As the tide brushes sand in my eyes,
I'll drift away . . .

 Odds & Sods

Back when The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven (9781414336077) 15.99 by Kevin and Alex Malarkey was initially released, I had thought to myself, 'Gee, that sounds like a load of ma, er, hooey.'  [ed: The new title Load of Hooey (9781938073885) 20.00 features the comedic stylings of Bob Odenkirk.  Check it out.  He's a very funny man.]  Well, the young lad has fessed up and admitted he made the whole story up to get attention from his Dad.  Now Tyndale House is recalling all available copies from bookstores.  I don't want to say I told you so, but I guess I just did . . .

 



Oprah has a new Book Club title on the horizon.  It's all hush-hush.  The dummy ISBN is (9780804188241) 16.00 and it will be announced on February 10 . . .