Veterans Day is a time for us to pay our respects to those who are serving or have served in the armed forces. To mark the day, consider reading one of these novels or short story collections that portray military experiences during the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bring Out the Dog by Will Mackin
In this collection of 11 loosely connected short stories, U.S. Navy veteran Mackin tells stories based on his own wartime experience serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. In their starred review, Library Journal called it “a well-plotted group of small fictions for readers wishing a feel for the reality of recent U.S. ground wars.”
Waiting for Eden by Elliot Ackerman
Eden Malcolm, injured when his Humvee hit a pressure plate in the Hamrin Valley, lies in a coma in the burn unit at San Antonio as his wife, Mary, waits by his side. A fellow soldier killed in the same explosion that injured Eden is the narrator, detailing their time together in the service, the thoughts going through Eden’s head, and Mary’s fears. Ackerman served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Road Ahead: Fiction from the Forever War ed. by Adrian Bonenberger and Brian Castner
These 25 short stories by military veterans chart the way combat experiences have changed in the years since U.S. forces first arrived in Iraq and Afghanistan, focusing as often on the struggle of returning home as on time in the service.
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. – James Baldwin
Recently on a streaming service, I watched a documentary on White Privilege. At the beginning of the documentary, which was hosted by a white women, there was a room full of people of color and she asked what can we do to help? The response was don’t put the work on us to teach you how to change. This is something I have struggled with on my journey to become more educated on Race and Social Justice. I have wanted to learn and change but didn’t know how to do it without learning from people of color.
I have always read books involving social injustice and if you are looking for a great book list a place to start is here. Ultimately though three things have really brought me to where I am today which is my never ending journey. They are a documentary on white privilege by Tim Wise, a library program that is available by podcast, and the most recent book I read by Crystal M Fleming.
Romance readers and writers are passionate people. They are passionate about the power of love to transform people’s lives and to transform the world. They are passionate about an HEA (Happily-Ever-After) or a HFN (Happy-for-Now). And it’s safe to say they are tired of hearing ill-informed and dismissive opinions about the genre they love. If you haven’t read a romance or attended a romance event, now is the time!
No matter what you read – romance, fantasy, historical fiction, prize-winning fiction – November has a new release for you.
11/5: The Book of Lost Saints by Daniel José Older – In this multigenerational Cuban-American family story of revolution, loss, and family bonds, the spirit of a woman who disappeared during the Cuban Revolution visits her nephew to spur him into unearthing their family history.
11/5: The Deep by Rivers Solomon – The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society, and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future.
11/5: Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – In this romantic comedy Chloe Brown – a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list – recruits her mysterious, sexy neighbor to help her get a life.
11/5: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo – The intersections of identity among an interconnected group of Black British women are portrayed in this 2019 Winner of the Booker Prize. A Peak Pick!
November brings lots of incisive analyses of the current state of affairs, including an anonymous Trump administration official and a teenage environmental activist. Nonfiction debuts from Carmen Maria Machado and Elena Ferrante will surely pique interest. And cookbooks galore – including a classic cookbook revised for the first time in 45 years – will inspire menus for the holidays and beyond.