Kerri-Leigh Grady (Navy spouse)
“This year had some really great books, but these two really stood out. I was worried about Joe Hill’s The Fireman—he’s one of my fave authors because of Horns, but NOS4A2 disappointed me—but I shouldn’t have been concerned. It’s a beautiful book about a fungus infecting humanity, killing millions with spontaneous combustion, uniting the monstrous against those trying to survive. Crazy, right? Crazy awesome.
And then there was N.K. Jemison’s The Fifth Season. This book, man. It reveals a post-apocalyptic Earth, when the tectonic plates have broken like whoa, and humanity only continues to survive thanks to the enslaved orogenes, a caste of humans who have evolved the ability to calm the Earth below…or raise it up against a threat. There’s so much to this book, y’all. You have to read it. And then you have to petition Hollywood for a movie. Because volcanoes and pirate ships and gem obelisks floating in the sky and motherlovin’ stone-eaters, y’all.
Kathleen Rodgers (Air Force wife, Army mom)
“I highly recommend Elizabeth Marro’s debut novel, Casualties. It’s a compelling and convincing read about a successful defense contractor and the trauma she faces shortly after her only son returns from combat. This book shines the spotlight on the dark underbelly of the defense industry.
Every once in a while, a voice comes along that makes you yearn for a childhood you never lived. Drema Hall Berkheimer’s memoir, Running On Red Dog Road, invites you to skip along with her, big sis Vonnie, and best friend Sissy into the coal mining hills and hollers of West Virginia, at a time when gypsies and hobos were as common as doctors who made house calls.”
Kathleen Rodgers is the author of three novels. Her second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, has won multiple awards including the 2015 Gold Medal for literary fiction from Military Writers Society of America. Seven Wings to Glory is forthcoming April 1, 2017.
Tracy Crow (Marine veteran)
Like Jerri, I spent a huge chunk of this year reading memoirs and histories about women veterans for our forthcoming book. But here we go….
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. I didn’t want to like this book. I don’t believe in establishing rules for writers because as soon as we break a rule we heap on more guilt. And my 2016 has been about developing a zero-guilt attitude. If I write every day, wonderful. If I skip a day, I forgive. No guilt! And the same applies to chocolate cookies and cheesecake. But I actually loved this book. I love her premise that it’s actually unfair to expect our passion to financially support us.
And throughout this year I read dozens and dozens of books on spirituality. Everything from Thich Nhat Hanh to self-published books on Human Design to Marianne Williamson’s take on A Course in Miracles to embracing our sovereignty in Jill Renee Feeler’s Stepping Into The Platinum Age.
But I took a breather with a delightful memoir about rescuing, of all things, hummingbirds! Who knew, right? So when this winter has you dreaming of spring and the return of the hummingbirds, why not indulge yourself with a read of Fastest Things on Wings: Rescuing Hummingbirds in Hollywood by Terry Masear. Call it ‘research!’
Tracy Crow is a Marine veteran and the author of Eyes Right: Confessions from a Woman Marine; the military conspiracy thriller, An Unlawful Order, under her pen name, Carver Greene, and the true story collection, Red, White, & True: Stories from Veterans and Families, WWII to Present. It’s My Country, Too!: Women’s Military Stories from the American Revolution to Afghanistan (coauthored with Jerri Bell) is forthcoming in March 2017.
Have a wonderful holiday season, everyone, and a happy, happy new year ! – Andria