Book Review: Ashley's War, The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

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Ashley's War:  The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a non-fiction book published in April 2015.  The story follows several women and their quest to become the first women to be in combat along the Green Berets and Army Rangers. This is a book that was selected in my workplace for discussion between women and/or veterans.  The book discussion was broken into three parts much like how the story was broken up.  It garnered great conversations. Some of the things that happened in the book didn't surprise me, such as how physically demanding the tryouts were to be part of the special operations.  It's a demanding job that requires people to be not only physically strong but mentally strong.     What did shock me was that it took the military so long to allow women to fight along men on the battlefield.  Another thing that astonished me were how accepting most of the men in the Army Rangers were of the women fight

Book Review: The Cuckoo's Calling (Comoran Strike, #1) by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's Calling (Comoran Strike, #1) by Robert Galbraith opens with Comoran Strike working as a private investigator in London, England. When John Bristow hires Comoran Strike to investigate the death of his sister Lula Landry, a famous supermodel, Strike is thrown into the world of celebrities as he investigates the case.

I read this book for one of the book clubs I was in, and had I not been in the book club, I'm not sure if I would have picked up this novel or not. When it was released it became public knowledge relatively quick that Robert Galbraith was actually J.K. Rowling writing under a pseudonym. It didn't really surprise me that she used one as I'm sure she wanted the book to be reviewed more honestly and not compared to her Harry Potter book series for children.

While I did enjoy The Cuckoo's Calling immensely, it did follow the typical formula for books in the mystery and thriller categories. I expected a lot more from J.K. Rowling, so I didn't give it as many stars as I would have had it been a debut novel for an author. But, don't get me wrong, I completely lost myself in the story and found it extremely binge worthy, and I enjoyed it so much that I've bought some of the other books in the series.

There were some things I had to look up as I was reading this book because I couldn't quite catch the meaning of certain things, even in the context of the book. One such thing was the use of "suppurating skin". I found out that it meant "discharging pus", and I think it would have flowed better had she just used the latter instead. And even though the British and Americans both speak English, I thought it was interesting that they say "clean their teeth" instead of "brush their teeth". Then, Galbraith/Rowling used a description of "paunchy man with a face the color of corned beef", and I thought that this was a really strange way to describe a character.

I'd also like to mention that they updated the cover of the book to tie in with the television series on Cinemax. Where I don't mind the revised cover, I really like the original cover the best. However, I will give the television series, 'Strike', a try once I've read all the books in the series.

All in all, I enjoyed The Cuckoo's Calling (Comoran Strike, #1) by Robert Galbraith and gave it three out five stars. If you enjoyed this book, I recommend Kiss The Girls and Make Them Cry by Mary Higgins Clark. 


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