What We Are Reading Today: Bettyville

Updated 24 July 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Bettyville

Author: George Hodgman

Bettyville is a touching memoir about the relationship between a mother and son.
It is a memoir written with love by a man who returns home to care for his aging mother.
Author George Hodgman captures life as it was in small-town Missouri, where he grew up.
Hodgman “is a good writer, knows how to use repetition to good effect, knows how to tease the reader and then pull away, later returning to tease again,” said a review in goodreads.com.
“The memoir would especially appeal to those with family members with dementia as well as those who want to understand how it feels to want not to hurt or disappoint the ones you love,” it added.
“There are chapters on the colorful residents; there are sections on George’s publishing career; there are some awkward and frustrating stories from his childhood; and there are memories of his parents and grandmother,” said the review.
Hodgman died on Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 60.
“The book is instantly engaging, as Hodgman has a wry sense of humor, one he uses to keep others at a distance,” Eloise Kinney wrote in a review in Booklist.
“Yet the book is also devastatingly touching.”


What We Are Reading Today: Race of Aces by John R. Bruning

Updated 16 January 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Race of Aces by John R. Bruning

This is the astonishing untold story of the Second World War airmen who risked it all in the deadly race to become the greatest American fighter pilot, according to critics.

John R. Bruning’s story focuses on Richard Bong, Tommy McGuire, Neel Kearby, Charles MacDonald, and Gerald Johnson, who through training, became the deadliest aces during the Pacific War. 

Race of Aces “is an educational, powerful, and intense read, with a behind-the-scenes look at the Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations in the Second World War,” said a review in goodreads.com.

It added: “In the early years of the war, air forces from the US, Australia, and Japan engaged in an unrelenting struggle for superiority in the skies over New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Allied forces were operating under primitive conditions in a largely unknown and noxious physical environment.”

Bruning “explores the technology and tactics, the multi-dimensional battlefield, and the leadership, living conditions, medical challenges, and morale of the combatants,” said the review.