Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Memorial Day Reads

Did you know Memorial Day was started by the former Confederate States after the Civil War? It was a day set aside to decorate the graves of soldiers who had died serving their country. Each state picked their own day to honor the dead, but now it has become a federal holiday, always on the last Monday of May. We at the Bartow Library have compiled a list of books that tell soldiers' stories (under Military Reads), and you might want to check one out for the long weekend. Here are a few selections.

Redeployment by Phil Klay. This recent publication got a lot of buzz last year, and was up for numerous awards. It tells a few different stories of soldiers returning home from the horrors of war, and how they cope with the trials they experienced and how those episodes affect them now. Many are already calling it a classic in the war stories genre.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. Published a few years ago, this satire focuses on the surviving members of Bravo Squad and become celebrated heroes going on a victory media tour to drum up support for the war in Iraq, meeting the Dallas Cowboys during one stop. We follow Billy Lynn as he struggles to cope with the loss of his fellow soldiers and the fame the rest of them got. Is being released as a film featuring Vin Diesel next year.

From Here to Eternity by James Jones. The title is probably more well-known as the name of an Academy Award-winning film starring Frank Sinatra, but the book came first! This book follows the lives of a few soldiers stationed in Hawaii leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor as they navigate their careers and love lives, and is a heralded exploration of military life. Regarded as one of the best books of the 20th century.

Thank a soldier this weekend!

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