All in War

Patrick O'Brian's MASTER AND COMMANDER

What comes across in the pages of this novel is real, palpable, and authentic sounding. Reading about the friendship of Jack Aubrey and physician Maturin, with side references to music, science, medicine, Ireland, the Catalan language, courts martial, outdoor dinner parties disrupted by drunken sailors, and old Barcelona, is as vivid as history can get.

Kerri Sakomoto’s ONE HUNDRED MILLION HEARTS

This novel tells the story of a young Canadian woman who, following the death of her Japanese father, returns to Japan to discover the secrets of their heritage. She finds her father had trained as a Kamikaze pilot during World War II but, to his shame, did not die a glorious death. After the war he returned to Canada where he raised his crippled daughter, never revealing his past.

George Orwell's HOMAGE TO CATALONIA

Reading this book is essential to understanding Orwell since his experiences in the Spanish Civil War had such a profound effect on him. He saw with his own eyes how politicians in remote locations can cause death and destruction in the name of political ideals, ideals which Orwell points out are sometimes little more than an unapologetic quest for power in the name of high ideals.