Before now poetry has taken notice
Of wars, and what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?
from "Build Soil"
Robert Frost

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Winter Reading

I had one heck of a hectic semester of school this term. By the end of November, I was devoting a ton of time to keeping ahead in my classes- more than I have since I've been back to school after Iraq. I did well, though, and I only have one more tough semester ahead before I graduate. This term will be fairly easy- some light math, physics, and a little American history to keep my mind active (and fufill those wonderful core requirements).

I've been blogging somewhat regularly about what I've been cooking. I know that's not why a lot of you come to this blog, but if you find that sort of thing interesting, mosey on over to The most recent post is about kufta kebab, the roasted ground meat skewers that I grew to love in Iraq.

It's possible that I'll deploy again before my term in the Army is up- if that happens, I'll move this blog completely over to Wordpress. I maintain archives there, but continue to update here.

I've gotten to read a fair bit over winter break, which has been relaxing and wonderful. I finally finished off Ali Eteraz's Children of Dust. Frankly, it was hard for me to read some parts. Within the first 50 pages of the book, he'd been beaten at a madrassa, lost his baby brother (and had a relative accused of witchcraft for the same), and the neighbor's son had been caught (ahem) with a goat. Read it. It's a tender, dark and dryly funny account.

I also go to read through two military histories: If Not Now, When?, an autobiography written by COngressional Medal of Honor winner COL Jack Jacobs (Ret.), and The Bomber Boys, a history of B-17 bomber pilots in WWII. My grandfather was a co-pilot in the Army Air Corps (he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force). I still remember how proud he was of me for joining the Army. He died while I was in training to go to Iraq, and I regret now not asking to hear more about his experiences. Both books were excellent. I'll probably pass them along to my younger brother, who has recently become interested in military histories.

You know... the IED fight in Iraq and Afghanistan will make an interesting history someday.


  1. Anonymous16/1/10 17:28

    Seems as if it's been going on long enough to be interesting already. Horrifyingly interesting...

  2. ColoComment16/1/10 18:37

    I highly recommend the book that I am currently reading: The Good Soldiers by David Finkel, and so far it's IEDs from start to close. Finkel accompanied & writes about a battalion called the 2-16, which for us layfolk is explained as the Second Battalion, Sixteenth Infantry Regiment of the Fourth Infantry Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division (what a mouthful--no wonder they just call it the "2-16"). Lt. Col. Kauzlarich commands. The book tells their story during the year from April 2007 to April 2008. They're in eastern Bagdhad at an FOB called Rustamiyah (and in Kamaliyah, Fedaliyah, Mashtal and Al-Amin.) It's not pretty.

    I give it five stars, so far.

  3. ColoComment16/1/10 18:57

    ...oops. s/b Baghdad.

  4. Thanks for the update and the link to the new blog. Very cool.