Throughout this trip, I have been trying to read books set in the country that we are traveling. However, when we returned back to Thailand (for the sailing course), I had to break yet another rule as I could not find any decent fiction or non-fiction on Thailand. Most of the books I found on Thailand were related to the sex trade, and this was not something I was interested in reading. We have another week in Thailand so if anyone has a recommended read on Thailand, I would definitely be interested.
That said, I downloaded If I Die In A Combat Zone: Box Me Up and Ship Me Home by Tim O’Brien about the Vietnam War. Tim has written many books on his experience in Vietnam. Chris and I have read a number. This one was a painful and poignant read about Alpha Company’s tour during the Vietnam War outlining in excruciating detail what these brave, young men experienced. The author actually wrote the initial pages during his tour in Vietnam while sitting in foxholes and hence, why the book is so vivid in its description of the thoughts and experiences of these soldiers.
It was a war most did not want to fight questioning why they were soldiers and why the US was even engaged in the war. These questions are not new with respect to the Vietnam War, but what makes this book interesting (in a painful way especially for those of us that were born during the Vietnam War) is how realistically the book depicts the hearts and minds of the soldiers. A recent article in the NY Times summed up the soldiers in the Vietnam War well. These brave men where another “greatest generation” like the WW II veterans; however, they were unfortunately engaged in a unnecessary war and a mistake made by the US government. Here is a link to the NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/opinion/at-the-bloody-dawn-of-the-vietnam-war.html?_r=0