"Early Danish Pioneers: Southern Arizona Territorial Days"
By Avis Evelyn Knudsen Jorgenson (self-published, $24.95)
As a second-generation Danish-American, Jorgenson has undertaken this compendium of her fellow Danes as a labor of love, and the results are admirable. Hard work has gone into a careful research of military records, U.S. census reports and various secondary sources, including newspaper articles. She also found photographs. Names are listed alphabetically within categories. An overall index would be appreciated by future researchers.
"Duty, Honor, Money: Volume II, Afghanistan"
By J.F. Cronin (iUniverse, $25.95; Kindle, $3.99)
In this dense and detailed novel about the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Cronin (retired) paints a grim picture of mismanagement, miscommunication and corruption. The villains are by no means only Afghans (although there are plenty of them), but include private contractors by the boatload, as well as military personnel. The protagonist is a Marine lieutenant, Xavier Moran, sent to an isolated Afghan outpost to try to cut down on American fatalities. In the end, his conclusions are: "The war is lost. … You can't win by propping up a corrupt government."
"Humping Heavy: A Vietnam Memoir"
By Philip Duncan Hoffmann (CreateSpace, $12.99)
The first year of Hoffmann's two-year stint in the U.S. Army (1967-69) he spent happily teaching radio procedures at Fort Huachuca. You couldn't prove war was hell by him. And then you could when, thoroughly unprepared for its demands, he was sent to fight on the ground in Vietnam. Almost a half century later, after viewing the Vietnam Memorial, he decided to set down his recollections, "snapshots," enhanced by letters and visits to the National Archives. The result is an excellent look, an insider's look, both funny and deeply serious, about what it meant to be a participant in that war.
"The First Responders of Television"
By Richard Yokley (BearManor Media, $32.95)
The subtitle for this tribute to and compendium of 150 television programs is: "Featuring television's first responder personnel, such as firefighters, medics, police, lifeguards and more." Yokley received Firehouse magazine's Heroism and Community Service Award in 1987, so this is a lifelong interest. He makes an effort to find the balance between in-depth information for fans such as himself, and casual stuff for sometime viewers walking down memory lane.
By R.J. Luce (Treble Heart Books, $14.95)
Jacob "Whip" Sawtell and Catherine Bonner, romantically linked wildlife biologists working in Wyoming looking for bats, come across an old mine whose dynamited entrances make it dangerous and a possible place to find exotic artifacts that hint at the presence of Butch Cassidy and/or the Sundance Kid. Is Randall Crossman, a state senator, claiming ownership of the mine, spouting ultraconservative jargon because he believes it, or is he hiding something in the old mine?
"Professor Payne's Intrepid Time Travelers"
By M.M. Kline (A Leap Behind Press, $14.99)
Who hasn't wished he or she could take a quick trip to some time in the past? Spend a day or two with Lewis and Clark? Hang around with Thomas Jefferson? Kline's characters seem to prefer ancient Egypt. The general period roughly is the years between Queen Hatshepsut and Tutankhamun (King Tut) - 1500 and 1300 B.C. The logistics of making this fantasy happen take up a certain amount of space. Kline's characters negotiate time travel using antique family pieces, such as smoking an old pipe. It is fun, and as frequently noted, difficult "to experience the past without changing the future."
"Whose Tail on the Trail at Grand Canyon?"
By Midji Stephenson (Grand Canyon Association, $12.95)
This cheerful children's book suggests you can identify Grand Canyon wildlife even if you only catch a glimpse of a tail.
For information on submitting a book to Southern Arizona Authors and to read past editions, go online to southernarizonaauthors.org