Book News: February 2021

And If I Perish: Frontline U.S. Army Nurses in World War II

by Evelyn M. Monahan and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee

What a staggering and moving account! The authors spent hundreds of hours conducting research and twelve years obtaining eyewitness accounts and interviews in preparation for writing this long-overdue tribute to the sacrifices made by our unsung heroines: the U.S. Army Nurses who served during World War II in North Africa and Europe.
In addition to working 12- to 14-hour days in makeshift tents, these nurses did so in the midst of battle with the ever-present threat and realities of bomb explosions. Although working with a severe shortage of medical supplies, they used their skill and ingenuity to heal wounded soldiers. In addition to providing medical care to our soldiers, they attended to German POWs and concentration camp survivors.
Most people are unaware that 60,000 nurses were located in combat zones. Many died and others were held in concentration camps. They didn’t complain about their own situations, they just proceeded with saving lives. They sought no special recognition when the war ended and they returned home. After the war, the Veteran’s Administration hospitals were totally unprepared for women patients and only a few of the veteran organizations allowed women members. 1,600 nurses were awarded the Purple Heart, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and other medals awarded for bravery under fire, heroic service, meritorious achievement, and meritorious service in combat.

Full Moon Over Noah’s Ark: An Odyssey to Mount Ararat and Beyond

by Rick Antonson

As a young boy, Antonson was entranced by the French explorer Fernand Navarra’s memoir, The Forbidden Mountain, where Navarra describes his 1953 trek to the 16,854-foot summit of Mount Ararat in Turkey in search of the legendary Noah’s Ark. Antonson, a well-regarded travel writer and adventurer, finally achieved his own dream of reaching the mountain’s summit and exploring the myths and facts about Noah’s Ark, allegedly located there.

An arresting memoir of his journey in Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, Antonson recounts his mountain trek, the historical conflicts between Turkey and the Kurdish and Armenian people, captivating history and sagas regarding the region, and portraits of people he met, some of whom became lifelong friends. He exudes a vibrant, authentic, and independent spirit! I’ve always admired adventurers – those who reach for the most exhilarating paths, exploring unknown territories.  

Head Wounds: A Kevin Kerney Novel

by Michael McGarrity

An engrossing novel to read during quarantine, this is the 14th and most recent crime novel in the “Kevin Kerney” series. In it, Santa Fe Police Chief Kerney is retired and plays a minor role in this story, while his son, Detective Clayton Istee, is the primary protagonist. Det. Istee investigates a murder in Las Cruces and discovers that legendary Mexican cartel assassin, El Jefe, is involved.

I love these mysteries because not only are they engaging and enlightening, they offer insights into New Mexico’s regions, towns, and diverse cultures. When I relocated to New Mexico, I was thrilled to discover an author who incorporated so much local knowledge into his novels.

Dear Readers, if you are unfamiliar with McGarrity’s books, consider them “must reads.” As he is a former Santa Fe sheriff and psychotherapist, these books will enhance your understanding and appreciation of New Mexico, as well as the human psyche! He also has an informative website for more information: