One of the things that I want to do before I die is write a book.

The thing about books is that they’re really long.  And anything that is longer than a blog post is typically too long for me (that’s what she said, of course).


Another problem is that books typically require a plot, and I’m really bad at developing a plot.  Or at least a good one.

But this post isn’t really about me.  It’s about my friend.

I went to college with Jena.  We had a few English classes together, but reconnected a little over a year ago, when I saw her at a bar at the Jersey shore.  Recently, she started a blog, where she crushes* that thing called “writing.”

*”Crushes,” like, in a good way.

She recently bestowed upon me the great honor of being one of the first people to read her unpublished manuscript — her grandfather’s memoirs during his time in the Navy during World War II.

It is a story about character, and not just the character of her grandfather, Steiny, and how it was tested by the war.  Other, unexpected, characters reveal their looming presence throughout the stories.  Characters like the Pacific Ocean.  Characters like the Gear (Steiny’s ship).  And other, painfully distant characters, like home.

After I read it, I told Jena that I really wanted to meet her grandfather.  Timing hasn’t really worked out, though, and I haven’t been granted that privileged yet.

But in a lot of ways, I’ve already met him.

Go buy this book.  It is really good.  Jena did a fantastic job, and I am very proud of her.

And kinda jealous.  My hands are hurting, just from writing this short post.  I’m not sure if I’ll even have enough stamina to sign my name at the end.

Codename: Sob Story: The Tale of a Picket Line Sailor During WWII

-Youngman Brown

0 thoughts on “YMB Recommends: Codename Sob Story

  1. The World War II book sounds interesting.

    I've never written a book, although I have succeeded with a couple of work-related chapters in someone else's book. I'm currently trying to write one of my own, but don't hold your breath!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *