Cover courtesy of Henry Holt and Company

“I am a gardener and spend most of the good weather in my backyard when my wife and I are not traveling. COVID-19 ended the traveling. With the start of the cold season, I found more time to devote to reading books.

“I just finished reading ‘In Harm’s Way’ by Doug Stanton. Published in 2001, the story is set in July 1945 in the Philippine Sea. It tells about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, a U.S. Navy cruiser torpedoed by the Imperial Japanese submarine, I-58. The ship quickly sank. Out of 1,125 crew and officers, only 300 survived. Most of the rest died from shark attacks or simply gave up and drowned before they could be rescued.

“I was aboard the USS Boston CAG-1/CA-69 also in the Philippine Sea and the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of Vietnam in 1968. We were firing support artillery for our ground troops. I served as a hospital corpsman, so can identify readily with the Indianapolis and her demise.

“The Boston was a heavy cruiser, meaning she had a lot of armament (eight-inch, five-inch and three-inch gun barrels.) We also served with the USS New Jersey, a battleship that had massive 16-inch barrels.

“Now I am reading another WW II Navy story, ‘Miracle at Midway’ (Gordon Prange, Donald M. Goldstein, and Katherine V. Dillon). Set in June 1942, the battle of Midway Island was the turning point in the war.” — RON VINCENT, Sanford

Mainers, what are you reading?

Mainers, please email to tell us about the book on your bedside table right now. In a few sentences, describe the book and be sure to tell us what drew you to it as the pandemic – and its ripple effects – continues. Was it a need to escape, a need to dig deeper? Something else? Send your pick to [email protected], and we may use it as a future Bedside Table.

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