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Love and Sand: 11/16/08

Love and Sand by Howard M. Layton is the second in a planned trilogy of memoirs. The first one, The Thirteen Club was published in 2001. I have read The Thirteen Club but after having so enjoyed Love and Sand, I want to read the first one.

Love and Sand covers Layton's RAF career in World War Two. He spent most of the war in the deserts of North Africa.

Layton's memoir isn't laden down with the big facts of the war: battles and dates. It's a more personal and quirky. Layton writes with a light touch, managing to bring humanity and humor to the war.

His descriptions of various missions are riveting. The book opens with an emergency landing, pushing a plane's engine well beyond operating specs to limp back across the water to the airstrip. Later there is an equally nail biting chapter involving flying blind in the desert looking for a refueling station that has gone silent.

The book isn't just about flying. It's also about the many different people Layton worked with and the places he lived and worked.

I really liked Love and Sand. It is clearly among my favorite books that I've read this year.

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