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  1. Books

Journalist Mark Weisenmiller recommends WWII books 'Caine Mutiny,' 'Hiroshima' and more

For Memorial Day, we spoke with Weisenmiller, a freelance journalist based in Hillsborough County. Weisenmiller, 55, recently contributed to the book D-Day, 75th Anniversary: A Millennial's Guide. On Monday you can catch him on WFTS-TV's Tampa Bay's Morning Blend, where he will discuss his stories. Weisenmiller has worked for major international news wire agencies, including Deutsche Presse Agentur, Agence France Presse and the Xinhua News Agency. He is also the author of the biography Chet Huntley: Newscaster From the West.

What's on your nightstand?

William Manchester's One Brief Shining Moment. It is a book about President John F. Kennedy. And I'm also reading Sayonara by James Michener. I saw it on a library shelf. I picked it up after making an impetuous decision. It often happens like that for me and books. I'm also reading a book on baseball — Roger Angell's The Summer Game. He is absolutely one of my favorites.

In honor of Memorial Day, and your recent work, what war books (fiction or nonfiction) do you recommend?

My favorite World War II-based novel is The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk, who recently died. Naval books, whether fiction or nonfiction, always capture my interest, and this old sea-dog of a book is an excellent example of the power of a sweeping narrative. Wouk was a whipping boy for many literary critics, but he got the last laugh as readers the world over bought tens of thousands of copies of his book. My favorite World War II-based nonfiction book is Hiroshima by John Hersey. Decades later, Hersey's book-length reportage about the day that the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on (Hiroshima) remains unsurpassed as an example of graceful writing and reporting. Other favorite books in which war is prominent include War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges, Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, Good-Bye to All That by Robert Graves and The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman.