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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Soldiers, Space, and Stories of Life is a collection of essays by Philadelphia freelance writer Chris Gibbons. With one exception, these articles were previously published in the Op-Ed sections of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and other outlets in Houston, Washington, and Orlando from 2004 to 2019. Gibbons’s first article, which supported NASA’s Cassini Mission to Saturn, was published in 1997. The essays are divided into four chapters by topic: Soldiers, The Roman Catholic High School Alumni of World War I, Space, and Stories of Life. Each essay includes illustrations and an afterword with commentary and updates. A preface discusses recent wars, the cultural icons of the time, and the author’s interests in space exploration and science fiction which frame the topics.
In Soldiers, Space, and Stories of Life, Chris Gibbons gives us an informative, insightful, and often inspirational compilation of essays and opinion pieces. Gibbons wrote these from the heart and to the point, whether it was about someone he knew, someone who influenced or touched him, or something about which he had strong convictions. If you’re a fellow baby boomer, you’ll relate to many of the events, settings, and people he describes or discusses, but the variety is broad enough to engage readers of any generation, and his reminiscences are relatable and emotionally moving. Whether a tribute to a fallen hero or the story of a street preacher, from the thrill of space exploration to “the day the music died,” Gibbons has much to say that is well worth reading.