SATURDAY SURPRISE READING WITH THE AUTHORS: The Things They Carried reviewed by Author Proofreader Jo Elizabeth Pinto

SATURDAY SURPRISE READING WITH THE AUTHORS: The Things They Carried reviewed by Author Proofreader Jo Elizabeth Pinto

After putting out a call for submissions not long ago, in which I suggested people might wish to review books they were reading for work, Author Proofreader Jo Elizabeth Pinto sent me the following review.

I’d just like to say the way in which Jo reviews this book not only speaks to what she thinks and feels where the content of the book is concerned, but it also speaks about the narration, and what she felt about how it affected her reading experience.

This, readers is the mark of someone who understands what a book review is all about, and it gives me pleasure to share this here with all of you.

If you enjoy this please do let Jo know, and please don’t stop reading until you’ve gone on from her review and found the information about her own book, The Bright Side of Darkness.

I’ll be reviewing that book here later this weekend and I’d just like to advise if you’ve not read it yet, you’re missing out.


Book Review by: Jo E. Pinto

The Things They Carried

by Tim O’Brien


Available on Audible:


Kindle edition:




“The Things They Carried” by Vietnam veteran Tim O’brien, which was rightfully  nominated for a Pulitzer in its day, was haunting–okay, sometimes downright  disturbing–to listen to. But I expected nothing less from a series of short  stories about the Vietnam War. I found the stories authentic–often sad, brutal,  raw, and memorable.


The narrator, Bryan Cranston, played Walter White on TV’s “Breaking Bad.” He did an amazing job reading this book–not too dramatic,  not too grim, but not trying to make a topic cheerful that was never meant to have a drop of cheer in its telling.


I’m not surprised this book has been  used as a teaching tool in high school and college classrooms across the country for nearly the last three decades. Its examples of dialogue, character  development, and vivid description are not only useful for illustrating points relevant to history and creative writing; they are also important for pondering ideas related to life. War veterans or not, we all carry what we need to cope with our journey through the world. Some of what we haul is battle gear; most of it is baggage. It’s a wonder any of us manage to set one foot in front of the other, day in and day out, with all the emotional weight we drag along. +Grudges, fears, superstitions, traditions that live on for their own sake–many emotional items are quite heavy in the end.


About J. E. Pinto

J. E. Pinto is a magnet for underdogs! Early in her married life, her home became a hangout for troubled neighborhood kids. This experience lit the flame

for her first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness.


Pinto’s Spanish-American roots grow deep in the Rocky Mountains, dating back six generations. J. E. Pinto lives with her family in Colorado where she works

as a writer and also proofreads textbooks and audio books. One of her favorite pastimes is taking a nature walk with her service dog.


The Bright Side of Darkness won a first place Indie Book Award for “First Novel over Eighty Thousand Words,” as well as First Place for “Inspirational

Fiction.” The novel also won several awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association: First Place for “Inspirational Fiction,” Second Place

for “Audio Book,” and First Place for “Literary and Contemporary Fiction.”




What is a family? Rick Myers is a despondent seventeen-year-old who just lost his parents in a car wreck. His family is now the four teenage buddies he’s

grown up with in a run-down apartment building. Fast with their fists, flip with their mouths, and loyal to a fault, “the crew” is all he has.

At least he thinks so until he meets Daisy, an intelligent, independent, self-assured blind girl. Her guts in a world where she’s often painfully vulnerable

intrigue Rick, and her hopeful outlook inspires him to begin believing in himself.

But when the dark side of Daisy’s past catches up with her, tragedy scatters the crew and severely tests Rick’s resolve to build his promising future.

Fortunately, his life is changed by a couple with a pay-it-forward attitude, forged out of their personal struggle with grief and loss. Their support makes

all the difference to Rick and eventually to the ones he holds most dear as they face their own challenges.

“The Bright Side of Darkness” is a story of redemption and the ultimate victory that comes from the determination of the human spirit.


For more details and to buy the book please visit:



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