TopGun Days by Dave “Bio” Baranek

If I were stranded on a deserted island with a T.V. and DVD player and only allowed to take two movies, one of those movies would be Top Gun…the other would be Dirty Dancing with The Sound of Music hidden in my pants.

I know EVERY single word to the movie.  I used to watch it over and over and over again.  I watched it so many times that I wore out my VHS copy of it.  How is that even possible??  No one wanted to sit with me when I watched it because I would mutter each line under my breath.  I also said I would marry a fighter pilot some day…and then make him wear his dress uniform every single day.  I’ve tried, on several occasions, to get my husband to buying a costume version…

Top Gun

About a month or so ago, I was asked if I wanted to review a book written by Dave “Bio” Baranek…when I found out exactly who he was, I was definitely interested in reviewing his book.  Dave “Bio” Baranek was not only an instructor at TOPGUN, but he was also sent to film footage for the actual Top Gun movie!

I honestly thought I would only be interested in the parts of the book that deal solely with the movie.  But I was wrong.  I literally couldn’t put the book down.  Dave is a master story teller who has the ability to capture his audiences attention and hold it throughout the entire book.  There wasn’t a single spot in that book that I found myself bored or wanting to skip over because it was too technical or just plain uninteresting.

Here is a little information about Dave “Bio” Baranek:

Dave “Bio” Baranek enjoyed a successful and satisfying twenty year career in the United States Navy, starting with assignments to F-14 Tomcat squadrons and the elite Topgun training program, and followed by later assignments to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the US 7th Fleet.  Baranek retired from the Navy in 1999, and now works as a defense contractor in the Washington, DC area.  He lives in Burke, Virginia.

To learn more about Dave Baranek, visit

Top Gun

I would encourage anyone who is interested in Top Gun (either as the movie or the elite training program), fighter planes, or the military to pick this book up.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading about how Dave Baranek climbed the ranks as well as his time on the set of my most favorite movie.  My favorite part of the entire book was when Dave said that he rolled the sleeves up on his flight suit so that he knew it was him in the movie during that particular scene!

Dave Baranek Top Gun








**Disclaimer:  I received a copy of Dave “Bio” Baranek’s book, TopGun Days for the purpose of this review.  All opinions stated in this review are solely mine**


  1. OMG Leah! I loved Top Gun too!!! I can’t tell you how many times I saw it in the theater (and I was a poor college student at the time). I made my hubby buy it on Blu-ray for me when it came out. It is my all time favorite movie!!!!!!!!!! (I like Dirty Dancing but my second favorite would be When Harry Met Sally.)

    I should of jumped at the chance to do this review too…dang! Oh well.

  2. Laura "Mrs Bio" Baranek says:

    That was me with Tom Cruise and my husband, Dave. The better photo was me kissing Tom (on the cheek). Dave was out of the picture. It’s in the book. One of my favorite photos. Oh the Kenny Loggins pix is a good one too.

    • Thanks for commenting!!

      I love the pictures of you with Tom Cruise! I don’t believe that picture was emailed to me for me to use on the review. But it was a great picture! Not many people say they got to kiss Tom Cruise!!

      I truly love your husbands book!

  3. I have this book alongside its prequel “Before Top Gun Days” (when Mr. Baranek started out as a newly graduated college cat going through Student Navigator training in Naval Air Station Pensacola, followed by his initial training as a back-seater in the F-14). Awesome reads, to say the least!

    Oh, and if I were to be stuck in an island with a TV and a DVD/Blu-Ray player, I would have “Top Gun” and “Lawrence of Arabia” out with “When Harry Met Sally” hidden in my cargo pants.


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