Some of My Favorite Books

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Wolves at the Door: The True Story of America's Greatest Female Spy by Judith L. Pearson

I got on a female spy kick when I innocently checked out the BBC series Wish Me Luck about a month ago. I almost took the three sets of DVDs back to the library but stuck one in one day and was instantly hooked.

Wish Me Luck was a fictional account of British women spies who helped the French Resistance during World War II. Much of the information was accurate (the training they went through and the undercover nature of this dangerous job including changing their names, learning the French habits and changing everything about themselves including French dental work, feminine products, cigarettes, and clothes to name just a few). It was fascinating.

Then I watched Charlotte Gray again and another spy movie. Then I read The Wolves at the Door. Virginia Hall was an American who was declined by the U.S. to do secret work in Europe during the war because of her handicap. She'd lost part of her leg below the knee in a shooting accident. She worn a wooden prosthetic she named Cuthbert.

She was a brave, fascinating women who spent four years working undercover in France for Great Britain's SOE and finally for America's OSS. If you love a good read, that's also a true story, you'll love this one!

I did find several typos near the end of this book. Ridiculous! I guess the proofreader was tired. 

Do you have any female spy novels or nonfiction books to recommend?
Book Read: The Wolves at the Door:  The True Story of America's Greatest Female Spy
Author:  Judith L. Pearson
ISBN:  1-59228-762-X

Saturday, June 23, 2012

In One Person by John Irving

Okay, I just finished John Irving's new book, In One Person. And not a minute too soon. I really like John Irving's writing. Usually. But this book, full of descriptions (not explicit, mind you) of a bisexual man's sexual exploits just didn't do it for me, to use a turn of phrase. And I don't care a bit for Shakespeare (go ahead, shoot me), which is quoted throughout the first part of the book. I don't like reading most classics (again, shoot me), which are referenced (namely Madame Bovary). So, in part, this just wasn't the book for me as far as being able to relate to it goes.

And I am not a prude. I don't mind reading about things of a sexual nature, but this one was more of a "I don't care" than anything else, I guess. I don't know what it was really, but I never felt invested in the story. Can't put my finger on it, to use another turn of phrase.

Toward the end, I felt like it was a textbook, in fact, trying to teach me, the reader, about the AIDS epidemic and transgender phraseology and what not instead of answering some questions (like why didn't Billy Abbott seek out Miss Frost and Kittredge as an adult)?

Oh well. I still enjoyed In One Person. I chuckled aloud more than once (several times each time I read the book, in fact). But this was not my favorite John Irving book.  And I love many of his books, especially The Cider House Rules.

Have you read In One Person? I'd love to hear what you thought of it.

Book Read: In One Person
Author:  John Irving
ISBN: 978-1-4516-6412-6

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Slam by Nick Hornby

I just finished reading Slam by Nick Hornby. Wow, what a fun book! I picked this up at a used book sale a few years ago. It's a young adult novel, but I really
enjoyed. And I think it would be an excellent book for all teenagers to read.

Tony Hawk Half Pipe Action in Blue

Tony Hawk Half... Buy This at

Sam is a 16-year-old boy who loves skating (skateboarding) and has a poster of Tony Hawk on his bedroom wall. That might not seem so unusual, but Sam talks to Tony Hawk. And Tony answers him. Read it. You'll see what I mean.

I have no idea if this is the poster referred to in the book but Sam has read Tony's book so many times the words are in Sam's head and Tony "speaks" to him.

It is so good. I've loved the other Nick Hornby books I've read (almost all of them) and this was just a different take. The human condition, younger.

Are you a skater? A Nick Hornby fan? If so, which of his books is your favorite?

Book Read: Slam
Author:  Nick Hornby
ISBN: 978-0-399-25048-4

Sunday, June 3, 2012

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Well, it only took me 2-1/2 week to finish this book, less time than I thought. But those last few hundred pages fly by when you want to know what's going to happen.

If you haven't read 11/22/63, do! This was one of the most original ideas and executed novels I've read in a long time. Surprising doesn't describe it. Original. Fascinating. Thought provoking. And a few dozen more adjectives might start to do it justice.

I was especially impressed with the detail from 1958 to 1963. I was around for most of that time but very young, so I don't know firsthand how accurate ol' Steve was, but I have a feeling, pretty. 

Have you read this book? Are you going to?

Book Read: 11/22/63
Author:  Stephen King
ISBN: 978-1-4516-2728-2


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