In Countdown to Pearl Harbor Steve Twomey revisits the reasons why the Americans were so caught off-guard by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Still to this day it astounds me at the incompetence and arrogance of America’s leaders as Japan prepared for war against the United States. Twomey does a masterful job of bringing this incompetence and arrogance into blindingly bright light. He uses countless examples of the lackadaisical attitude of officers at Pearl Harbor that led to the...
Evans opens a door into the film industry (at least the one back in the 1940s) with her portrayals of actors and those behind the scenes. Her descriptions are full of detail not only of movie making, but also of life in a war-torn city. The plot is light. It has a few twists that keeps the reader interested. A good, quick read.
The Sun King Conspiracy by Yves Jego and Denis Lepee is an intriguing look at the time of Louis XIV of France. Here is a brief summary of the book: Cardinal Mazarin, the Chief Minister who has governed throughout King Louis’ early years, lies dying. As a fierce power struggle develops to succeed him, a religious brotherhood, guardian of a centuries-old secret, also sees its chance to influence events. Gabriel de Pontbriand, an aspiring actor employed as secretary to Moliere, becomes...
If you get anything from this book as a Western reader, it is learning about the richness and diversity of Chinese writing. Not only is the poetry very strong, but the other genres are just as strong - including fiction, history, and science.
Although Williams' novels have a bit more sex than I like (any mention of it is a bit more than my preference not because of prudishness, but I like action more than sexual relationships), she spins an awesome story. The story is believable even if it has a dash of the supernatural. It is not boring or predictable.
I found it interesting but sort of meandering; a giant thought experiment with some intriguing characters and a good hook but that never quite gets beyond a desultory pace or energy. Despite the "bombshell" at the end, not sure I have the energy to tackle the second book.
I am fascinated by the art and lives of the Wyeth clan, so I figured A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline would be an interesting read. And it was but perhaps not in the way I expected. Obviously not a thriller but an well done historical novel with an enigmatic and fascinating subject as a touch point
A quirky and odd tale of two women and two mysteries in Night Vale - a small town where the weird is normal - based on the podcast that chronicles the strange events that occur in the town. Expect the unexpected and hang on for the weirdest ride of a tale.
A masterpiece on one of America's most powerful political families in the first half of the Twentieth Century, the Roosevelts. The Wars of the Roosevelts is a deep look at Presidents Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, their spouses, siblings, and children which shows the cut-throat nature of the family as each person (Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor) rose in political power.