The links on this blog are paid advertisements. Learn more here.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Operation Mincemeat

Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre relates a facet of World War II that is simultaneously one of the more morbid and lighthearted stories I've read about that horrible time.  The full title of the book is Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory.  It relates a bizarre method the British used to convince Germany that they weren't planning to invade Sicily, which seems to have been their only reasonable target.  They planted a dead body with papers that appeared to be private correspondence between Allied generals that indicated where the next major offensive would take place.  While it certainly drags in places, I enjoyed the book overall.


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Sun Does Shine

I used to be very pro death penalty.  Even today, I don't have a philosophical problem with putting someone to death based on their commission of certain crimes if we can be sure they committed those crimes and the penalty can be carried out humanely.  I'm going to put our ability to humanely carry out a death sentence to one side, though if you haven't watched the John Oliver segment on it, you should.  It's horrifying.

Image result for the sun does shine

The Sun Does Shine

I used to be very pro death penalty.  Even today, I don't have a philosophical problem with putting someone to death based on their commission of certain crimes if we can be sure they committed those crimes and the penalty can be carried out humanely.  I'm going to put our ability to humanely carry out a death sentence to one side, though if you haven't watched the John Oliver segment on it, you should.  It's horrifying.

Image result for the sun does shine

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

4 years!

Today marks my completion of four years of doing at least one half hour of reading per day. In the past year, I have read 33 more books comprising 14,786 pages. This brings my total for the four years to 129 books totaling 65,187 pages.

My year four books were:

Foundation and Empire - Isaac Asimov (282 pages)
The Emporer of all Maladies - Siddhartha Mukherjee (609 pages)
All the King’s Men - Robert Penn Warren (464 pages)
Second Foundation - Isaac Asimov (279 pages)
Seal Team Six - Howard Wasdin (416 pages)
The World According to Garp - John Irving (624 pages)
Foundation's Edge - Isaac Asimov (480 pages)
Algorithms to Live By - Christian Griffiths (368 pages)
Crime & Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky (551 pages)
Foundation and Earth - Isaac Asimov (528 pages)
Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris (288 pages)
The Golden Bowl - Henry James (789 pages)
Prelude to Foundation - Isaac Asimov (512 pages)
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot (384 pages)
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury (159 pages)
Forward the Foundation - Isaac Asimov (464 pages)
The Stranger in the Woods - Michael Finkel (224 pages)
The Adventures of Augie March - Saul Bellow (608 pages)
Southern Reach Trilogy - Jeff VanderMeer (901 pages)
Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson (656 pages)
Go Tell it on the Mountain - James Baldwin (272 pages)
The Fifth Season - J.K. Jemisin (512 pages)
Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl (200 pages)
Moby Dick - Herman Melville (592 pages)
The Obelisk Gate - J.K. Jemisin (433 pages)
The Righteous Mind - Jonathan Haidt (528 pages)
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (80 pages)
The Stone Sky - J.K. Jemisin (464 pages)
I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai (327 pages)
A House for Mr. Biswas - V. S. Naipaul (576 pages)
Fleet of Worlds - Larry Niven (304 pages)
Born in Blood and Fire: A Concise History of Latin America - John Charles Chasteen (400 pages)
Light in August - William Faulkner (512 pages)

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Born in Blood & Fire: A Concise History of Latin America

Most of the historical non-fiction that I've read so far has been focused on the United States or one of the world wars.  It was something of a departure to read Born in Blood & Fire: A Concise History of Latin America by John Chasteen.  This book covers Latin America from the first European encounters in the late 15th century up to the present.  It's actually a textbook, but I found it remarkably readable.  Obviously a 400 page book covering over 500 years and 20 countries can only have go into so much detail.  Even so, I think it provided me with an excellent look into the evolution of Latin America and how it came to be what it is today.

Image result for born in blood and fire