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My Book Reading

Lou Reed: A Life by Anthony DeCurtis

   (in progress)

Double Agent Celery: MI5's Crooked Hero by Carolinda Witt (pen-and-sword books) completed 12-4

The Take by Christopher Reich (Mulholland Books)

Tom Clancy Power & Empire by Marc Cameron

Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell

Munich by Robert Harris

Dead on Arrival by Matt Richtel

Direct Fire by A.J. Tata (completed 12-5)

The Night Trade - Barry Eisler (12-10, review soon)

The Woman in the Window - A.J. Finn (12-11, amazing book, review shortly)

The Kremlin's Candidate by Jason Matthews (reading now, fabulous)

Podcast Favorites

Kara Swisher's Recode Decode this week is an interesting conversation with Tina Brown. Using the publication of her new Vanity Fair Diaries as a starting point, they examine Brown's publishing career, notably her wonderful runs with Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Then they dive into the internet age, how it's changing the publishing world, Brown's start-up of The Daily Beast, followed by venting about Facebook today. Swisher puts together the best intervierw/talk with Brown I've heard since her book was published. Brown was consistently creating some of the best magazines in the world, at a time when that mattered.

Rich Roll's podcast is one I've discovered recently, and I'm working to catch up. Here are two don't-miss episodes:

Fogel is the star of, the producer of, the man behind Icarus. If you've not watched this documentary, exclusively streaming on Netflix, get to it! Of all the interviews I've read and heard with Fogel, Roll brings out the most interesting perspective. It's a fabulous listening experience.


Lance Armstrong needs no introduction. I don't care whether you admire or dislike him, his wealth of experience and new perspective on many matters is worth listening to. Me, I think he's one of the finest athletes ever.


Bodybuilding Competitors Listed for the Arnold Classic

Cedric McMillan, last year's winner, ageless five-time champion Dexter Jackson and 2014 winner Dennis Wolf, coming out of semi-retirement, are the biggest names in a field of 14 athletes who will take the stage in Columbus, Ohio for the 30th Annual Arnold Classic on March 3, 2018. Jackson won the Arnold Classic in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2013 and 2015 and holds the event’s record with five titles, one more than Flex Wheeler.

It's difficult to believe this is the 30th anniversary of the Arnold. I've attended the majority of them, have seen some great contests, and feel this year's battle will rank with the best. Do not discount the presence of William Bonac and Maxx Charles; these guys can show up and win a pro contest at any time. This year's field is deeper with talent than I've seen in a while.

In the Arnold Classic 212, 2017 runner-up David Henry and 2015 champion Jose Raymond top a field of seven who will compete for the title. Henry and Raymond, third in Columbus a year ago, will be going up against the dangerous Guy Cisternino Jr., fourth here in 2017, and Hadi Choopan, who finished second to McMillan in the open division at the 2017 San Marino Pro in late November.

Here are the lineups:

Arnold Classic

Lionel Beyeke
William Bonac
Maxx Charles
Jonathan DeLaRosa
Dexter Jackson
Steve Kuclo
Cedric McMillan
Lukas Osladil
Paul Poloczek
Shawn Rhoden
Justin Rodriguez
Fred Smalls
Roelly Winklaar
Dennis Wolf
Hidetada Yamagishi

Arnold Classic 212

Hadi Choopan
Gaetano Cisternino Jr.
Charles Dixon
Kamal Elgargni
David Henry
Kyung Won Kang
Jose Raymond
Samir Troudi
Hadi Choopan
Gaetano Cisternino Jr.
Charles Dixon
Kamal Elgargni
David Henry
Kyung Won Kang
Jose Raymond
Samir Troudi


Get Ready... The Arnold Sports Festival is getting closer!


Read The Kremlin's Candidate by Jason Matthews... now!

In the event you haven't read Jason Matthews, get him onto your reading list.

I happily received a review galley a couple of days ago of The Kremlin's Candidate. Without gushing too much, I'm proclaiming this to be a great book. I'm about 75 pages in and the book keeps following me around the house, begging for attention!

Kremlin's Candidate is superb. Read. It. Soon.


@ScribnerBooks, #JasonMatthews, #TheKremlin'sCandidate, @BrianBelfiglio


Elizebeth Smith - Master of Cryptology

Current reading tip: The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone. I'm halfway through and it's fascinating. I'd read an excerpt somewhere, got interested, and while a copy was coming to me, author Fagone showed up interviewed by Vince Houghton on Spycast (Nov. 7 episode). No surprise that Vince was on it! I'll have a full writeup on my blog when I've finished.

In the meantime, learn about the woman partnered with William Friedman, who stayed out of the spotlight but shone brightly in the world of cryptology.

@jfagone, The Woman Who Smashed Codes#thewomanwhosmashedcodes, @deystreet, @INTLspycast, @intelhistorian