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My Book Reading




Twisted Prey - John Sandford

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold - John LeCarre

UNSUB - Meg Gardiner

A Spy Named Orphan by Roland Philipps

How It Happened by Michael Koryta

The Word Is Murder - Anthony Horowitz

Star of the North - D.B. John

The Sinners - Ace Atkins

The Outsider - Stephen King

Spymaster - Brad Thor

The Other Woman - Daniel Silva

The Man Between - Charles Cumming 

Operation Mincemeat - Ben Macintyre 

Berlin: Caught in the Mousetrap by Paul Grant 

Berlin Game - Len Deighton (for the Spybrary book club)

Desolation Mountain - William Kent Krueger

Podcast Favorites . (The life and Legacy of Ian Fleming, with author and historian Jeremy Duns, always an excellent and entertaining interview) . (the true story of Oleg Penkovsky, regarded by many as the greatest spy of the Cold War era - with Jeremy Duns, whose book on the topic, Dead Drop, is a classic) (wonderful history of Ian Fleming's involvement at Bletchley Park during WWII, and Anthony Horowitz making a presentation about his new James Bond novel, Forever And A Day. "How I Nearly Started World War III" with Mark Valley, host of the Live Drop Espionage podcast



First Spring Reading on the Deck

Finally, only two weeks after one of the biggest snowstorms in history in April, it's warm and sunny enough to relax on the deck, mid-day, with coffee and Jack the puppy and a book and sunshine. So I did!

 @MegGardiner1, @DuttonBooks, #UNSUB


Book Town: Forty-Five Paradises of the Printed Word by Alex Johnson


I’ve been struggling with how to do justice to my strong feelings about Book Town. I’m in love with the very idea that book towns exist. Until Alex Johnson came along,I dreamed such places existed. Only in my imagination did I dare to believe entire towns based around books existed.

But they do! Scattered around the globe are small, enterprising towns full of ambitious, often unusual, bookshops. Some of these are in place to facilitate trade in books; others have replaced extinct manufacturing enterprises and are helping with a rebirth of the area. Some of these book towns virtually have no economic base other than bookstores.

Book Towns is visually beautiful. Photographs of shops, people, backdrops, and books are liberally scattered through it’s pages. Each chapter is a descriptive essay, triggering travel and book hunting dreams. Johnson has an imaginative flair, with a descriptive and fanciful style. 

I’ve found myself dreaming of traveling to some of the Book Towns in the United States. It turns out St. Paul / Minneapolis, Minnesota, has a Book Town district. I can get there in five hours of driving; that’s going to be my first visit inspired by the book. I'll report in depth. Many of the other regions highlighted in the pages are in beautiful, scenic areas. This isn’t an accident; a healthy tourist trade is essential to a flourishing Book Town.

As a travel guide, Book Towns is a winner. This isn’t a thin photo collection; Johnson’s text forms the basis for the book. He conveys his passion clearly, in an inspiring and fun style. Book Towns is superb stimulus for a book lover’s dream list. Leave a copy somewhere where friends can discover it.

I love the book, I love the topic, and I admire the execution.

@Frances_Lincoln, @shedworking, #booktown



To Die But Once by Jacqueline Winspear

To Die But Once by Jacqueline Winspear is the 14th appearance by Maisie Dobbs, 1930s-40s English private detective. This time, her situation and adventures take place against the backdrop of Dunkirk and the dire straits of England in the spring of 1940.

I’ve not read this one yet, a full review will appear shortly. The book is in my bedside table stack. I’m familiar with Winspear’s novels, own a bunch of them, and today want to show off the fabulous artwork featured on the cover. Doesn’t that alone make you itch to buy and read To Die But Once?

@harperbooks, #jacquelinewinspear, #todiebutonce




RIP Philip Kerr, one of the great noir mystery authors of recent times. Kerr is a longtime favorite of mine, a prose stylist. Damn it. So young and so vital.

Kerr died of cancer at the age of 62. Greeks Bearing Gifts, his 13th novel featuring wise-ass German detective Bernie Gunther, was just published. Prior to his death Kerr completed the manuscript for Metropolis, another Bernie Gunther crime novel, and obviously the final book of his illustrious career.

@putnambooks #philipkerr