Spys on Spys

BrockaBooks, History, PodcastsLeave a Comment

Lo and behold I actually documented my reads for one year straight! I genuinely can’t believe it. But using the month as the title of each post is no way to trigger my memory. Going forward I will use the title(s) of the books I read or shows I streamed…some variation of sorts.

Two non-fiction books, one Asian family fiction, and two engaging television shows streamed:

I was drawn to Pachinko because the author wrote one of my all-time favorite books, Free Food for Millionaires. I still remember it fondly even though it’s been eleven years since I read it. It has a forever place on my bookshelf.

Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan’s finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee’s complex and passionate characters–strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis–survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.

It did not disappoint and actually seemed simple initially. I saw this development as pieces of grass and how together there is a whole plot of land. Great writing keeps the reader interested with the little, seemingly disparate pieces.

Bill O’Reilly may be controversial to some, but not me. I’m a great fan of history books with otherwise unknown details. I’ve only read a few of his Killing series, and the newest is worth the cost of admission Killing the SS, The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History

As the true horrors of the Third Reich began to be exposed immediately after World War II, the Nazi war criminals who committed genocide went on the run. A few were swiftly caught, including the notorious SS leader, Heinrich Himmler. Others, however, evaded capture through a sophisticated Nazi organization designed to hide them. Among those war criminals were Josef Mengele, the “Angel of Death” who performed hideous medical experiments at Auschwitz; Martin Bormann, Hitler’s brutal personal secretary; Klaus Barbie, the cruel “Butcher of Lyon”; and perhaps the most awful Nazi of all: Adolf Eichmann.

Killing the SS is the epic saga of the espionage and daring waged by self-styled “Nazi hunters.” This determined and disparate group included a French husband and wife team, an American lawyer who served in the army on D-Day, a German prosecutor who had signed an oath to the Nazi Party, Israeli Mossad agents, and a death camp survivor. Over decades, these men and women scoured the world, tracking down the SS fugitives and bringing them to justice, which often meant death.

I came across the Dan Bongino podcast fairly late in the game. After episode 600… He has been following all of the breadcrumbs lain in trying to set up Donald Trump in a collusion plot. When you get the entire umbrella scope, it’s almost comical. This book is the minutiae; how it all started; who all the players are. Over 500, 5 star reviews on Amazon. book

Former Secret Service agent and NYPD police officer Dan Bongino joins forces with journalist D.C. McAllister to clear away fake news and show you how Trump’s political opponents, both foreign and domestic, tried to sabotage his campaign and delegitimize his presidency. By following the names and connections of significant actors, the authors reveal:

  • Why the Obama administration sent a spy connected to the Deep State into the Trump campaign
  • How Russians were connected to the opposition research firm hired by the Clinton campaign to find dirt on Trump
  • How the FBI failed to examine DNC computers after they were hacked, relying instead on the findings of a private company connected to the DNC and the Obama administraton
  • Why British intelligence played a role in building the collusion narrative
  • What role Ukrainians played in legitimizing the perception that Trump was conspiring with the Russians
  • How foreign players in the two events that kickstarted the Trump-Russia collusion investigation were connected to the Clinton Foundation, and
  • What motivated the major actors who sought to frame the Trump campaign and secure a win for Hillary Clinton

Now for the shows:

While waiting on my month of Hulu streaming to expire, I happened upon a show called Perception. I loved it, really really.

Dr. Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack) is a brilliant, eccentric neuroscience professor with a deep knowledge of human behavior and of the way the brain processes information. He’s also a paranoid schizophrenic who struggles with hallucinations. But Daniel considers his condition a gift, the way the hallucinations sometimes allow him to see patterns and make connections that his mind has otherwise not yet formed. With that gift, Daniel helps his former student, FBI agent Kate Moretti, as a consultant on certain cases. He’s happiest when given an intricate puzzle to solve or a message to decode, and for that Kate is more than willing to look past his disease. Helping keep Daniel on task is his teaching assistant and roommate, Max Lewicki, who provides for Daniel’s domestic demands, and Natalie Vincent, Daniel’s best friend, one-time romantic partner and definite intellectual equal.

Each episode is bookended by a snippet of a class lecture. These lectures serve as both the foreshadowing and the wrapping up of cases solved within the episodes. I thought the show was so well-written. I’m sure it would fall under the ‘cheesy’ category to some too, but I don’t care!

When it ended, the second show I’m now in the throws of is Elementary

This take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic character has disgraced Sherlock Holmes fleeing London for present-day Manhattan after a stint in rehab. He arrives to find that his father has assigned a sober companion to live with him – Dr Joan Watson, a former surgeon whose medical licence was revoked three years earlier after she lost a patient. She now seeks penance by helping addicts stay clean. However, Holmes has his own plan for keeping on the straight and narrow, throwing himself into his work as a police consultant in New York City. The two find that they make a good team and are soon cracking some of the NYPD’s most-difficult cases.

I love it! Been trying to watch at least one episode every eve.

Reading (in the middle of) The Witch Elm by Tana French right now, so I’ll give it its due in November’s cataloging. Till then…

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