Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ex Libris Tuttle

Off to Malaysia Saturday. Here's some ideas for stuff to read while I'm gone:
  • The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers - The Iraq War presented in grimy, poetic clarity; the geopolitics (and peculiarly American politics) are the unacknowledged raison for the day-to-day of a pair of foot-soldiers trying to survive senseless combat missions together. The lyrical quality of the narration exposes the ugly betrayal of the truth even as it appears to hide it. What, after all, did the narrator do to deserve his time in the stockade?
  • Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the China Production Game by Paul Midler - Fascinating expose of the truth behind China's rise to manufacturing (or manufactured) might. The author's account of his long experience as a go-between helping US firms find factories in the Chinese hinterland reveals the cynical tricks, ploys and outright lies Chinese firms use to attract overseas customers. Quality fade, secret substitution and false partners are jusrt some of the methods used by Chinese companies which ultimately lead to the poisoned baby milk, contaminated pet food and dangerous toys, that inhabit today's headlines.
  • Out of Time by David LaVigne - A professor of archaeology finds a time travel device in Mikola Tesla's desk-carefully, academically, he travels around in historical time, until he realizes a more cynical time traveler has found a similar device: a Nazi officer who he believes is altering history so the Third Reich can rule the world of the twentieth century. So begins a race though space and time, stretching from ancient Rome to the American Revolution. It took time to warm up to this story, but it became quite a tense and enjoyable read by the end!
  • Relics by RD Shaw - You won't realize this book's premise is absurdly impossible until halfway through, by which time you'll be hooked on the lead characters, and the not-quite impossible premises of the secret societies to which they belong or interact with--starting with the Knights Templar. Yeah, them. Still it's quite a good read, with reader-as-detective moments, unexpected plot twists, and a long, action-packed race to the climax.
  • The Lost Van Gogh by Al and Jean Zerries - Clay Ryder, manufacturing scion and NYPD major case detective, was at first happy to get the stolen art beat, after his wife's death--until he realized that it only lowered his esteem in the squad room. However, when he is able to link a series of delivery van hold-ups to the recovery of Nazi-era art pilfering and the recovery of a long-lost van Gogh ... well, the intricacies are almost impossible for even his trusted mentor to follow.
  • The Expats by Chris Pavone - Katherine, Kat, Kate--no matter what you call her, she is an ex-CIA clandestine officer, married to milquetoast banking IT guy Dexter, who gives up her analyst job when he decides to move their young family to Luxembourg, the lower-profile version of secret-banking-hub Switzerland. They befriend another ex-pat couple, Bill and Claire, but Kate comes to realize she is not the only one keeping secrets--for example, a fifty million Euro hidden bank account. At times a bit samey, with Kate obsessing over how to come clean about her past to her husband, this book still delivers some great twists and turns.


Lynn said...

Damn, you're a good writer.

Ralf said...