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Here’s what I’m reading right now, along with the ones I’ve just finished.
Cheers and Happy Reading!
Catch and Kill
By Ronan Farrow
In 2017, a routine network television investigation led to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers was a predator, protected by fear, wealth, and a conspiracy of silence. As Farrow drew closer to the truth, shadowy operatives, from high-priced lawyers to elite war-hardened spies, mounted a secret campaign of intimidation, threatening his career, following his every move, and weaponizing an account of abuse in his own family.
This is the untold story of the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability, and silence victims of abuse. And it’s the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth and spark a global movement
The Dark Side
The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals
By Jane Mayer
A dramatic, riveting, and definitive narrative account of how the United States made self-destructive decisions in the pursuit of terrorists around the world—decisions that not only violated the Constitution, but also hampered the pursuit of Al Qaeda.
In spellbinding detail, Jane Mayer relates the impact of these decisions by which key players, namely Vice President Dick Cheney and his powerful, secretive adviser David Addington, exploited September 11 to further a long held agenda to enhance presidential powers to a degree never known in U.S. history, and obliterate Constitutional protections that define the very essence of the American experiment. With a new afterward.
Rise of the Vulcans
The History of Bush’s War Cabinet
By James Mann
When George W. Bush campaigned for the White House, he was such a novice in foreign policy that he couldn’t name the president of Pakistan and momentarily suggested he thought the Taliban was a rock-and-roll band. But he relied upon a group called the Vulcans—an inner circle of advisers with a long, shared experience in government, dating back to the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and first Bush administrations.
After returning to power in 2001, the Vulcans were widely expected to restore U.S. foreign policy to what it had been under George H. W. Bush and previous Republican administrations. Instead, the Vulcans put America on an entirely new and different course, adopting a far-reaching set of ideas that changed the world and America’s role in it.
Rise of the Vulcans is nothing less than a detailed, incisive thirty-five-year history of the top six members of the Vulcans—Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, and Condoleezza Rice—and the era of American dominance they represent. It is the story of the lives, ideas and careers of Bush’s war cabinet—the group of Washington insiders who took charge of America’s response to September 11 and led the nation into its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
City of Dreams
By Don Winslow
The city where dreams are made.
On the losing side of a bloody East Coast crime war, Danny Ryan is now on the run. The Mafia, the cops, the FBI all want him dead or in prison. With his little boy, his elderly father and the tattered remnants of his loyal crew of soldiers, he makes the classic American migration to California to start a new life.
A quiet, peaceful existence.
But the Feds track him down and want Danny to do them a favor that could make him a fortune or kill him.
And when Hollywood starts shooting a film based on his former life, Danny demands a piece of the action and begins to rebuild his criminal empire.
Then he falls in love.
The Unexpected Spy
From the CIA to the FBI, My Secret Life Taking Down Some of the World’s Most Notorious Terrorists
The Unexpected Spy is the riveting story of Walder’s tenure in the CIA and, later, the FBI. In high-security, steel-walled rooms in Virginia, Walder watched al-Qaeda members with drones as President Bush looked over her shoulder and CIA Director George Tenet brought her donuts. She tracked chemical terrorists and searched the world for Weapons of Mass Destruction. She created a chemical terror chart that someone in the White House altered to convey information she did not have or believe, leading to the Iraq invasion. Driven to stop terrorism, Walder debriefed terrorists—men who swore they’d never speak to a woman—until they gave her leads. She followed trails through North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, shutting down multiple chemical attacks.
Then Walder moved to the FBI.
Coming of Age in the CIA
By Amaryllis Fox
Amaryllis Fox’s riveting memoir tells the story of her ten years in the most elite clandestine ops unit of the CIA, hunting the world’s most dangerous terrorists in sixteen countries while marrying and giving birth to a daughter
Amaryllis Fox was in her last year as an undergraduate at Oxford studying theology and international law when her writing mentor Daniel Pearl was captured and beheaded. Galvanized by this brutality, Fox applied to a master’s program in conflict and terrorism at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, where she created an algorithm that predicted, with uncanny certainty, the likelihood of a terrorist cell arising in any village around the world. At twenty-one, she was recruited by the CIA. Her first assignment was reading and analyzing hundreds of classified cables a day from foreign governments and synthesizing them into daily briefs for the president. Her next assignment was at the Iraq desk in the Counterterrorism center. At twenty-two, she was fast-tracked into advanced operations training, sent from Langley to “the Farm,” where she lived for six months in a simulated world learning how to use a Glock, how to get out of flexicuffs while locked in the trunk of a car, how to withstand torture, and the best ways to commit suicide in case of captivity. At the end of this training she was deployed as a spy under non-official cover–the most difficult and coveted job in the field as an art dealer specializing in tribal and indigenous art and sent to infiltrate terrorist networks in remote areas of the Middle East and Asia.
The Quantum Spy
By David Ignatius
In this gripping thriller, U.S. quantum research labs are compromised by a suspected Chinese informant, inciting a mole hunt of history-altering proportions. CIA officer Harris Chang leads the charge, pursuing his target from Singapore to Mexico and beyond. Do the leaks expose real secrets, or are they false trails meant to deceive the Chinese? The answer forces Chang to question everything he thought he knew about loyalty, morality, and the primacy of truth.
A Cora Shields Suspense Thriller—Book 1
By Blake Pierce
Cora Shields, 30, former Navy Seal turned FBI Special Agent, will stop at nothing to catch a killer— but she is stunned, after bending one rule too many, to find herself fired. When a former military friend needs her to help find her missing daughter, Cora must work outside the law, hunting down diabolical killers on her own—even if it means vigilante justice.
Will Cora save the victim in time and give her life a new purpose? Or will she end up descending into a deeper hole than she ever imagined?
City on Fire
By Don Winslow
Two criminal empires together control all of New England.
Until a beautiful woman comes between the Irish and the Italians, launching a war that will see them kill each other, destroy an alliance, and set a city on fire.
Danny Ryan yearns for a more “legit” life and a place in the sun. But as the bloody conflict stacks body on body and brother turns against brother, Danny has to rise above himself. To save the friends he loves like family and the family he has sworn to protect, he becomes a leader, a ruthless strategist, and a master of a treacherous game in which the winners live and the losers die.
From the gritty streets of Providence to the glittering screens of Hollywood to the golden casinos of Las Vegas, two rival crime families ignite a war that will leave only one standing. The winner will forge a dynasty.
Every Man a King
By Walter Mosely
When friend of the family and multi-billionaire Roger Ferris comes to Joe with an assignment, he’s got no choice but to accept, even if the case is a tough one to stomach. White nationalist Alfred Xavier Quiller has been accused of murder and the sale of sensitive information to the Russians. Ferris has reason to believe Quiller’s been set up and he needs King to see if the charges hold.
Army of None
Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War
By Paul Scharre
The era of autonomous weapons has arrived. Today around the globe, at least thirty nations have weapons that can search for and destroy enemy targets all on their own. Paul Scharre, a leading expert in next-generation warfare, describes these and other high tech weapons systems—from Israel’s Harpy drone to the American submarine-hunting robot ship Sea Hunter—and examines the legal and ethical issues surrounding their use.
BE ADVISED: The technology and systems discussed in this book are now more than five years old — a virtual eternity.
The story of Aldrich Ames, an American Spy
The remarkable story of the last American spy of the Cold War: Aldrich “Rick” Ames, the most destructive traitor in the history of the Central Intelligence Agency
The barons of the CIA could not believe that its headquarters harbored a traitor. For years, the Agency was baffled by a wily Russian spymaster who played a high-stakes chess game against the Americans, deceiving the CIA into thinking that there were other moles—or no moles at all.
It took nearly eight years for the CIA to share the full facts of the scenario with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Once they knew those facts, the men and women of the FBI tracked Aldrich Ames day and night for nine months before they arrested him. They tell their story here in astonishing detail for the first time.
By David Ignatius
Someone in Pakistan is killing the members of a new CIA unit trying to buy peace with America’s enemies. It falls to Sophie Marx, a young officer with a big chip on her shoulder, to figure out who’s doing the killing and why. Unfortunately for Sophie, nothing is quite what it seems. This is a theater of violence and revenge, in which the last act is one that Sophie could not have imagined.
power in the age of artificial intelligence
By Paul Scharre
today’s great power rivalry—the struggle to control artificial intelligence
A new industrial revolution has begun. Like mechanization or electricity before it, artificial intelligence will touch every aspect of our lives—and cause profound disruptions in the balance of global power, especially among the AI superpowers: China, the United States, and Europe.
Autonomous weapons expert Paul Scharre takes readers inside the fierce competition to develop and implement this game-changing technology and dominate the future.
The End of Everything
By Katie Mack
We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it expanded from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life as we know it. But what happens to the universe at the end of the story? And what does it mean for us now?
Dr. Katie Mack has been contemplating these questions since she was a young student, when her astronomy professor informed her the universe could end at any moment, in an instant. This revelation set her on the path toward theoretical astrophysics. Now, with lively wit and humor, she takes us on a mind-bending tour through five of the cosmos’s possible finales: the Big Crunch, Heat Death, the Big Rip, Vacuum Decay (the one that could happen at any moment!), and the Bounce. Guiding us through cutting-edge science and major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory, and much more, The End of Everything is a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of all that we know.
A Scientist’s Guide to Life’s Biggest Questions
By Sabine Hossenfelder
Not only can we not currently explain the origin of the universe, it is questionable we will ever be able to explain it. The notion that there are universes within particles, or that particles are conscious, is ascientific, as is the hypothesis that our universe is a computer simulation. On the other hand, the idea that the universe itself is conscious is difficult to rule out entirely.
According to Sabine Hossenfelder, it is not a coincidence that quantum entanglement and vacuum energy have become the go-to explanations of alternative healers, or that people believe their deceased grandmother is still alive because of quantum mechanics. Science and religion have the same roots, and they still tackle some of the same questions: Where do we come from? Where do we go to? How much can we know? The area of science that is closest to answering these questions is physics. Over the last century, physicists have learned a lot about which spiritual ideas are still compatible with the laws of nature. Not always, though, have they stayed on the scientific side of the debate.
In this lively, thought-provoking book, Hossenfelder takes on the biggest questions in physics: Does the past still exist? Do particles think? Was the universe made for us? Has physics ruled out free will? Will we ever have a theory of everything? She lays out how far physicists are on the way to answering these questions, where the current limits are, and what questions might well remain unanswerable forever. Her book offers a no-nonsense yet entertaining take on some of the toughest riddles in existence, and will give the reader a solid grasp on what we know—and what we don’t know.
What’s Gotten Into You?
The Story of Your Body’s Atoms, from the Big Bang Through Last Night’s Dinner
By Dan Levitt
Every one of us contains a billion times more atoms than all the grains of sand in the earth’s deserts. If you weigh 150 pounds, you’ve got enough carbon to make 25 pounds of charcoal, enough salt to fill a saltshaker, enough chlorine to disinfect several backyard swimming pools, and enough iron to forge a 3-inch nail. But how did these elements combine to make us human?
All matter—everything around us and within us—has an ultimate birthday: the day the universe was born. This informative, eye-opening, and eminently readable book is the story of our atoms’ long strange journey from the Big Bang to the creation of stars, through the assembly of Planet Earth, and the formation of life as we know it. It’s also the story of the scientists who made groundbreaking discoveries and unearthed extraordinary insights into the composition of life. Behind their unexpected findings were investigations marked by fierce rivalries, obsession, heartbreak, flashes of insight, and flukes of blind luck. Ultimately they’ve helped us understand the mystery of our existence: how a quadrillion atoms made of particles from the Big Bang now animate each of our cells.
Shaped by the curious mind and bold vision of science and history documentarian Dan Levitt, this wondrous book is no less than the story of life itself.
City Under One Roof
By Iris Yamashita
A stranded detective tries to solve a murder in a tiny Alaskan town where everyone lives in a single high-rise building, in this gripping debut by an Academy Award–nominated screenwriter.
When a local teenager discovers a severed hand and foot washed up on the shore of the small town of Point Mettier, Alaska, Cara Kennedy is on the case. A detective from Anchorage, she has her own motives for investigating the possible murder in this isolated place, which can be accessed only by a tunnel.
After a blizzard causes the tunnel to close indefinitely, Cara is stuck among the odd and suspicious residents of the town—all 205 of whom live in the same high-rise building and are as icy as the weather. Cara teams up with Point Mettier police officer Joe Barkowski, but before long the investigation is upended by fearsome gang members from a nearby native village.
Haunted by her past, Cara soon discovers that everyone in this town has something to hide. Will she be able to unravel their secrets before she unravels?
Kay Scarpetta Book 1
By Patricia Cornwell
Under cover of night in Richmond, Virginia, a monster strikes, leaving a gruesome trail of stranglings that has paralyzed the city. Medical examiner Kay Scarpetta suspects the worst: a deliberate campaign by a brilliant serial killer whose signature offers precious few clues. With an unerring eye, she calls on the latest advances in forensic research to unmask the madman. But this investigation will test Kay like no other, because it’s being sabotaged from within—and someone wants her dead.
Red Widow Book 2
By Alma Katsu
CIA agent Lyndsey Duncan’s newest asset might just be her long-needed confidante…or her greatest betrayal.
After her role in taking down a well-placed mole inside the CIA, Agent Lyndsey Duncan arrives in London fully focused on her newest Russian asset, deadly war criminal Dmitri Tarasenko. That is until her MI6 counterpart, Davis Ranford, personally calls for her help.
I would be thrilled to include any books you are currently reading. Just send an email and I will included your book title! I won’t disclose any personal information, other than your first name and city, state, country. That’s it!
Cheers and Happy Reading!
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