Monday, February 18, 2008

Reading corner

Books I've been reading.

For the first time in quite a while I've been reading some non-fiction. A relative loaned me two books on submarines and I've enjoyed both. "Torpedo Junction" by Homer Hickam is the true story of the a little known part of WWII. In 1942 the German navy sent a few submarines to attack shipping off the US coast. They were successful beyond anyone's dreams. The US was doing nothing at all to protect shipping so the subs could just lie offshore and wait until a ship came between them and the lights on the shore. They could then easily see what kind of ship it was and torpedo it if it were big and important enough. It was an interesting story. The author talked to many survivors of the sinkings, ex-submariners in Germany and US Coast Guard sailors of the time. Very interesting and a fast read.

The second book was "Shadow Divers" by Robert Kurson. Another true story, this tells of two men who became obsessed by a sunken submarine they found while diving. It was clearly a German sub but no sub was known to be within several hundred miles of it's position. They spent several years and a bunch of money diving on the sub and researching the identity of the boat they had found. Added to the mystery was the danger of diving at the depths required to reach the sub. Another well researched true story about subs.

Finally, I got "The Club Dumas" by Arturo Perez-Reverte from the library. I found his books in the bookstore and thought it might be interesting. It's sort of a mystery and sort of a thriller. It is beautifully translated from Spanish by Sonia Soto. Reminds me somewhat of "The DiVinci Code" in that I can only follow about a tenth of the references without assistance.

Happy reading!

P.S. "The Club Dumas" turned out to be somewhat disappointing. The person responsible for the murders turns out insane at the end and there is no actual evidence of their responsibility. The motivations behind another character are completely unexplained; even their existance is glossed over. I'll try another of the author's books though because I did like his/his translator's use of language.

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