June reading list

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Wow. After three crazy months of being at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, June has just said hold my beer. These are crazy times we are living in for sure. On top of an ongoing we now have most major cities in America hosting protests to support Black Lives Matter, black people who have been needlessly murdered by police and the need for police reform. With this all going on, I have watched way more news than I should be watching. Because of that and being hooked on MasterClass, my reading/listing time for books has taken a serious hit. I’ll post more about MasterClass at a later date.

If it weren’t for audible, my reading list would be far shorter. It would be great to have more time to read with a book in hand, but that is difficult with kids and everything else going on in our busy lives. I love being able to listen to books while driving, working, mowing the lawn or cooking. It took a bit to get used to listening to books, but after a bit you get used to the format. Once used to it, you can even bump up the speed of the play, having the choice of multiple listening speeds. When I first raised the playback speed it was odd, but I quickly became accustomed to it. I especially enjoy this option when listening to non-fiction, as many of the narrator talk so so slow. I like to bump the speed up to 1.2 – 1.5 times for non-fiction books. I do the same thing when listening to podcasts.

Let’s get down to what I have read and what is on my short list to read in June. My non-fiction is focusing on military memoirs and stories about resistance and espionage during world war II (this is research for my WIP writing projects).


Non-fiction

“Fascism: a warning” by MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT

This book should be on everyone’s list, especially when we are fighting the rise of fascism and authoritarianism in the United States. It is profound the similarities of actions taken by governments in the 1930s and what we are currently seeing in America and many other countries around the world today. This book is a delicate blend of personal stories and in-depth analysis from the rise of Benito Mussolini’s fascist Italy, through Hitler’s rise, to today’s fascist leaders. Much of the 20th Century has been a battle between democracy and fascism, and once again the fight is on our home soil. This is a warning, a warning disregarded by far too many.


“Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family’s Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris by Alex Kershaw

I have been interested in reading about resistance and espionage during world war II, as research for my dystopian thriller trilogy. I love world war II history, but I have been lacking in my knowledge of the resistance movements. Recently, I watched the PBS television series “World On Fire”, which has characters involved in the Polish resistance. This storyline was very interesting and gave me the idea to look into WWII resistance movements.

This book is about an American, Dr. Sumner Jackson, his Swiss-born wife, Torquette and their son Phillip’s involvement with the French resistance. Avenue of Spies gives a thorough insight into Paris during the Nazi occupation. I look at the courage of this family and the other resistance fighters and wonder if I would have the same courage as them. If it were just me, sure no problem. But risking my wife and kids, I don’t know if I could risk them. I will note, it was Torquette who was first recruited by the French resistance. Dr. Jackson took his own actions out of a sense of duty, being a veteran of WWI. When Phillip found out about his parents’ resistance actions, he took part in his own right. They all made their own decision to resist, and all faced their own persecution for involvement. The fortitude of these people is inspiring. It is cause for personal self-reflection.


fiction

“Path of the Assassin” by Brad Thor

Brad Thor has quickly risen to the top of my favorite author’s list. I am enjoying the Scot Harvath series, and I am excited to jump into the third novel of the series “State of the Union” soon. I am all-in for this series. Goodreads synopsis of the book is:

Navy SEAL turned Secret Service agent Scot Harvath follows bloody clues to silver-eyed elusive ruthless terrorist Hashim Nidal, who intends to topple Israel and America, and can be identified by only one person – Meg Cassidy. Across four continents, from Macau, Jerusalem, Chicago, Libya, Capri, and Rome, the deadly puzzle tests their limits and growing bond.”

If you like spy/military thrillers, this is a series for you. Brad Thor is one of the best author’s in the genre. 


“The darkest path” by jeff hirsch

I don’t remember where I came across this YA novel, but since I am working on a trilogy set in a second American Civil War, such as this book, I gave it a read. On a side note, I end up reading more YA than I care to admit, because that seems to be where the dystopian readers and writers focus. I would like to read more adult dystopian, and that is what I plan to write. (Share any adult dystopian you recommend in the comments). That said, I went into this book with low expectations and it surprised me to find a good read that kept me engaged. The story starts with two young brothers as prisoners of a religious sect that has taken over much of America. Circumstances lead to them escaping the camp and making a run towards their home across the country in New York, with one brother’s new found dog friend in tow. The younger brother has totally bought into the Glorious Path, and heads back to the camp, leaving the older brother and his dog to escape the war and return home. It is a quick and entertaining read, which is followed by another book written by Jeff Hirsch called The Darkest Path: Bear’s Story, which is written from the dog’s perspective. If you don’t mind YA perspective, and you want a quick read, this is an excellent option. I recommended my son add it to his summer reading list.


What am I reading the rest of june?

Currently reading “Savage son” by retired US Navy Seal jack carr.

Deep in the wilds of Siberia, a woman is on the run, pursued by a man harboring secrets – a man intent on killing her. 

A traitorous CIA officer has found refuge with the Russian mafia with designs on ensuring a certain former Navy SEAL sniper is put in the ground. 

Half a world away, James Reece is recovering from brain surgery in the Montana wilderness, slowly putting his life back together with the help of investigative journalist Katie Buranek and his longtime friend and SEAL teammate Raife Hastings. Unbeknownst to them, the Russian mafia has set their sights on Reece in a deadly game of cat and mouse. 

In his most visceral and heart-pounding thriller yet, Jack Carr explores the darkest instincts of humanity through the eyes of a man who has seen both the best and the worst of it.


“The War of Art” by Steven pressfield

Think of The War of Art as tough love… for yourself.

Since 2002, The War of Art has inspired people around the world to defeat “Resistance”; to recognize and knock down dream-blocking barriers and to silence the naysayers within us.Resistance kicks everyone’s butt, and the desire to defeat it is equally as universal. The War of Art identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.Though it was written for writers, it has been embraced by business entrepreneurs, actors, dancers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, military service members and thousands of others around the world.


“Hhhh” by laurent binet

HHhH: “Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich”, or “Himmler’s brain is called Heydrich”. The most dangerous man in Hitler’s cabinet, Reinhard Heydrich was known as the “Butcher of Prague.” He was feared by all and loathed by most. With his cold Aryan features and implacable cruelty, Heydrich seemed indestructible—until two men, a Slovak and a Czech recruited by the British secret service, killed him in broad daylight on a bustling street in Prague, and thus changed the course of History. 


Short stories

“The Trash Collector” by monica shaugnessy

When objects begin to disappear from porches, Lydia Strichter suspects the neighborhood hoarder, Dale Kreplick. He’s a strange man with an even stranger habit of digging through people’s garbage. But when she sets out to prove the “Trash Collector” is behind these thefts, she discovers more than the culprit. She discovers some things can’t easily be discarded. A heart-warming story of tolerance, grief, and the persistence of memory.


“Space walk: a apocalyptic sci-fi story with a side of dark humor” by tammie painter

Maya has convinced her husband Joel to forego their usual holiday to take her own idea of a trip of a lifetime. The company SpaceWalk promises adventure, unparalleled views, and, for those who purchase the Enhanced Package, a chance to take part in an actual space walk.

Eager to experience the final frontier, Maya spends all of her and Joel’s savings on the enhanced package. But when she ventures outside the ship for her first walk, Maya soon discovers she’s not alone. Not in the depths of space, nor within her spacesuit.

What starts out a dream vacation quickly turns dangerous, not only for the passengers and crew, but, thanks to corruption from within SpaceWalk, for all of humanity.

If you like a little snarky humor with your apocalyptic terror and aren’t squeamish, you’ll love Space Walk.

“Testing the waters (A mythic short story)” by tammie painter

You can get away with many things in Port Athens. Breaking contracts is not one of them.

The founders of the prosperous fishing village of Port Athens have each agreed to give up certain luxuries and a great deal of power to settle into a new life.

So when one of the founders, Eli P. Marin, returns from the city with a suspicious purchase, the rumor mill churns into action. Is he only showing off? Is it even real? Most importantly, will Eli break their contract and reclaim his former influence despite knowing how harsh the punishment might be?

Find out today as you wander the quaint streets and meet the mysterious founders of Port Athens in Testing the Waters. 

If you’ve ever wondered how the Greek gods would behave in the modern world and what tricks they might get up to, you’ll love this quirky tale of temptation, rules, and rivalry.


Don’t forget “We were Like brothers” a dystopian short story is available on kindle and free on kindle unlimited.

In 2038, the civil war had stalled. Fighting contained to border skirmishes between what remained of the United States of America and the Union of Reformed States. Corporal Caleb Thompson, 111th Mortuary Affairs, URSA, faced the hardest decision of his young life. Searching for deceased soldiers after a recent battle, he found himself in a situation he never expected. Would he help his lifelong friend or follow the orders of God and Country?

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