Back in print for the first time in decades—and featuring a new interview with the author, in celebration of her centennial birthday—the delectable escapades of Hollywood legend Olivia de Havilland, who fell in love with… More
John F. Kennedy and PT-109
by Richard Tregaskis
Open Road Integrated Media
In the early morning hours of August 2, 1943, US Navy motor torpedo boat PT-109 patrolled the still, black waters of Blackett Strait in the Solomon Islands. Suddenly, the Japanese destroyer Amagiri loomed out of the darkness, bearing directly down on the smaller ship. There was no time to get out of the way—the destroyer crashed into PT-109, slicing the mosquito boat in two and setting the shark-infested waters aflame with burning gasoline. Ten surviving crewmembers and their young skipper clung to the wreckage, their odds of survival growing slimmer by the instant.
Lt. John F. Kennedy’s first command was an unqualified disaster. Yet over the next three days, the privileged son of a Boston multimillionaire displayed extraordinary courage, stamina, and leadership as he risked his life to shepherd his crew to safety and coordinate a daring rescue mission deep in enemy territory. Lieutenant Kennedy earned a Navy and Marine Corps Medal and a Purple Heart, and the story of PT-109 captured the public’s imagination and helped propel the battle-tested veteran all the way to the White House.
Acclaimed war correspondent Richard Tregaskis—who once beat out the future president for a spot on the Harvard University swim team—brings this remarkable chapter in American history to vivid life in John F. Kennedy and PT-109. From the crucial role torpedo boats played in the fight for the Solomon Islands to Kennedy’s eager return to the front lines at the helm of PT-59, Tregaskis tells the full story of this legendary incident with the same riveting style and meticulous attention to detail he brought to Guadalcanal Diary and Invasion Diary.
When one thinks of Charles Lindbergh, they probably think of his nonstop flight in the ‘Spirit of Saint Louis’ or the kidnapping of his son. Even in the off chance they do know something of him, it’s that he had leanings toward Anti Semitism and considered moving to Germany. I didn’t know those things and furthermore, I didn’t know he was married. I think Anne Morrow Lindbergh has surely gotten the short end of the stick. For being married to one of the most famous men in the world, she is often left in his shadow despite the fact that she was an accomplished aviatrix and author in her own right.
This book was a wonderful read and I learned quite a bit about the woman behind Charles Lindbergh. ‘Behind every great man is a woman‘ is a very fitting statement. I tend to think that his later achievements would never have been accomplished if hadn’t had her support or help. When the world turned on him, she was
there. When he traveled, she was there, raising the children. She endured his peculiarities. and there were many. I found that he was an ass (SO unlikable!) and if I were her? I’d have left him. Her life wasn’t her own once she married him. Her own dreams seemed to be put on a back burner because she was often too busy helping Charles achieve his.
I would say her love for him blinded her to certain aspects of him and that she seemed to have bit her tongue in other moments just to please him. I know considering the time, it was expected of her, but I do wish Anne had offered more fight in certain moments. I was glad when she finally found herself and began to embark on a life of her own making.
His betrayal of her in the end…I am certain I’d have wrung his neck but he was saying already. Her grace and strength was truly a virtue to be admired and he didn’t deserve it; not a whit.
I enjoyed this book very much and I loved learning about Anne. I think I will make it a point to read the books that she published and also to learn more about the women behind these ‘great’ men.
Wishing Susan Elia MacNeal a (belated) Happy Release Day for the sixth book in her fantastic Maggie Hope series! If you haven’t read them, I highly suggest that you do. If, like me, you’re a fan of Agent Carter from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then Maggie will really win a spot in your heart. In a world where there were rules and regulations on how to act, Maggie Hope is breaking down those barriers. Of course, as Prime Minister Winston Churchill said often in the first book, ‘there’s a war on!’ The Second World War really helped change things for women; they joined the work force, they joined the service, they did their part as opposed to being compliant little women and sitting about at home raising the children. It’s a strange thing to think that a war is what really helped women
break free of society’s expectations.
I mean, in particular, the Princess Elizabeth served in the war as a mechanic and driver in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service. It would have been hard and viewed as highly unpatriotic for women not to do their part since the boys were putting their lives on the line. Knowing what we know now, the British Royals did not hide, nor flinch, remaining in London during the bombings and even went out and about to view the wreckage and to walk amongst the people. Today, the Princess is now the longest reigning monarch in British history and she is also the last remaining head of state to have served in WWII. Yes, that picture is of the nearly 91 year old monarch!
Getting back to Maggie, she’s a spy and a code-breaker and she has had to work damn hard to be where she is. Bright, beautiful and determined, Maggie makes for a splendid lead and the usual cast of characters that are with her only add to the story, making it shine as usual. Mrs. MacNeal has quite the talent in how she can draw you into Maggie’s world and make you feel like you are right in the thick of it with her. It’s a disappointment when you’re drawn away and have to go do ‘adulting’, as my friends and I joke. I always endeavor to rush back as soon as I possibly can.
Whilst I don’t yet have a copy, I will post a review as soon as I have devoured this. Also, I totally envision Hayley Atwell as Maggie. I know it’s typecasting but Hayley has that perfect look, the attitude and we know she can play a badass, code breaking, no sh*t-taking secret agent. I took the liberty of editing her hair to red much like Maggie’s infamously stubborn tresses. If you were going to cast an actress to play Maggie, who would you pick?
I’ve included links below, so please go show love to this wonderful series of novels and enjoy them!
Synopsis: Spy and code-breaker extraordinaire Maggie Hope returns to war-weary London, where she is thrust into the dangerous hunt for a monster, as the New York Times bestselling mystery series for fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, and Anne Perry continues.
England, 1942. The Nazis’ relentless Blitz may have paused, but London’s nightly blackouts continue. Now, under the cover of darkness, a madman is brutally killing and mutilating young women in eerie and exact re-creations of Jack the Ripper’s crimes. What’s more, he’s targeting women who are reporting for duty to be Winston Churchill’s spies and saboteurs abroad. The officers at MI-5 quickly realize they need the help of special agent Maggie Hope to find the killer dubbed “the Blackout Beast.” A trap is set. But once the murderer has his sights on Maggie, not even Buckingham Palace can protect the resourceful spy from her fate.
Praise for the Maggie Hope series
“You’ll be [Maggie Hope’s] loyal subject, ready to follow her wherever she goes.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
Again, congratulations! I can’t wait for book 7, The Paris Spy!
- About the author: New York Times-bestselling author Susan Elia MacNeal is the author of the Maggie Hope Mystery series from Bantam/Random House. She is the winner of the Barry Award, and her books have been nominated for the Edgar, Macavity, and Dilys Awards.
The first novel in the series is Mr. Churchill’s Secretary. It won the Barry Award and was nominated for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for Best First Novel and the Mystery Readers International’s Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel. It was also nominated for the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association’s 2013 Dilys Award for “the mystery title of the year that booksellers have most enjoyed hand-selling,” Mr. Churchill’s Secretary was also declared one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Debut of 2012, Deadly Pleasures’s Best Paperback Original of 2012, and chosen as one of Target’s “Emerging Authors” series.
The sequel, Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, was a New York Times bestseller and chosen by Oprah.com as “Mystery of the Week” and one of “7 Compulsively Readable Mysteries (for the Crazy-Smart Reader),” as well as Tagret’s “Emerging Authors” series. It was nominated for the Macavity Award’s Sue Feder Historical Memorial Award.
His Majesty’s Hope made the New York Times- and USA Today-bestseller lists and was chosen as one of Target’s Emerging Author Series.
Books #4, The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent, will be published in spring of 2014.
Susan graduated cum laude from Wellesley College, with departmental honors in English Literature and credits from cross-registered classes at MIT. She attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course at Harvard University.
Her first job was as an intern at Random House for then-publisher Harold Evans, before moving her way up the editorial ladder at Viking/Penguin and McGraw-Hill, then becoming an associate editor at Dance Magazine.
Her writing has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Fodor’s, Time Out New York, Time Out London, Publishers Weekly, Dance Magazine, and various publications of New York City Ballet. She’s also the author of two non-fiction books and a professional editor.
I confess that I am rather late to the wonder that is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which is something Miss Peregrine herself would likely not appreciate given her talent as an Ymbryne. I owe my curiosity about the series to Tim Burton as I saw the previews for the movie version and thought, “Well, that looks fascinating!” It so happened that on my birthday trip to Books-A-Million I saw the series as a boxed set. I was unable to resist and so, I bought it along with the book, ‘Tales of The Peculiar’, which was signed by the author, Ransom Riggs! (Pretty awesome, methinks!) I’m really looking forward to his next novels, whatever they may be. He has a distinctive style and it really kept me intrigued and wanting more. I’ve also discovered that he’s married to Tahereh Mafi, whom I have heard a lot of good things about too! (Is it too much to hope that they write a book together? Omg, that would be amazing! Also…their wedding is basically all I could ever want. I saw pictures on Tumblr and I’m terribly jealous. Bookshoppe wedding, bouquet made of book pages…you get it. #EnviousAsHell) I’ve posted two pictures here just so you can see. These two are bookworm goals. ❤
Okay, enough about my wedding envy. (I don’t even have a boyfriend, so there is that, lol.) Have you guys read this series of interesting books? I found the premise of living in a ‘loop’ fascinating and depressing all at once, seeing as they already knew
what would happen every single day. Of course, it was better than the alternative of the house being bombed and everyone killed. It was during the Second World War, that they were in the loop. Jacob is a young man from our day and age who whilst on a journey to learn about his grandfather, who died in a strange way. I don’t want to give away too much if you haven’t read them, but I promise you that if you like history and fantasy, you’ll very much enjoy this series. It’s opened me up to the YA genre of books, a verse that I was trying to keep away from simply because I was worried they’d be poorly written or would deal with issues that I am too old to really be able to relate to. I absolutely loved the old ‘peculiar’ photos that were in the books too. It certainly gave a face to the vast array of characters. It’s an original way to give visual to characters. I very much enjoyed the different take. In the boxed set, it comes with 12 little pictures in an envelope that show
some of the people you’ll encounter in the books. This is one of the images included, this being Miss Peregrine. If you enjoy old photographs…you’ll enjoy these. if I remember correctly, Mr. Riggs found them in travels and wanted to publish a book just of these but instead used them in the Miss Peregrine series.
While I loved the image of who Miss Peregrine is, I confess that Eva Green’s face is rather ingrained into my mind. Asa Butterfield is a perfect choice for Jacob. I am dying to see the film, though I’ve been told that it is drastically different from the books. I noticed that they switched Emma’s powers from fire to air for starters. They also made Bronwen into a small child of perhaps six years of age. (She was older in the books.) I can’t judge the film entirely as I’ve not seen it but I do wonder why the change. Hollywood is forever trying to make a movie better than a book, which is seldom (if ever!), achieved. I think the only films that were just as good as the book were the Harry Potter series, The Help and Gone With the Wind. Oh and the Wizard of Oz too! That was a good one as well. Hollywood ought to learn that sometimes changing what is already a good thing isn’t always wise. A prime example of that would be the Divergent series. What a fiasco. I do want to read the books; I read the first one and enjoyed it. However, I saw the second movie before I read the book and it turned me off, which was bloody stupid, don’t you think? Allowing a movie to sway me.
What are some book to movies that you’ve enjoyed? What are some that you guys have absolutely loathed? Sound off in comments below or e-mail me and I’ll post some responses in my next posting! ❤
If you go to see Miss Peregrine, do be sure to tell me how you’ve enjoyed it. I’m hoping to see it soon. I am also hoping to pick up the Miss Peregrine funko pop to set on my bookshelf. (I have too many of the blasted things but I just love them. Books and Funkos…I should have incorporated them into my blog somehow too. Ah well.)
I think I’ve rambled quite enough; I bet you’re rather tired of me. I think I’ll leave you with this gif. It’s really a rather perfect ending to this post, don’t you think? (Again, they are goals.)
What is up, everyone? 😀 The Quirky Lady is back and ready to review! It’s been a long while, I know. It’s going to take a lot of hard work to get back where I was, seeing as I have lost all of my followers. The unfortunate deletions did a number on me here and I lost my inspiration and inclination. Thus, I took a long break. I am hoping to get back to business though, I hope you’ll all join me once again. I am also opening up to more genres than historical fiction, so please feel free to reach out to me! (Erotica is the same–not accepting.)
Since the last time I was here, I am now in a new decade! I observed my 30th birthday and as usual, I went to my favorite store…
And I just went on Wednesday too! My Uncle came up to visit and brought me to the store. SO thrilled. You can imagine who isn’t too thrilled. My poor bookshelf. I have no room on it as it is, so I’m being forced to be creative until I can get a new one or a bigger one. It’s kind of fun to experiment, however, to see how I can fit them all in. I almost view it as being a form of Tetris. (Which is my favorite game!)
What do you guys do when your bookshelf is getting too full? Do you buy another shelf? Donate some old ones to make room for new? Or do you look on Pintereste for some new interesting solutions. I’ve been eyeballing ‘invisible’ shelves but I’m not quite sure if that’d work in my room. I’m going to figure something out because earlier this year I donated a lot of books to the local DAWN center, where domestic violence victims stay. I would have given them to Goodwill but I thought this was a far more pleasant thing. I also donated to my local library. 🙂
What have you guys been reading? I’m always up for new suggestions and I’d love to hear what you’re all reading. Please stay tuned as I get set up again, finding new subscribers, new friends, old friends and so forth. As I said, I’m also looking for new books to review. I’ve found myself enjoying YA fiction, but I do ponder, am I too old for it? Or is it silly to wonder such a thing if I’m enjoying what I’m reading? This is my struggle, ya’ll. Haha.
I’m going to keep it short, but stay tuned to this space!
Take care! xx
As you guys know, yes, I made this a primarily historical book blog, but seeing as July 4th is approaching and I love this coloring book, I thought I could make an exception for posting up about it. I have such a variety of coloring books–be it flowers, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, et cetera…there is something very satisfying about this book. Perhaps it’s because it has a great deal of quotes and little bios of the people who spoke the quotes in here or information about the time period or event; I think it’s just fantastic, y’know, to have a book that expresses such pride for America.
The illustrations vary from simple to complicated but are satisfying; I recommend colored pencils even though the images are one sided. If you’re the sort to want to hang your art–you certainly can as you won’t wreck any portraits.So, stay safe this weekend and enjoy yourselves! God Bless America!
About AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER:
In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.
It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.
Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father’s reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.