Clandestine Tales

It seemed to take forever, but I’ve finally finished reading the first book on my list. Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen as very interesting, starting all the way back to the creation of the much talk about Area 51. It goes beyond the myths and the legends of aliens and takes a close look at the technology that has been developed on the site.

As a lover of history, Jacobsen’s book gave me into a place that otherwise I only had some knowledge and that was based on alien conspiracies. Something that I found to be particularly interesting and admittedly my favourite part the book, was the insight into


Able, detonated on July 1, 1946

the nuclear testing at Bikini Atol, which is a part of the Republic of Marshal Islands.

The first series of tests began here in 1946 under the code name Operation Crossroads. They were testing to see how naval ships withstood a nuclear blast. The first of the bombs was detonated at 520 feet above the target. I ended up going online and researching more about this because I found it to be so interesting.

Jacobsen also takes a lot of time explaining the development and tests of the Lockheed U-2 which was created at the base in order to achieve a high altitude


The Lockheed U2 in 1955

of flight than anyone else. Also, a very interesting read and worth looking into more if you’re into that kind of thing.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book, I had a little trouble getting into it, normally I wouldn’t have an issue but it made it hard to push through this one. The book is full of secrets, many, that even though I had researched Area 51 in the past, I hadn’t known. Other than the overuse of the word clandestine, I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the base and hope to find more books on the topic, and maybe even read more from Annie Jacobsen herself.

Now I’m on to my next conquest, The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks.



Feeding my Addiction

The first step in overcoming an addiction, is admitting you have a problem. Well, contrary to my mother’s belief, I don’t have a problem, I am just a bookworm.

If you’re reading my blog, you’ll know that I’ve challenged myself to read 100 books, that I had never read, in one year. Well, I’ve always been a reader, and I’m always up for a challenge. Initially, when I made the decision to do this challenge, I posted on my personal Facebook, asking friends and relatives for suggestions.

Boy, were there ever suggestions. From the ridiculous (Rainbow Fish and Clifford) to books that I had been wanting to read anyway (Goldfinch for one), I have plenty of book suggestions to last me a while.

16111907_1354673531252297_795485771_nMy aunt had seen my status and asked if I wanted a box of books that she had lying around, the majority of which were Robert Ludlum novels. How could I say no?  So here I am now with 21 additional books that I could potentially use for my challenge. I was ecstatic. My mother on the other hand, wasn’t so pleased.

Why you ask? Well, probably because I have around 150-200 books in boxes in my closet, 100 in our garage loft and 50 on my bookshelf. Let’s just say, she was very happy when I moved on to e-books. My room has always been a mess, why? My books, I don’t have nearly enough shelves for them all and just started piling them up wherever I could.

I normally have a book with me everywhere I go, and more often than not I’m even reading during meals. For years this also was a sore point for my mother, but now that she’s on her phone during meals this is less of an issue. Of course these days, the books I usually have on hand are now e-books. I still much prefer a book in hand.

Sure, e-books are great, I love being able to have hundreds of books on me at all times, but there’s just something about having a physical book. For me, I love the smell of a book, old or new is the best smell, and the feel of a page and the sound of the page turning, is the best.

This may seem weird, but my absolute favourite thing about having a physical book however is the size. The bigger the book, the happier I am. Why? Well its simple. I can follow my progress based on the size. When you start a book, the right side of the book seems to be huge, the more you read it, the smaller the right side gets and the bigger the left gets. I’m not exactly sure why I love this so much, but it gives me a lot of satisfaction to see the left become bigger and the right smaller.

Even though I have a book as an e-book, I’m still going to make sure I have a hard copy. Eventually, I’d like to have my own library in my future apartment/house.

Books could definitely be considered an addiction, but it’s one that I’m proud of.

Why I Read and the Hunt for the Elusive Book

Way back when I was in public school,  I was going through a lot, well who am I kidding, I still am, but not the point. The point is, at 6 or 7 years old and onward, I was going through so many things, from bullying to being a sexual abuse survivor and losing the friends I thought that I had. That’s a lot for a kid to take. Eventually, this all led to today where I have depression.

I had an excellent coping mechanism however. Books. Books are my escape, as I’m sure it is for many others.

Through book, I can travel to faraway lands, go on journeys, watch characters grow and face troubles that more often than not were more problematic than my own. In fact, until I was 8 years old, I was convinced that my job when I grew up was going to be to follow Frodo and the Fellowship across Middle Earth to destroy the ring. Obviously that couldn’t happen.

I also just enjoy reading overall.

Books make me happy and that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Sure it sounds boring but hey, it is what it is. I’m sure it sounds cliché and all.

Moving on though, today I found myself on one doozy of a mission. Back when I was 11 or 12, one of my best friends would lend me books she thought that I’d enjoy. She leant me one book that I really enjoyed and was part of a series. For whatever reason I only got to read the first one and I wanted to read the rest as part of my 100 book challenge.

Do you think she or I could remember the name of it? If you said no, you would be correct. I could vaguely remember the cover and a bit of the plot.

Some weird guy on the colourful cover who takes in this kid to teach him magic.

Yup, that’s all I had to go on. I Googled just that, and repeatedly came up with nothing, as you can imagine, I was frustrated and it became more of a “I want to know just because it’s bugging me now” kind of thing.

Eventually I ended up on going through lists of books for young adults in the 90s and early 2000s.


Charmed Life, book one in the  Chrestomanci series.

It was there, about nine pages into my third list. Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci series book one Charmed Life. It’s ridiculous the amount of relief I had just because I found it. I kind of had the cover right, there was a weird man on it, it just wasn’t as colorful as I remembered. I’d also forgotten the top hat.

My biggest mistake is the book that I thought came out in the 90s, originated in 77. No wonder I couldn’t find it. I may need to re-read the first one if I’m going to take on the others, of course if I do, the first one will not count towards the 100.

All in all, it took me about 4 hours to find it. It was worth it in my mind.

Anyway, that’s all for today I just wanted you to know why I read and how I wasted spent four hours trying to track down a book.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post about Annie Jacobsen’s Area 51 An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base.