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Spies, Spies, and Divorce

Embed from Getty Images Since people have more time at home these days, they are also looking for more ways to amuse themselves indoors. Sex is one option, although in some places, restrictions apply if the parties are from different homes. In the  UK , for example, people from different households are not allowed to have sex unless they are in an exclusive relationship, aka "support bubble." Switching or having multiple bubbles are frowned upon. Watching TV and reading books are superior choices, I reckon. Sure, TV and books may cost a little money, but they can be free or nearly free. Most libraries lend e-books. Many streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO, are packed with so much excellent content that the price is an amazing value. You’d be hard pressed to find, um, more bang for the buck. Finally, no matter how promiscuous you are with shows or books, you will never catch Covid. The spy thriller is one of my top genres. Three recommendations: Cr
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Bloody Fascinating

Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group It's not everyday that I stay up all night to finish a book. In fact, I can't remember the last time I did it prior to reading Bad Blood by John Carreyrou. He is the Wall Street Journal reporter who broke the story on the fraudulent rise of Theranos, a once-hot Silicon Valley startup. Before I got the book, I was actually not that interested. The Theranos story had garnered intense media attention, so I assumed that I already knew the sexy contours of the scandal. When I noticed that, among the 100 books on my Goodreads to-read list,  Bad Blood  had the highest rating (4.4), I figured the book deserved a shot.  Bad Blood  is one of the best stories I've ever read. Summary: Elizabeth Holmes, the young founder of the company Theranos and a Stanford dropout, captivated everyone by promising a revolution in healthcare technology. Theranos claimed that its small device could run hundreds of tests using just one drop of blood. Rich and

The Tragic Last Sailing of the Lusitania

Publisher: Crown Publishers When World War I was raging in Europe, German U-Boats (submarines) infested the waters off the British Isles. The Lusitania, a luxury cruise ship, was sailing from New York to England in 1915. Some passengers worried; most did not. Cunard, the venerable British cruise line that owned the ship, was confident that all would remain safe. After all, the Lusitania was big, strong, and fast. One of the speediest passenger vessels of its era, the Lusitania could slice through the ocean at 25 knots. That would allow the ship to outrun an enemy submarine, should one be encountered. Alternatively, the hefty Lusitania could simply ram tin-cans like U-Boats and cut them in half. A U-Boat ended up sinking the Lusitania via torpedo. It took less than twenty minutes. The job of the German submarines was to enforce a naval blockade, to isolate Britain and prevent inbound supplies. At first, adhering to international norms, Germany only attacked military ships. To s

Author Interview at LFBooks

It's not everyday that someone wants to talk to me and hear my silly thoughts. Not even close to everyday. Therefore, I am excited and grateful that LFBooks, a book review blog, has published an interview with me about my recent book, Rapture . (Note: The interview contains a spoiler.) Be sure to check out the blog  for other book stuff. Laura Freestone, the blogger, is prolific. Her site has tons of straightforward, succinct reviews on a diverse range of book genres, with sci-fi, mystery, and thriller popping up the most. And she writes fiction too. Many thanks to Laura.

Shackleton: The (Almost) Impossible Story of Surviving in Antarctica

Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers I like love survival stories. Being neither mentally tough nor physically strong, I’ve always admired those who overcame overwhelming adversity despite excruciating pain and nearly impossible odds. One of the best books I’ve read is Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air. It is about the 1996 Mount Everest  disaster, during which many experienced mountaineers died from a blizzard. I didn’t think another adventure story would fascinate me more. I was wrong. Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 ocean expedition to Antarctica may be the most gripping survival story ever. In his 1959 book, Endurance , Alfred Lansing recounts the experience in a real page-turner. There is something about true stories that makes them extra riveting to read. None of the fiction thrillers fiction I’ve read rival this nonfiction by Lansing—remarkable, considering that I knew the ending before I cracked open the book. It wasn’t about how the story concluded; it was about the

Take This Waltz

Credit:  Magnolia Pictures Love is hard to do. It's hard to do it right in life. And it's hard to do it right in fiction. Most love stories on the big screen fall into one of three piles. The cheerful type, exemplified by rom-coms. The classic of this genre is When Harry Met Sally . Then there is the sad kind, e.g.  Titanic . Lastly, there is the contemplative variety, like  Take This Waltz . It is possibly my favorite movie love story of all time. Take This Waltz, Sarah Polley's 2011 indie movie starring Michelle Williams, explores romance in all its complexities, including the contradictory bits. The film is poignant but not overwrought. Thoughtful but not neurotic. Poetic but not pretentious. Perfectly crafted. Freelance writer Margot (Michelle Williams) is married to Lou (Seth Rogen). He is a cookbook author and a really swell guy, but seems to be more into his recipes than his wife. She meets Daniel (Luke Kirby), a rickshaw-driving neighbor in their quai

Rapture, a sci-fi thriller

My newest novel, Rapture , is out. Giant thanks to my beta readers—you are worth all the bitcoins in the galaxy. Blurb, retail links, and excerpt are here .  You can win a free paperback at Goodreads. Goodreads Book Giveaway Rapture by Alex P. Wu Giveaway ends February 06, 2018. See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter Giveaway I wanted to write something completely different from my first novel, Morocco, Maybe , a travel love story. My favorite TV show of all time is Battlestar Galactica. S eriously. Nothing compares. The closest contenders are maybe The Newsroom (exciting, smart, and moving) and The Walking Dead (before most of the beloved original group got offed). Thus I tried to write a story with elements similar to those that made BSG appealing to me: science, action, philosophy, politics, religion, friendship, romance ... and in particular, moral ambiguity

Oooh That Feels So Good I Can't Keep My Eyes Open

We usually go to the animal shelter that's within walking distance of our home, but this past Friday we drove to a couple of other shelters: West LA Animal Shelter and NKLA . On Sunday we went back to the same two shelters to look at the same dogs. Again. Most of the dogs at the two shelters were pit bull mixes, at least 90%. That gave us mixed feelings. We love pit bulls, but it was sad to see so many languishing in the cages. The yellow dog above is Max. He is 1.5 years old and supposed to be energetic but was quite mellow when we saw him. He would lean against the cage, let Michelle stroke him, and close his eyes. He was either super sleepy or trying to better enjoy the massage. Max has been adopted. Some lucky human got a swell dog. There were many lovely dogs, but I'd like to plug a few especially nice ones. The cutest thing about Frances is her wrinkled face. It makes her look so worried. She's 38 pounds and two years old. And there's  Sprout