Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I read two excellent books last week. Even with no time to read, I somehow couldn't stop reading them.

The first is called Shadow Divers, and it's about divers who discovered a sunken German U-boat--off the coast of New Jersey. In 1991.

Even better, no one has any idea which U-Boat it is, because there are no records indicating that one should have been there. Believe it or not, U-Boats were not uncommon up and down the Atlantic Coast during WWII (which I'm now going to read about in greater detail), but that particular location didn't correspond to any known wreckage or course.

The unraveling of the mystery makes for absolutely fantastic reading. The first twenty pages of the book are a bit over the top, but once the writer (Robert Kurson) settles in, it's a tremendous read. Here's an Amazon link:
Shadow Divers.

The second book is described in this manner on the jacket: a true story of friendship, cocaine, and South America's strangest jail. That's barely even scratching the surface. Marching Power is the story of Thomas McFadden, a drug dealer who was arrested and sent to a prizon in La Paz, Bolivia.

This prison is undoubtedly the strangest in the world. For starters, it's divided into neighborhoods, from dangerous slum to high class. You buy your way into a neighborhood (some require a sponsor), and then you also have to buy a cell. Some of these "cells" are actually extremely nice apartments, and all these properties can be bought and resold on the internal real estate market.

Oh yeah--the highest quality cocaine in the world is manufactured in Bolovia. Inside that prison.
That's not to even mention the tourist tours.

It is an absolutely insane, wild story, and it's great, riveting reading. Here's an Amazon link:
Marching Powder.

I haven't mentioned any books in a while because I was locked in mortal combat with Robert Caro's third volume of his LBJ biography--Master of the Senate. Sometimes you need a bucket by the bed because it will absolutely make you ill, but it's an incredible read, and if you ever wanted to know how the Senate works, you will be stunned by what you find. Here's an Amazon link:
Master of the Senate.

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