Turning: a year in the water #bookreview #spoilerfree

Turning: a year in the water is a beautiful, extremely unique, autobiographical nature-memoir written by Jessica Lee. It will be released May 2nd, 2017.

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The publisher kindly sent me a complementary digital proof copy for review.

“Through the heat of summer to the frozen depths of winter, Lee traces her journey swimming through 52 lakes in a single year, swimming through fear and heartbreak to find her place in the world.”

Jessica swims in 52 lakes throughout four season in Germany, we are given flash backs to her childhood living in Canada and Florida, brief time spent time in London before her divorce, and then to Berlin, Germany to work on her dissertation in environmental history. As she explains the physical changes of each lake through the seasons, she is undergoing her own emotional transformation, washing remnants of self-doubt, letting go of the feeling that you are not where you’re meant to be, and also learning to not fear being alone.

Reading this memoir brought me back to my own memories swimming in lakes while growing up in Labrador. She successfully expressed the strange, opposite emotions lakes impress upon us – intense beauty, stillness, quiet, but also scary unknowns lurking below while you stare hard into the dark depths.

I often find story without dialogue slightly cumbersome, however, Jessica deflty carves her way around the story, providing description of all sense for the lakes, trees, environment, food, and German people, completely making up for the lack of dialogue. We are also given some interesting tidbits of German history concerning the war, reunification, and even some German words.

The only thing I didn’t like was how abruptly it ended, not because of how the story ended, but because I wanted to keep reading πŸ™‚ I could read her writing for hours and hours.

I recommend this book to those who like the outdoors, swimming, are interested in Germany, and to anyone who wants to push themselves to face their fears.

Jessica Lee is a badass winter swimmer, with a PhD in Environmental History.

Jessica Lee

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Deep Undercover: My Secret Life and Tangled Allegiance As a KGB Spy in America #spoilerfreebookreview

Brand new book – Published yesterday, March 21st, 2017!

Author: Jack Barsky Foreword: Joe Reilly Contributor: Cindy Coloma

Albrecht Gerlinde (AKA Jack Barsky) discloses his memoir as a Soviet Union spy living undercover in America. Through his extraordinary experiences we learn that it is our relationships that determine who we are, and who we become. We are given answers as to how someone becomes a spy in the first place, intensive training they receive, what their life is like living undercover, and what happens when they are caught. I felt heartbroken reading about Albrecht’s upbringing, and can’t imagine how it must have felt to abandon everyone he loved in order to serve his country in what he thought was a heroic mission acting as a spy. Deep Undercover is a riveting, page-turning, fascinating, poignant adventure. If you like the Bourne movies, and great spy novels, you’ll love this. Happy reading!

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Book Blurb:

One decision can end everything . . . or lead to unlikely redemption.
Millions watched the CBS 60 Minutes special on Jack Barsky in 2015. Now, in this fascinating memoir, the Soviet KGB agent tells his story of gut-wrenching choices, appalling betrayals, his turbulent inner world, and the secret life he lived for years without getting caught.

On October 8, 1978, a Canadian national by the name of William Dyson stepped off a plane at O’Hare International Airport and proceeded toward Customs and Immigration.

Two days later, William Dyson ceased to exist.

The identity was a KGB forgery, used to get one of their own―a young, ambitious East German agent―into the United States.

The plan succeeded, and the spy’s new identity was born: Jack Barsky. He would work undercover for the next decade, carrying out secret operations during the Cold War years . . . until a surprising shift in his allegiance challenged everything he thought he believed.

Deep Undercover will reveal the secret life of this man without a country and tell the story no one ever expected him to tell.”

https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Undercover-Tangled-Allegiances-America/dp/1496416821

 

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.