Book Recommendation: The Nazi Conspiracy

I recently finished The Nazi Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch. It is the third “conspiracy” book that they have written together. The first was The First Conspiracy (about a plot to kill George Washington) and the second was The Lincoln Conspiracy (about a plot to kill Abraham Lincoln – long before he was assassinated).

The book is a must read for anyone who is into history, especially World War 2. Did you know there was a plot to kill FDR, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin when they all met together for their well known conference? I didn’t. It is a fascinating read.

Meltzer and Mensch do a great job in presenting the events that led up to the “Big Three” getting together. I’ve read a lot about WWII, but there was a lot I was unaware of. I had no idea just how many casualties that Russia suffered. I didn’t realize just how much we helped them with weapons and tanks.

You really get a fantastic pictures of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin. You sense the tensions and the urgencies. You also feel the frustration and caution each men felt toward one another.

You will read about many of the familiar names associated with the war, but there are plenty of names and people you don’t know. Their roles and their work were key to bother the Allies and the enemy.

Can you imagine what could have happened if the Germans were able to assassinate one or all three of the Ally leaders? I’d rather not think of it.

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who enjoys historic non-fiction. Have you read it? If so, I’d love your thoughts.

The Game Is Afoot

Today I finished The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz. It was the Sherlock Holmes novel approved by the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

I really enjoyed it. To me, it read much like one of Doyle’s Holmes stories. I would imagine that there has to be a bit of pressure for any author who takes up an iconic character like this. I think he did a really good job. He also has written three James Bond novels that I may need to check out.

It is funny how my mind pictured various versions of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as I read this book. There were times I pictures Holmes as Basil Rathbone and times I saw him as Benedict Cumberbatch. Then there were times I saw Watson as Martin Freeman or Nigel Bruce. Not that it really mattered, but there were instances where I saw the situations with specific versions of the characters. It is hard not to visualize them. (How can anyone read a Columbo book and NOT picture Peter Falk?!)

If you are a Sherlock Holmes fan, I don’t think you will be disappointed in this book. I recommend it. 4/5 stars.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, he has written a few books with a fictional version of himself working with a former policeman who is now helping the police. In a sense, it is a version of Dr. Watson and Holmes. The next installment of that series is on my “too read” stack.

Next up – a book I have been waiting to pick up for months. It is finally available. Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch have a new offering in their “conspiracy” series.

The First Conspiracy was about the plot to kill George Washington. The Lincoln Conspiracy was about a plot to kill Abraham Lincoln (years before he was assassinated). This one is about the plot to kill FDR, Stalin, and Churchill. I cannot wait to dive into this one.

My Nose is in a Book

This is sad. The recent American Reading Habits Survey showed that over 50% of adults had not finished a book (printed or digital – no audiobooks) in the past year. The data also show that a quarter of the same adults have not read a full book in 1 or 2 years, while 11% more have not read a book in 3-5 years. The saddest find is that a tenth of adults have not read a full book in the last 10 years.

You can read more about the study here:

I would have thought MORE people would be reading, due to the pandemic. Apparently, that isn’t the case. For me, it is finding the time to read. Audio books are great for me because I am in the car so much. However, there is something about holding a book in my hand and turning the pages that I enjoy.

I always have a book in my work bag. I don’t always get the time to sit down with it, but there are those rare occasions where I can.

A friend recently recommended a new book they had finished and thought I might enjoy it. I believe that the book is the author’s first. It is called The Measure by Nikki Erlick.

I am about 100 pages in and so far I am enjoying it. The premise is intriguing and I’m interested to see where it goes. Here is the summary from Goodreads:

Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice.

It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out.

But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.

From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise?

As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?

The Measure charts the dawn of this new world through an unforgettable cast of characters whose decisions and fates interweave with one another: best friends whose dreams are forever entwined, pen pals finding refuge in the unknown, a couple who thought they didn’t have to rush, a doctor who cannot save himself, and a politician whose box becomes the powder keg that ultimately changes everything. 

I hope to get some extra time this weekend to sit with it and maybe finish it. Maybe I will write a review when I am done.

After this book, I have another on the “to read” stack that I can’t wait to dive into:

The Lightning Rod by Brad Meltzer is the sequel to his book The Escape Artist (which I really enjoyed).

I hope that you are not one of those who didn’t read last year. The real world is a crazy place and sometimes we all need a good book to escape into. Any suggestions? I’m always open to hear them. How about YOU review a good book for me? I’d be happy to feature it here on my blog.

Time to get my nose back in this book ….

Weekend Wrap-Up

wrap up

Because of my “real job” work schedule, I have Thursday-Saturdays off.  I have my sons three weekends a month, and I love that time with them.  One weekend a month, my wife get a “date” weekend.  This past weekend was that weekend.


Thursday is usually a short day, because I work the night before.  I sleep late into the afternoon, and then begin the process of going from “midnight” mode to “daytime” mode.  Thursday night, Sam and I didn’t feel like cooking, so we went to our favorite restaurant for dinner.


I LOVE Lucky’s!  Not surprising I am a “meat and potatoes” guy.  I usually get a Filet Mignon and baked potato.  Because I am currently on Weight Watchers, I opted for broccoli instead of the potato this time.  I also drank water, instead of beer.  The steak was cooked to perfection, as always.  I love when a steak is cooked and seasoned so right, you don’t need to put anything in it.  I always ask for steak sauce, but never use it.


Friday is “weigh in” day for me.  After the BIG meal the night before, I stepped on the scale hoping I had lost weight.  Happily, I was down 4 pounds and that took me to an overall milestone.

30 pounds weight - SMALL

What an amazing feeling to be down 31 pounds.  Years ago, when I first did Weight Watchers, I hit a 30 pound loss on the week of my 30th birthday.  I was a bit lighter then, but I am working toward being down to where I was the first time I did it.  The journey continues!


I am not ashamed to admit that I’ve been seeing a therapist since before my divorce.  I needed to have someone who was non-biased to talk to.  It was a decision that I am glad to have made.  She has helped me in so many ways.  I have learned much about myself, and gained many skills through our visits.  I had an appointment Friday morning.  She, once again, hit on something that really helped me.  I’ve been struggling with something outside of my home life and she helped put some things in perspective. Those moments are awesome.  It should help a lot moving forward.  It’s always a good thing to be able to talk to someone who sees things in a different way and can offer honest opinions and advice.


Sam had a practice exam she had to do for her final clinical class.  It was a three hour test that is helping her prepare for the actual test she needs to take for her new credentials.  While she worked on that, I finished the book I was reading.

first conspiracy

Can you imagine America without George Washington?  Me either!  Hell, he’s one of the first famous people you learn about in elementary school.  I went to elementary long before there was President’s Day.  When I was in school, we celebrated Washington’s Birthday and Lincoln’s Birthday in February.  Washington, the “Father of our Country”, was almost NOT.

This book is a work of non-fiction by one of my favorite authors, Brad Meltzer.  As a history buff, I was excited to read this.  This all takes place prior to the Revolutionary War, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and his presidency.  As a matter of fact, I was surprised at just how close to the start of the war and July 4, 1776 all this took place.

You get a really good picture as to what kind of man Washington was.  Through excerpts of his letters, you see the various struggles he faced and the stress he bore on his shoulders.  You really get a sense of the weight and pressure that was on him during this turbulent time in our nation’s history.  You also see the “birth” of counter-intelligence.  It’s a very good read.


The book takes place prior to the Revolutionary War primarily, but it does touch on the first few battles of it.  It mentions the “Culper Ring,” which was a group of spies that Washington used to gain information throughout the war.  AMC did a very cool series surrounding the Culper Ring in the series Turn, which I believe is still on Netflix. Ian Kahn played Washington in the series.


I watched the entire series, but now that I have read this book, I think I am going to revisit it.


We spent part of the day grocery shopping and we made turkey burgers for dinner.  We then retired to the couch to relax.  The original plan was to watch a movie, but when we turned the TV on, the Tigers were on, so we watched the game.  It was their “Pink Out the Park” game.


As you know, my mother and grandmother both died of breast cancer.  I wish I had known that it was “Pink Out” day.  If I had, I may have gotten tickets to the game.  I LOVE when professional sports supports a cause like this.

The Tigers lost (miserably, I might add).  Tiger fans are living through more of the “we are building” stage.  Basically, that means we’re going to suck for a few years.  Maybe, because of this, I haven’t really been watching or listening to a lot of games this year.  At any rate, the game was one of the first ones I really got to sit and listen to the broadcasters.

Matt and Kirk

Matt Shepard and Kirk Gibson were calling the game.  I was quite disappointed.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Gibby as a ball player, but as an announcer, he is boring and monotone.  If there wasn’t a game to watch, and it was just audio, I would have fallen asleep.  I guess I was lucky to have watched George Kell and Al Kaline call games on TV, and Ernie Harwell and Paul Carey call games on radio when I was growing up.


After the game was over, Sam and I tuned in for one of our favorite shows – Live PD.

Live PD

I have dissed “reality” shows before.  This, however, is not Survivor, the Bachelor, American Idol, America’s Got Talent, or those other shows about winning money or a bride.  This is real cops doing their job.  I LOVE this show!  There are some other variations of this show – Live Rescue and PD Cam – which are good too.  In my many years on the radio, I have interviewed police, fire, and rescue people before and I ALWAYS made sure to say “thank you.”  They are out there putting their lives on the line, saving lives, and keeping us safe.  Live PD is a guilty pleasure.

Host Dan Abrams has actually wrote a couple books I want to read: Lincoln’s Last Trial and Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense.  Definitely, two to add to my stack of books to read.


Saturday started early, as usual, for me.  I have to be up early so I can get to the radio station to be on air at 9.

Moose small

I worked for the Moose years ago full time.  I left to take a morning show position.  I was so grateful to be asked to return part-time.  The staff hasn’t changed much since I left and it’s like returning home to family.  I truly enjoy being back there.


I woke up Saturday feeling like I might have a sinus infection.  This is never a good thing for me.  Upon feeling those symptoms, I need to act fast.  If I don’t, I wind up with vertigo.  Every time I have ever gotten vertigo, it has happened because of a sinus infection.  Unlike, Mel Brooks poking fun at it in High Anxiety…..


…it’s not fun.  It is crippling!  The last time I had it, I couldn’t even sleep in a bed.  I had to sleep sitting up.  The dizziness is SO bad.  I swear, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.  You have no control over anything.  You can barely turn your head.  EVERY little movement can cause you dizziness.  It’s awful.

Because of this, Sam and I went to the Urgent Care and I got checked out.  Definitely the start of a sinus infection.  So they gave me some steroids to bring down the swelling, told me to up the Flonase and sent me on my way.  So far – so good.  Fingers crossed!


While we were filing the fridge Friday night after grocery shopping, Sam pulled out the package of bacon that was in there.  She looked at me and said, “You know….BLT’s sound really good.  We should do that for dinner tomorrow.” Behold the power of bacon!!

Tomatoes - Summer 2016

So, we had BLT’s for dinner!  “You’re on a diet, though, Keith” you say?  Yes, indeed.  And Turkey bacon works just as well!  Sam had hers on bread and I had mine in a low carb wrap – BLT wraps are just as good!!

The Week Ahead …

I may have a Guest Blogger lined up in response to my earlier blog.  If you have a story about us you’d like to share, a favorite memory, or a story that one of my blogs reminded you of – I’d love to hear it.  Let me know.

It’s back to work for me, tonight, but I have a very important appointment to keep this week.  It can mean some big changes on the horizon.  It’s exciting.  If all goes well, I will be sharing the “breaking news” in the days ahead ….


Until then … Have a great week.  See you Tuesday for Tune Tuesday.


Looking for a good book??


I love a good book.  I once heard a teacher call a book “a movie for your mind”.  This is so true.  I touched on this in a blog I wrote on using the imagination.  As you read a book, you create a character based on the descriptions the author gives you.  You and I could read the same book, but have two very different, yet similar pictures of what a character looks like.  You take the descriptions that are given to you by the author and the “movie” in your mind brings thrills, laughter, suspense, and more.

The problem that I run into, as do so many other people, is finding the time to read.  It’s much like finding the time to blog – sometimes I have an abundance of time, and sometimes, not so much. I have been lucky enough to read three great books in a row over the past couple months and wanted to share them with you – just in case you are looking for a good one to read at your leisure.

The Escape Artist – Brad Meltzer

I stumbled on Brad’s books when I saw the book The Fifth Assassin in the library.  I picked it up because I have always been fascinated with books about presidential assassinations.  One of the first reports I ever wrote in elementary school was on the JFK assassination.  This book was a part of his Beecher White Series, and I enjoyed it.  This lead me to read more by him.

I was excited for the release of The Escape Artist this year and it was on my birthday wish list.  It didn’t disappoint. From the first sentence (“These were the last thirty two seconds of her life”) on, I was hooked.  It was an amazing book that I did not want to end.

The book is about a government mortician named “Zig”, who works on all high profile and top secret cases.  He is assigned to work on the body of Nola Brown.  Nola, he realizes, is someone who was a childhood friend of his late daughter.  When the body arrives, one thing becomes very clear – it is not the body of Nola Brown. After doing some digging, he also realizes that Nola is still alive and he begins to look for her.  It becomes clear that there is some sort of cover up happening from the government higher ups, and as Zig discovers, a prominent historical figure (Harry Houdini) plays a big role.

This was a book that I could have read in one sitting, though time did not allow for that.  If you like a good thriller – check this one out.  It’s now out in paperback, or you can nab it at the local library.

The Bishop’s Pawn – Steve Berry

I stumbled on Steve Berry also while walking up and down the aisles of the library.  I have always been intrigued with the various symbols used by the founding fathers on currency and such.  Even though it is fiction, the film National Treasure starring Nick Cage, was something I could totally see happening.  Hiding symbols and secret codes and such to point to something like a treasure makes for such an amazing story.  Anyway, I read his book The Jefferson Key, which involves an assassination attempt on the President, a cipher created by Thomas Jefferson, and a mystery from Andrew Jackson that can change the Constitution (a pretty good book in itself)!

The Bishop’s Pawn is the 13th Cotton Malone novel, and involves the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. This book takes you back to the early days of Cotton Malone.  It involves a rare coin and a secret file of papers that contain some explosive revelations about the MLK assassination, can ruin innocent lives, and threaten the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.  After Malone is hired by the Justice Department to do a simple little job, he soon discovers that the Justice Department and the FBI want both the coin and the secret files.

One of the things I love about Steve Berry is his ability to take something from history and then work it into a great book.  The Jefferson Key, The Lincoln Myth, The Lost Order, The Columbus Affair, That Patriot Threat, and now The Bishop’s Pawn are all “must reads” for history lovers.

The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

I have to be honest – I wasn’t sure what to expect here.  I have read many James Patterson novels and loved almost every one.  I really did not know what to expect from Bill Clinton.  The title of the book peaked my interest before I even knew who wrote it. I figured with Patterson helping, it had to be at least a decent read.  What I found was that this was a very realistic, believable, and enjoyable book.  I read it in a matter of two days.  It moved quickly and with the close of each chapter, made me want to read more.

The book opens with the President rehearsing for impeachment proceedings.  Then we learn of a threat to the United States.  The more you read about that threat, the more scary it becomes because it is a real possibility and if it happened would send the country into mass chaos. The threat involves a virus that would not only kill the internet, but would erase almost everything on anything connected to it.  Think about that!  Powerful.  At any rate, it is a race against time thriller which gives us a glance into the daily routine of a President as well as how he must juggle things and prioritize what is most important for the country and the American people.  I enjoyed it very much.

While the book itself would make for a fantastic film, however, Entertainment Weekly says that the Showtime network has actually decided to use the book as the basis for a series.  You can read about that here:

What’s Next?

I anxiously await the new book by Andrew Gross!  I stumbled on Andrew’s book 15 Seconds while walking through a local used book store. It reminded me a lot of Andrew Klavan’s True Crime.  It was a great page turner.  This lead me to pick up more and more of his books.  All of them were what Amazon calls “Suburban Thrillers”.  Then, I read The One Man.  WOW!  What an amazing book!  Imagine having to break into Auschwitz to find (and escape with) a renowned physicist, who is the one man whom the Allies believe can help them win World War II!  It was one of the best books I have read over the past few years!  He followed that with The Saboteur, which was just as good.  I would suggest adding both of them to your “to read” list.

Button Man is the new Andrew Gross book, and it just hit the stores.  I only know what I have read about it online, but I am looking forward to reading it.  Amazon describes the plot as ” a stirring story of a Jewish family brought together in the dawn of the women’s garment business and torn apart by the birth of organized crime in New York City in the 1930s.” I anticipate it being very good.

What are you reading?  Any suggestions for me?  Feel free to comment and let me know!

Happy Reading!