Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I like to read about history. I especially enjoy historical fiction and nonfiction that deals with the ins and outs of World War II. I don't know why this time period fascinates me, I just know that it does and that is true for many of you too – and many of you have read much more widely than I about this period of history. Still, I want to mention a few that I read and enjoyed recently.

Agent ZigZag: a True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love and Betrayal by Ben Macintyre was published in 2007 after the MI5 finally declassified the files about this fascinating man. Agent Zigzag was Eddie Chapman, a British double agent who spied for England during WW II and was also awarded the Iron Cross by the Nazis. He was quite a character and the book about him is an interesting and quick read.

Halsey’s Typhoon: the True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm and an Untold Rescue, written by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin is another book I really enjoyed. Drury and Clavin tell an amazing story of what happened to Admiral William “Bull” Halsey’s Third Fleet in December 1944 when Typhoon Cobra slammed the Third Fleet while it was trying to refuel east of the Philippines.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a novel written by John Boyne and set in 1942. It is a haunting story about a nine-year-old boy who is the son of a Nazi officer. He moves with his family to “Out With” and becomes friends with another boy who lives behind a wire fence nearby. It is a short but powerful story.


  1. Agent Zigzag looks excellent, I have it on reserve. I have a somewhat rare copy of "The Ultra Spy" about another British agent F.W. Winterbotham who also re-invented high altitude spy photography and ran the "Ultra" decoding system at Bletchley Park.

    Some people confuse the book "The Ultra Spy" with his later book "The Ultra Secret" (which was only published in England.) No, they are two different books, Winterbotham was also a spy in Germany and even met Hitler!

    This somehow made me think of another WWII spy book I had seen referenced in other non-fiction accounts "The Double-Cross System: The Incredible True Story of How Nazi Spies Were Turned by JC Masterman. That wasn't in the library so I found it online and ordered it.

  2. Interesting; looking around I find that Agent Zigzag has a youtube "book trailer."

    Also the BBC Show Timewatch - Double Agent: Eddie Chapman (BBC) is online and includes interview questions with Eddie Chapman from around 1994.

  3. Sounds like you're a fan, Wayne! Thanks for sharing some of those links with us. Any other favorites you'd recommend?


What can I post on your wall?
Commenting & Posting Guidelines

Welcome to your library on social media!

Pima County Public Library (PCPL) offers blogs and other social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter for educational, cultural, civic, customer service, and recreational purposes. They provide a limited (or designated) public forum to facilitate the sharing of ideas, opinions, and information about library-related subjects and issues.

By choosing to comment or post on our social media accounts, you agree with the following:

Comments and posts are moderated by library staff, and the library reserves the right to remove any that are unlawful or off topic. Posts containing the following may be deleted:
Copyright violations
Off-topic comments
Commercial material/spam/solicitation
Sexual content, or links to sexual content
Threatening or harassing postings
Libelous or other kinds of personal attacks
Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity
Content that reveals private, personal information without permission
Vulgar language or content
Comments in support of or in opposition to political campaigns or ballot measures
Content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification

P.S. Protect your privacy. Don't post personally identifying information in these public spaces, including details like your library card number, phone number, or medical information, etc.

Young people under age 18, especially, should not post information such as your school, age, phone number, and address.