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Reading list: Summer with a Side of Spies

Created by: BrokenTune

Inspired by Wanda's original list of Summer of Spies and Moonlight Reader's equally inspiring authorised copy of Wanda's list, I'm also tempted to read some spy fiction - but only on the side.

I have no illusions of finishing all of the titles on this list but wanted to have a pool of titles that I know I already own or can get from the library.

Books: 15

Night Soldiers - Alan Furst
Night Soldiers
Note: Library
James Bond and Philosophy: Questions Are Forever - James B. South, James B. South
James Bond and Philosophy: Questions Are Forever
Note: Own.
I can't have a list of spy books without something relating to Bond.
The Gun Seller - Hugh Laurie
The Gun Seller
Note: Library
Journey Into Fear - Eric Ambler
Journey Into Fear
Note: Library
They Came to Baghdad - Agatha Christie
They Came to Baghdad
Note: Own.
Oh, look! A Christie espionage thriller! Get the gin!
The Desert and the Sown: The Syrian Adventures of ... - Gertrude Bell
The Desert and the Sown: The Syrian Adventures of the Female Lawrence of Arabia
Note: Own.
Not just a famous traveller, Bell was also "attached to the Foreign Office".
The Quest for C: Sir Mansfield Cumming and the Fou... - Alan Judd
The Quest for C: Sir Mansfield Cumming and the Founding of the British Secret Service
Note: Library.
Btw, Judd was a former Army officer but he was also formerly "attached to the Foreign Office". I was rather impressed by his talk at Bloody Scotland in 2016.
Above Suspicion - Helen MacInnes
Above Suspicion
Note: Own
Our Kind of Traitor - John le Carré
Our Kind of Traitor
Note: Own
Devil's Due - Phyllis Bottome
Devil's Due
Note: Own.
Not necessarily a "spy" novel, but one of the characters is based on the young Ian Fleming - that is close enough for me to qualify. (Also, I really, really want to read this.)
A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Age... - Sarah Helm
A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII
Note: Library
Berlin Game - Len Deighton
Berlin Game
Note: Own
54 - Wu Ming
Note: Own.
Not sure how much spying there will be but the blurb promised KGB operatives.
Amberlough - Lara Elena Donnelly
Note: Own
Who is Vera Kelly? - Rosalie Knecht
Who is Vera Kelly?
Note: Own


I think we're going to consume a lot of gin this summer! :)
Yup. And this time there is an excuse!
Btw, I'd suggest some of the Bond books you picked are also better with the help of a little tipple.
Yes, I'm expecting them to be a bit painful. But they might be an excuse to watch the movies with my fella.
Oh, the movies are always a good laugh! Sounds like an excellent plan. Does he like the Bond films?
Oh yes, he's the right age to have seen some of the movies when they were brand new and he's into nostalgia.
Themis-Athena's Garden of Books
I think a certain amount of booze might also be indicated to get through Christie's "They Came to Baghdad" ...
LoL. Yup. I don't know if the "notes" next to the books are visible, but I actually wrote myself a reminder: "Oh, look! A Christie espionage thriller! Get the gin!"
Themis-Athena's Garden of Books
Oh, yes. Must have been blind (also, in my defense and on a slightly related topic, I just returned from an evening out at a winery.) They do show. Hah!
An evening at a winery sounds great. Was it?
Also, have you read the Baghdad one, yet?
Themis-Athena's Garden of Books
It was very nice, yes (as betrayed by the hour of my return, lol).
http://www.weinhaus-gutsuelz.de/ -- one of the two well-established, traditional wineries in the village where I spent the better part of my childhood.

And no, "Baghdad" is actually the one book in Christie's canon that I'm looking at with ever-increasing trepidation (all the more in view of both "Destination Unknown" and "Passenger to Frankfurt", a bastard child -- or first cousin -- of both of which I firmly suspect "Baghdad" to be). But going there in company sounds like that just might make it a bit more bearable ...
Abandoned by user
We need to do a grand gin-soaked buddy read of They Came To Baghdad!
I think that would help a lot. :)
Themis-Athena's Garden of Books
Amen. Pass the bottle.
I'm going to have buy an enormous bottle of gin! And plenty of limes.
I can highly recommend to add some apple juice, elder flower cordial, and fresh mint. Granted this waters down the gin a little, but it is delicious...and very summery.
I'm not sure that elder flower cordial is a thing here in Calgary. I shall have to investigate!
"Booze", "Gin", "Grand gin-soaked", "bottle", "winery", "tipple", ... lmao!
LoL. You found the party! Welcome! :D
Themis-Athena's Garden of Books
Turns out, actually, the booze wasn't even necessary to get through this particular book! :)

Though obviously, booze and spies are a natural combination whichever way you look at it.
Maybe not necessary, but it certainly did not harm to come prepared. :)
Themis-Athena's Garden of Books
True -- and given her track record when it comes to spy stories, bringing plenty of booze was certainly a reasonable part of the preparation for this particular group / buddy read.
As soon as I "smell" booze, I'M THERE!!!
“Summerland” by Hannu Rajaniemi...eh eh



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