Sunday, July 5, 2020

Who Became WWII’s Most Highly Decorated Spy
A book review by Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, July 5, 2020


I don’t know about most people but I have always wondered how I would have responded to the events of World War II.  I have made it my intent to watch as many documentaries and read selective books about the War and I am in awe regarding the courageous men and women who faced horrors the likes of which very few of today’s youth will ever experience; I hope.  It does raise an interesting question and that is would today’s youth respond as the youth of the 30’s and 40’s did?

This book was definitely a page turner for me.  It’s about a French woman who married and moved to England prior to the commencement of WWII.  Because she was fluent in the French language and knew her way around France, she was asked to consider joining the British forces as a spy working for the allies.  She was the mother of 3 girls and you would have thought that becoming a spy would not be something she would consider, yet it was because of her three daughters she felt the need to do something to help the war effort.

Her story was riveting and I could not put the book down.  The description of what happened during her time being a captive of the Germans with a death sentence already determined was not something you see in the documentaries of WWII.  The book is about her ordeals, her life, her love of another spy within her circle, her determination, and her desire to make a difference and of course how it all turned out.  To say any more would do the book an injustice and may discourage readers of this review from reading the book.

Who should read this book?  That’s a great question.  Given the subject matter, WWII, most people won’t take the time to read it.  I can assure you that in this case the truth of what happened is much better than any book of fiction you could ever read.  Everyone would benefit from the book but I think young women would benefit the most. 
Would I read it again?  There would be no need to read it again.  Her story is her story and it won’t change nor would I gain any further insight into what transpired.
Would I give it as a gift?  ABSOLUTELY!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

So Far It's Working For Me

Written by Robin McKenzie
Review written by Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, June 18, 2020

Anything appearing in BLUE is a link to a web site

I would assume that people who read this book do so because they already have issues with back pain as I do.  It IS the reason I read the book.

As I read it, I realized that because I was unaware of the adverse reaction to a poor posture and how that reaction could manifest itself in back pain, some severe, much later in life.  This was especially troubling to me because for years I taught people both in the U. S. Coast Guard and then in the real estate business that involved a lot of desk work.  Typical desk work results in people hunched over their desks as they do their jobs.  As McKenzie explains in his book, this has long lasting adverse results to people’s spines and eventually leads to troublesome back pain.

McKenzie goes into detail about the spine and how pain in one location of the body oftentimes results in pain(s) in other parts of the body.  He provides a very easily understood and straight forward explanation of specific exercises to reverse the affect of a poor posture that lead to reduce pain or the elimination of pain completely. 

As stated, I have back pain.  I have had two major back surgeries in just two years, the last one was in July 2019.  After a year I still have severe pain that seems to originate in my lower left back but then becomes really severe in my upper left thigh and groin area.  The pain can be severe enough to prevent me from doing the most basic movements like walking.  I gave his exercises a try.  Several times a day as recommended.  I can honestly say that I have felt some relief but only time will provide the real test of his recommended program.  The exercises are easy, at least for me.  More importantly I find that I now think of how I am sitting, lying or standing or slouching while at my desk.

I said that people who read this book probably have back issues and pain but the book could be very beneficial to younger people without specific back issues to keep them from developing such issues later in life.

Who should read this book?  Just about everyone could benefit from the sound advice about posture.
Would I read it again?  Absolutely, at least parts to insure I am doing as directed instead of relying on my memory of the advice provided.
Would I give it as gift?  To the right person, absolutely.