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A Feast for Crows
George R.R. Martin
Japan at War: An Oral History
Haruko Taya Cook, Theodore F. Cook
Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin
Leon Uris
Falling Free (Vorkosigan Saga, #4)
Lois McMaster Bujold
Century Rain
Alastair Reynolds
The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty
Caroline Alexander
Rite of Passage
Alexei Panshin
Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe
Laurence Bergreen
The 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad
Harrison E. Salisbury
The Forsaken: From The Great Depression To The Gulags: Hope And Betrayal In Stalin's Russia
Tim Tzouliadis
The Charm School - Nelson DeMille Welcome to Mrs. Ivanova's Charm School, a top secret "facility" where they teach Russian spies to pass themselves off as Americans to even a real American. Then off to the US of A with a fake identity (Non-Russian, of course) where they would live as American citizens and would pass on the state secrets to their homeland and gradually, would get a virtual hold on the entire country. Who would teach them? The MIAs (missing in action) from the Vietnam War who were captured and flown illegitimately to the USSR from Vietnam.

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I read this book purely because of the subject matter it dealt with. Have you ever wondered what happens to a soldier when he is considered MIA in any war? If luck is on his side, then he is probably dead. But if it is not, it's more than likely that the enemy has him and they are not going to acknowledge his existence. Ever. And sadly, there is little one can do about that as there is bound to be a severe lack of evidence to raise any legitimate inquiry.

But more often than not, it's incompetency and cavalier attitude on the part of that country's politicians that these men are doomed to live as prisoners for life. After all, they have served their purpose of fighting a war for their country, but now it's time for the peace talks and improving relations, so such minor and inconsequential hurdles should be ignored for the "greater" good.

Look on the web and you will not find a single country which has fought a war that is not being accused of wrongfully imprisoning MIAs of its enemies and denying their existence. Think of the devastation it may wrought on the psyche of the family members of that MIA who are never going to know for sure whether their beloved one is dead or alive.

So regardless of your nationality, try to spare a moment and think about these poor souls, because if your country has fought a war in the past 35-50 years, chances are that some of your countrymen who were listed as MIA at that time are still alive and being tortured daily for their patriotism.

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Now about [b:The Charm School|353814|The Charm School|Nelson DeMille|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1337601423s/353814.jpg|1832566]. "The Charm School" felt 200 pages too long. Normal dialogues between characters seemed rather clunky to me. Especially intimate conversation between the main characters Sam Hollis and Lisa Rhodes felt really gawky most of the times. But I liked the dry witticism that [a:Nelson DeMille|1238|Nelson DeMille|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1350335405p2/1238.jpg] has apparently deemed essential to render to almost all of his characters whenever they were trying to outfox each other. Sadly, all the Russians were depicted stereo-typically in the book. I would have liked to see better developed characters on the Russian side.

But thankfully, last 100 pages were very exciting and the ending also seemed quiet logical to me.

4 stars