Because last year’s reading challenge went so well.
In the last two years or so, I’ve become entirely obsessed with the world of espionage–the tools and tricks of the trade, the history of spies, pondering what kinds of stories have yet to be declassified and shared. The options are endless.
It all started when my parents told me that they had watched “that Ben Affleck movie” and found themselves truly intrigued by it. They had rented Argo from our local library and watched it one night while I was out. I distinctly remember my dad recounting the fact that they had children putting together the shredded photos of the diplomats and office workers in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, to find out if anyone was missing. Though I hadn’t had an interest in the movie before, we sat to watch it as a family. That was all it took.
Since then, I’ve been to the International Spy Museum in D.C. twice and watched Argo about sixteen more times. I’ve watched all the Bond movies and listened to many episodes of the Spycast podcast. I’ve convinced myself on numerous occasions that I have the guts and guile to be a CIA field operative. I’ve decided that Jonna Mendez and Virginia Hall are my favorite spies. I’ve researched international relations master’s programs and considered going back for a second bachelor’s degree in either IR or history, with my speciality being–what else?–espionage and clandestine field work.
Well, I missed my change to apply to be a CIA publications officer and I’m not sure I’m quite in the right mindset to dive back into that kind of schoolwork. So, in lieu of all of that, I’m very happy to announce my 2017 reading challenge: to read as many nonfiction books as possible somehow related to the topic of espionage. I have a stack of books on assorted clandestine operations and everyday folks becoming spies and The publishing house I work also has a bunch of spy-related books. I’ll probably also re-read Argo. (Of course I read it.) I pledged on January 1 that I’d read more nonfiction books, anyway, and digging deeper into a topic that already interests me sounds like the best way to hit that mark.
So follow along with #CloakandDagger2017 as I share my favorites of the adventures other people have set out on and the risks others have taken! In the comments below, let me know if you have any reading (or viewing) recommendations. And if you ever want to talk Bond, you know where to find me.