April 2024
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by Ken Yeager

While the INTERNET allows me to keep up with much that goes on in the United States, what I do miss is the opinions of those whom I value and those are you folks who I shared some of my youth with (my youth being up until a couple of years ago when I became an adult…).  Anyway, I thought I would like to know what some of you read during your down time.

Television was non-existent in Viet-Nam during my brief time there so when I wasn’t out partying, raising cain, googling the girls at the Circ Sportif or working, I learned to appreciate books.  Not necessarily intellectual type books but books that entertained me…westerns, mysteries, that sort of thing.  I am happy to report that the love for reading has lasted all my life and not just books for entertainment but newspapers and magazines as well.  I hardly ever go anywhere without a book in my pocket (but especially when my wife goes shoe shopping) and usually the next to the last thing I do before turning out the light at night is read a few pages in my current book.  Last thing is to kiss my wife good-night, just so your curiosity is satisfied.

So, at this point, I would like to introduce you to Mr. D.F. Delerfield, a British author (Google his name for his bio and a list of his books).  I have not read all of his books yet, but I working towards that goal.  So far, I have enjoyed the majority of what I have read and so I would like to recommend a couple to you.  My wife is now reading one of his books and is thoroughly enjoying it.  She has hesitated to start with some others because I told her that some of the narrative is written to reflect the dialect of the region of the speaker (is that a good sentence ?).

The first recommendation is for a trilogy of books:

God is an Englishman

Click to preview

Theirs was the Kingdom

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Give Us this Day

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This is a series of books of an Englishman who participated in the Indian wars in India (just to clarify), returned to the U.K. and slowly started a transportation business and a family.   The back cover of the first book reads as follows:

“God is an Englishman sweeps the reader from the battlefields of India to the Industrial Revolution of Victorian England, where dynamic forces were creating an entirely new breed of man – the entrepreneur.  Possessed of a burning desire to make his mark on the world, Adam Swann was such a man.  His struggles to succeed and the story of his conquest of Henrietta, the spirited daughter of a rich manufacturer, form the central theme of a novel that is brilliantly detailed and propelled by a remarkable strength, honesty, love and warmth.”

I read God is an Englishman years ago for the first time but did not realize it was a part of a series and forgot about it until I read it the second time and then it all came back to me.  I have read this trilogy at least three times (honestly) and enjoy it each time.

If anyone is interested in this idea and/or reading my opinion of books that I have read and enjoyed, please add to the post and let’s see how it goes.  More later if there is interest.

Sun is shining but it’s cold…..have a nice day.

5 comments to READERS CORNER

  • Randy Seely

    Sounds like interesting reads, to be sure. I’ve always had a hard time reading fiction; instead, I’ve been reading a buttload of non-fiction. I’ve concentrated on interesting Saigon-related reads on my Kindle, including ‘Spymaster: My Life in the CIA,’ by Ted Shackley and ‘My Father, The Spy,’ by John Richardson (a SaigonKid, albeit somewhat younger than us…but what a great read)! I’m uncovering some interesting stuff about my dad (US Army, Lt Col (ret. 3-tours in VN) from when we were in Saigon (’61-’63) that’s going to surprise my siblings. Several books I’ve read have included the names of old ACS classmates’ dads…much to my interest. My parents (after retirement) drove thru the length of Mexico, thru El Salvador, Nicaragua, and into Costa Rica for their ‘retirement dream,’ only to last 4 months and return to the U.S. So THOSE are the kind of books I’ve been looking for, and, so far, have found to provide some very interesting facts about the years involving my dad in the years he lived before passing in 2005. Dig in friends…it’s more than worth it!! Regards…Randy

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Continuing on in the READER’S CORNER, I have recently acquired an eBook reader. I knew these things were now on the market but didn’t give them two thoughts until a few weeks ago when Skyping with a friend who is now living in Turkey. He retired a few years ago and to maximize the buying power of his pension, he bought a condo in Turkey and so far is pleased with his situation. Not to say things are 100%, but he likes it there, the tennis is good and he seems to have acquired some friends to spend his time with. Anyway, we were chatting on line and he mentions this eBook reader after I was asking him about getting English-language magazines through the mail (apparently one of the drawbacks of living in Turkey is the less than honest mail service…things have a tendency to disappear). He said the mail was a non-starter and he got his reading material via his eBook. Hummm. Upon exploring the matter, I found that eBook books tend to be less expensive than the printed edition, you can have them toot-sweet (I know, I know) and the selection is very large, much larger than books stores here in my area (in English of course). And upon further research, I found that I pay over €30 ($42 a month) for home delivery of my International Herald Tribune versus $15.00 a month via my eBook reader (please note I am not endorsing any brand of eBook reader). Plus when I am on vacation, I will get my newspaper on time via WiFI which is in the flat we rent for our vacations. Soooo, I bit the bullet as the expression goes and bought the eBook reader and have been very pleased with the results. Granted, I don’t get the crossword puzzle (can’t do them anyways) or the comics (I do get them in online Stars and Stripes), but nonetheless, I am quite pleased. And for just a few dollars, I was able to download several books on how to find and get free eBooks. If you haven’t looked into this idea, you might want to.

    I have also signed up with a within-Germany book swap program. I list my used books on the website and when someone asks for one, I send it to them…my cost is packaging and postage. When I see one I want, I ask for it and get it, at no cost. Every time I send a book, I get a token which I can use for a book I want. Works nicely. So far I’ve shipped two books and gotten three. Nice little idea.

    Didn’t seem to be too much interest in my READERS CORNER so unless others participate, I’ll drop contributions.

    For all of you old Army Brats, I recently got in contact with a school mate from 1960. Ain’t the Internet wonderful?

    Have a good week , all.

    • Ken – Welcome to eBook Readers – LOL. Interesting you should post his comment. I just recently became a Kindle publisher. I’m in the process of publishing 400+ books in the Amazon Kindle Store. For those that have not figured it out yet, eBooks and ePublications are were it is at now and into the foreseeable future will become more and more popular. In recent months Amazon eBooks have been outselling paper books for the first time in history; and, are on a steady upward growth path. Primarily for some of the reasons you mention – convenient, less expensive, readily available, etc. With the increase of mobile devices entering the market place over the past few years (iPhones, Note Pads, iPads, eReaders, laptop computers, smart phones, etc.) digital delivery of books, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, etc. has really taken off. All of the different mobile devices have free app’s available for them which allows one to view all the various digital products (books, mags, newspapers, etc.) on them, no matter what format they are delivered in ( pdf, kindle, etc.) they can be easily converted for viewing on any of the mobile devices. One of the really cool features of mobile devices is that you can download and store 100’s of eBooks, etc. on them to read anytime you want off line, etc.. Also, they are handy when traveling to store copies of hotel reservations, airline tickets, passport, driver’s license, etc. on for quick reference. One friend of mine had his passport stolen while traveling. Because he had a copy of it on his mobile device it only took a few hours to replace it, instead of days that it would have normally taken.

      If you want some awesome food for thought, think back to the time when we were living in Saigon attending American Community School and the most advanced equipment we had was somewhat crude electric typewriters and a mimeograph machine. And, things like hand held mobile devices (such as the SmartPhones of today) were just Dick Tracey and Flash Gordon comic book fantasies – LOL – WOW! When I look back I sometimes find it hard to understand how we got anything accomplished without computers, mobile devices, and the Internet – LOL.

      Rock Onnnn …. Saigon Kid while enjoying your new eReader


  • Laurie Methven

    Always trying to catch up on these Saigon newsletters :). My Dad was CIA for over 27 years; of course I didn’t find out until I was a teenager. At any rate, he has written a book which is on the lighter side of the CIA called Laughter in the Shadows and Vietname is one of the few countries he was allowed to publish the actual name which is bizarre- because the CIAs role was so controversial there. The “agency” as we called spent 10 years “editing” the book. I have the original manuscript which was about 350 pages, it was knocked down to about 165. By the time it was published (in 2009), my Dad was blind & couldn’t promote it. While I’m obviously a tad biased, it still is neat book.

    • Laurie – Thank you for sharing your dad’s book with us. I received your email about it today. I’ll put a Post about it on the site in the next couple days, along with how folks can get a copy if they want to read it. From the reviews I’ve read on it, it does sound like a neat read. By the way, your dad and my dad worked together in Southeast Asia through different *Agencies* and undoubtedly had many mutual friends and associates throughout the various *Agencies* present during that time in history.


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