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The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Duel of Wits by Peter Churchill + 50/50 Friday

On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.

This week I'm spotlighting one of my current reads, Duel of Wits by Peter Churchill.  I just happened to find this at a used bookstore a little while ago.  I have to admit, I had never heard of Peter Churchill before but I've looked him up since then and have learned that he was a British secret agent during WWII.  Anyway, his book is a true story and covers four secret missions in France he worked from July 1941 to April 1943.  By the way, a fictionalized version of the character appears in the movie Odette (1950).


"Gentlemen!" began Major Roger de Wesselow, addressing the fourteen recruits assembled for their first course of sabotage at Wanborough Manor, "you will be give three weeks' intensive instruction in this school of subversive activity.  There will be lectures and practical exercise in map reading, demolitions, weapons training, the Morse code, fieldcraft, and close combat."


I well remembered that the French Section had told me the correct procedure for contacting Louis was to swallow a stomach-ache powder (which they provided), ring at the door, and queue up for a very legitimate medical treatment.  The idea behind this was that neither the servant who opened the door, nor anyone else, could possibly suspect such a caller of being anything but a very sick and miserable individual.

50/50 Friday: Best/ Worst Book You Read For School

Worst - The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand - This one actually made my 50/50 Friday last week.  Like I said then it was hands down the worst book I had to read for school.  It was probably the angriest I've ever been while reading a book for class.

Best - The Beetle by Richard Marsh - Maybe not the best, but definitely the most fun to read in class.  I was in a college course where we read Gothic Horror novels and this was totally one of the highlights, especially considering I'd never even heard of it before that class.  It's interesting to note that this supernatural thriller came out in 1897, the same year as Dracula, and was initially a bigger commercial success.  It stayed in print 1960 until it was re-released in 2004.

Have you read any of these books?  What are your reading today?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!


  1. Hi Lauren!

    A British secret agent, now I am intrigued!

    Here's mine! HAPPY EASTER!

    Hope you have a lovely long, restful, weekend full of books!

  2. I like spies but don't generally read nonfiction. I hope you are enjoying the book. This week I am featuring A Death of No Importance by Mariah Fredericks. Happy reading!

  3. A spy story is always a good way to bury oneself in a book. Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “SAINTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS”

  4. I love non-fiction, and that alone appeals to me. The fact it's about spies has me even more intrigued! Happy Easter weekend!

    1. Definitely! Thanks, Freda. I hope you had a good one. :)

  5. Ooo The Beetle sounds interesting! I haven't read too much gothic horror because generally, I find that I get really irritated while reading them for some inexplicable reason but maybe I'll give it a shot. Thanks for linking up, Lauren!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

  6. I've never heard of The Beetle, but that's interesting that it was initially more successful than Dracula!! Thanks for sharing. :)


    1. That was quite a surprise when we were going over it in class. :)

      Thanks for coming over, Lauren.

  7. I enjoy some non fiction but usually watch documentaries. I seldom read books. I should rethink that.

    My Friday 56 from Mystic Falls

    1. I don't read a lot of nf either, but this one sounded too good to skip.

      Thanks for sharing, Laura. :)

  8. Ooh that beginning and 56 are definitely interesting! Sounds like a good book!

  9. I have never read The Beetle but now I I'm adding it to my TBR!

    Thanks for linking up!

    1. Woot! I hope you'll enjoy it when you get there, Carrie. :)


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