Books I’ve read recently

Berlin at War

I was in England a couple weeks ago. I stopped in a bookstore and asked if they had a book I had seen online. Buying in person saved shipping, but the train ticket may not make for good math!

I’ve commented before that I’ve been trying to raise the level of what I am reading. I have some basic novels on the way from Amazon and a few good books queued up. Next is the history of the periodic table (OK, that one’s not for everybody).

I was surprised to learn there were American journalists in Berlin for 27 months after the war started in 1939.

Last night I finished reading Berlin at War by British historian Roger Moorhouse. It is an incredible story about life in Berlin from 1939-1945, and how the average citizen lived during food shortages, bombings, no water/electricity, and the Russian assault/occupation of the city. The story of real people is much different than the story of the generals and the grand strategists. I’d like to find a similar book about the UK or the US.

I was surprised to learn there were American journalists in Berlin for 27 months after the war started in 1939.

As a teenager visiting East Berlin a few times, I saw some signs of the war, but nothing to indicate what life must have been like. This book closes that loop.

Aerobatic video

I BEGAN FLYING aerobatics in 2011 in gliders. Here’s a video of my most recent aerobatic training flight. Enjoy!

I did some training in England and in Germany. Eventually I passed the practical test to get a European aerobatic rating added to my European glider license (Ditto for my British Gliding Association license). Under European rules an aerobatic rating for one category of aircraft can be expanded to cover another by doing three training flights in the new aircraft. My German power flying privileges had expired, so I was able to combine renewal of something old with adding something new.

The Robin R2160 easily the most responsive airplane I have ever flown. This video is from my third lesson. All I see is the beginner mistakes, but I still hope you enjoy it. Why do some people think I’m crazy? Feedback is welcome.

I used multiple GoPro and Contour HD cameras for this. The rear cameras were mounted on a Delkin Fat Gecko mount specifically made for airplanes called a Co-Pilot. I bought one, cut in down to fit in a glider and liked it so much I bought another one for airplanes. The airplane’s intercom is connected to the microphone input of one of the cameras for good audio.

I have a variety of aerobatic books for airplanes and gliders. A popular airplane one is by Bill Kershner: Basic Aerobatics Manual. A great glider aerobatics book is the Handbook of Glider Aerobatics by Peter Mallinson and Mike Woollard.