Discovery of the Week: The Secret Six

A couple weekends ago my parents and I were watching tv and came across an interview with author Brian Kilmeade, where he discussed his new book, George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution.

Basically George Washington was a badass who had a secret team of spies that helped out during the American Revolution. He realized that in order to win the revolution, he would need more than just military strength. He enlisted the help of six strategically placed people: a Quaker merchant and reporter, a tavern keeper, a dock worker, a bachelor whose ability to travel aided in his spy duties, a coffeehouse and print shop owner, and a female socialite.

All but one of these people have been identified by now (Agent 355, the female socialite is the only one whose identity is still a mystery). I won’t reveal the names of the others in case you wanted to find the book and discover them for yourself. My mom already ordered a copy for my dad for Christmas. In fact, she ordered it on her Kindle as we were sitting in the family room watching the interview. Isn’t technology wonderful?

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I’m excited to read the book (after my dad finishes it, of course) but I’m even more excited to learn that George Washington had spies! Not only did he have spies but they were an important factor in winning the Revolution! That is just so cool. I love American history and I love learning something new like this that demonstrates how awesome our history is sometimes.

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Discovery of the Week: Elementary

Hey again!

I’m back after another short absence (sorry about that). I’d like to share with you today a television show I actually “discovered” last year, Elementary.

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It premiered last fall and I started recording it immediately. Now, anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m kind of obsessed with TV. Every new season I scope out the new pilots and record what I think I might be interested in. I may not immediately get to viewing these shows so I usually set my DVR to record the series each week. With Elementary, I basically didn’t get to it until the second season was starting. I had watched a few episodes (maybe 3) before it started again this season and then a couple weekends ago I binge-watched the rest of the first season. Let’s just say, it had a lasting effect on me.

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There are plenty adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes out there for fans to choose from, most of which I have not seen. I’m not sure why this one stuck out to me. Maybe it was such an interesting concept: what would Holmes be like in modern day New York? Add in a gender switch for Watson and you have enough to interest me. And, those are the things that I ended up liking the most about the show. I love Lucy Liu as Joan Watson. She has an interesting back story and is often the main focus of an episode which is nice. Holmes can be an overwhelming character and having a different, and fairly normal, character to focus on from time to time is good. I like too that Holmes comes into contact with her as a result of his rehabilitation after his substance abuse. I think it adds an intriguing dimension to their relationship. I also love Johnny Lee Miller as Holmes. He’s just enough of an asshole to make you want to hate him right before he shows you his vulnerable side and forces you to sympathize and root for him.

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There are a few other twists and turns made to the story that I won’t spoil for you but simply let you know that they add so much to the success of this adaptation. Taking risks and trying something different can be scary and there will always be those who criticize any attempt to take on a classic but I’m loving the Sherlock Holmes C.S.I. adventure that is Elementary.

Elementary airs Thursdays on CBS at 10/9c.