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Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed by John F. Ross available now at Amazon and other retailers.

 

“Racing appealed on a level far more deeply satisfying than fame and money; besides the pure adrenaline rush, it gave him an outlet for taking control and conquering life’s uncertainties.” John F. Ross, Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed.

It’s been awhile since I read anything- especially anything I could use for an installment of “Amy’s #NASCAR Reading List” but finally here it is! In this installment I am reviewing John F. Ross’s biography Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed. Chances are you are having one of two reactions to the title.  One reaction might be “Who?”   The other thought might be something along the lines of “World War One ace fighter pilot.”  The second thought was what came into my head when I was asked if I would like a copy of this novel to review for my readers to the point I nearly turned it down. Luckily the words Indy 500 caught my eye and I thought- heck I will give it read.

I am glad I did.  My dad is an aviation buff so I was familiar with the name Eddie Rickenbacker in that sense; ace pilot of World War I. But that is about all I really knew about him- that he flew biplanes in World War I.  I am going to be honest- when in school I was never a huge fan of history. All those dates and names and places. But this book brings this era that we learned about in school to life for me with it’s words in a way that has never been done before.  About the excitement and the constant changing of the industrial revolution and as the author calls it the “Age of Speed”. The book is very full of descriptive prose that make you feel like you are reading a novel instead of a biography. (more…)

Merry Christmas From BadGroove.com

We plan on starting 2014 with a bang and a contest! Be sure to check back next year! Until then have a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy Happy 2014!

If you’ve been reading for awhile- you know that I reviewed author the first two books in Simon Wood’s racing thriller series here on BadGroove a couple months ago. As I mentioned in the review, I rather enjoyed both DID NOT FINISH and HOT SEAT and expanded out to Simon’s other “non racing” books.  I am excited that Simon was kind enough to answer some questions for me for BadGroove. So without further adieu:

BG: Did you always want to be a writer? Did you have a proclivity towards writing as a child?

Simon: No, not at all.  I’m dyslexic so I avoided the written word like the plague.  I wanted to draw.  I was a daydreamer coming up with stories but I didn’t begin writing until I was thirty.

BG: Your bio mentions you are a sometimes private investigator. How did you get into private investigation work?

Simon: When I moved to the US, I couldn’t get a job.  My wife and I were living pretty close to the breadline so we were looking to supplement our income so we responded to an ad to become mystery shoppers.  We “shopped” cinemas, electronic stores, fast food joints, etc.  We did well enough that we kept being bumped up the food chain moving to restaurants, to hotels and to finally casinos.  Once we started working in Vegas, we had to get PI licenses.

BG: Does being a “sometimes private investigator” help with being a writer- especially in the suspense/thriller genre?

Simon: To be honest, most of the work was pretty sedate and detail oriented.  The only thing we did have to do was come up with a lot of cover stories as we were undercover a lot of time.  The best thing about the job is all the people watching I got to do.

BG: Who are a couple of your favorite authors and/or books?

Simon: I’m a big Reginald Hill & Raymond Chandler fan.  But I would say my biggest influence is Hitchcock.  He understood human frailty and he liked to poke it with a stick and I like that.

Simon’s books DID NOT FINISH and HOT SEAT are the first two installments that follow Aidy Westlake, a young racer with a pension for finding trouble. Since Simon is an ex-race car driver I wondered how his experience factored into the personality of Aidy.

BG: Did you always want to be a racer? How did you get into it? (more…)

Cars on track at Laguna Seca

This picture has nothing to do with the post other than it’s a favorite of cars on track at Laguna Seca that I have taken. This was taken during the 2012 ALMS race in what I believe is turn 7 but I could be wrong about the turn number. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

So several weeks ago I promised you all a story at the end of this post about the first Chase race. Really it’s the story of my first ever race…and I am not talking my first NASCAR race.

Not so long ago in a galaxy not so far away- back when the IRL series was known as the CART series, my dad decided that my fandom of motorsports was not a flash in the pan and I think secretly he was thrilled.  The Indy cars were coming to Laguna Seca- which is very close to where we lived.  At the time I was into that series (I lost interest in it when CART split into IRL and CHAMP and half of my favorite drivers went one way and half went the other way). Since I had always shown a love of racing and specifically CART at the time- my dad laid down what I know was big bucks for him at the time for weekend grandstand tickets in Turn 11 as well as weekend paddock passes for the two of us for the race in Monterey.  I was a teenager at the time- so it was probably somewhere around 1990-1991 I think.  My parents even excused my absence from school so that we could take full advantage of our weekend tickets. (more…)

Rush Movie Poster: Everyone's driven by something.

The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel. It’s a wonderful way to live. It’s the only way to drive. – James Hunt, Rush 2013

I have been giddy like a school girl ever since I found out about Ron Howard’s Rush. I might be primarily into NASCAR these days- but my first race was open wheel (CART) and I am willing to watch pretty much anything with wheels if given the opportunity- whether that be at the track, on television or yes in the movie theater. I don’t go to many movies in the theater so when Misty mentioned maybe going to see Rush while I was in town for a visit and the truck series race I practically screamed affirmations at her with excitement  since she obviously wanted to see the movie too. (more…)

I know several people who ride motorcycles. It’s popular here because our local race track, LAGUNA SECA holds several major bike races, plus a neighboring town hosts a 4th of July bike rally.  During these peak times our local roads and highways are inundated with motorcycles of every type and riders of every skill level. (more…)

I learned to drive in a Ford Limited (LTD). I don’t know the year but if I had to guess I would say it was an ’84 maybe at the newest. I know my parents traded in their red Pontiac Starfire (I think it was a ’75- I called her ladybug) for it because my brother and I were getting too big to fit in the back of the Starfire without our knees being under our chins- not to mention the close proximity to each other- enough to poke and otherwise torment each other the way siblings do and then call out with our tattletale refrains from the back seat:

“ARG!! He’s touching me!”

“No!! I’m not touching her! Mom she’s got her foot on me!”

Yeah we were that family.

(more…)