Survivors’ Stories from the Tennessee Children’s Home Society

Book review: Before and After, by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate (Amazon / Book Depository) Author Lisa Wingate wrote a popular novel in 2017, Before We Were Yours, a fictionalized story about children adopted from the notorious Tennessee Children's Home Society ("TCHS"). Starting in the 1920s through 1950, a woman named Georgia Tann ran this "questionable"... Continue Reading →

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The “Haunting Melodies” of Liz Phair’s Life

Book review: Horror Stories, by Liz Phair (Amazon / Book Depository) We can be monsters, we human beings, in the most offhand and cavalier ways. I don't much like celebrity memoirs unless they're about escaping Scientology or Tina Fey's. The writing can drag and I don't care about behind-the-scenes stories, so I'd planned to skip... Continue Reading →

More Funny Tales From the Quirky Life of John Hodgman

Book review: Medallion Status, by John Hodgman (Amazon / Book Depository) Comedian, author and podcaster John Hodgman's second memoir-in-essay collection, Medallion Status, is ostensibly built around his obsession with the loyalty program of the airline he calls "Beloved Airlines," and the travels, specifically for acting jobs, he's had in connection with earning those miles. It's... Continue Reading →

A Sociologist Explores “The Science of Fear”

Book review: Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear, by Margee Kerr (Amazon / Book Depository) Last year I'd read enough spooky nonfiction to make a list for October, but this year I didn't have enough appropriate titles to compile one (though you can also terrify yourself by just browsing the "true crime" tab). But the positively wonderful... Continue Reading →

Amateur Sleuths and the Unidentified

Book review: The Skeleton Crew, by Deborah Halber (Amazon / Book Depository) Chances are good that you or someone you know has at one point stumbled over a dead body. There are shockingly large numbers of them out there. According to the National Institute of Justice, America is home to tens of thousands of unidentified... Continue Reading →

A Tragicomic Memoir of a Dysfunctional Family

Book review: The Splendid Things We Planned, by Blake Bailey (Amazon / Book Depository) Award-winning biographer Blake Bailey took on a different kind of challenging biographical subject in The Splendid Things We Planned -- his own dysfunctional family. The central point of his memoir, around which everything in this story revolves, is his older brother, Scott. Scott... Continue Reading →

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