Nerves and the Nervous

Book review: Hi, Anxiety: Life with a Bad Case of Nerves, by Kat Kinsman (Amazon / Book Depository) Food writer and former CNN writer/editor Kat Kinsman writes a baring, unflinching memoir of her lifelong experiences living with anxiety. I started reading it and had to stop and take a break, because even confronting the subject made me... Continue Reading →

Secrets of Small Town Germany

Book review: The Scholl Case by Anja Reich-Osang, translated by Imogen Taylor (Amazon / Book Depository) In the last days of 2011, Brigitte Scholl, the wife of a former mayor of the small town of Ludwigsfelde to the south of Berlin, is found murdered in the forest. Shortly after, suspicion falls on her husband Heinrich... Continue Reading →

Stop Romanticizing Victorian London

Book review: The Good Old Days: Crime, Murder and Mayhem in Victorian London, by Gilda O'Neill (Amazon / Book Depository) Author and historian Gilda O'Neill, well-known for her social history books exploring the changing face of London's East End, examines the problems that plagued the "good old days" of the Victorian era, using the thesis that problems of... Continue Reading →

Anatomy of an Injustice

Book review: Adnan's Story: Murder, Justice, and the Case that Captivated a Nation, by Rabia Chaudry (Amazon / Book Depository) Like countless others, I was all-consumingly fascinated with the story presented in the Serial podcast back in fall 2014. We're aware that miscarriages of justice exist in the American judicial system, yet we also put an immense amount of faith... Continue Reading →

“Insanity is a strange, peculiar thing.”

Book review: Not Just Evil: Murder, Hollywood, and California's First Insanity Plea by David Wilson (Amazon / Book Depository) Shortly before Christmas in 1927, a twelve-year-old girl was kidnapped from her school in Los Angeles. After a ransom was arranged with her father, Marion Parker's horrifically mutilated body was returned. Her killer, a young man named William... Continue Reading →

Tales of a Red Storm Coming

Book review: 1917: Stories and Poems from the Russian Revolution selected by Boris Dralyuk (Amazon / Book Depository) In college I took a class in Russian Literature of the Silver Age. This is the period of the late 19th/early 20th century when Russian literature reached impressive creative heights. It was such an enlightening course, and introduced... Continue Reading →

Children of the Cult

Book review: The Sound of Gravel, by Ruth Wariner (Amazon / Book Depository) After reading and watching Going Clear last year, Lawrence Wright's detailed expose on Scientology, I've been fixated on reading about extremist religions, especially those verging on the cultish. Seeing Bill Maher's documentary Religulous around the same time further fueled this: I loved seeing him use his trademark cynicism coupled... Continue Reading →

Updating the Legacy of a War Heroine

Book review: Lindell's List by Peter Hore (Amazon / Book Depository) Early on in reading Lindell's List, I realized there was no way I was going to be able to keep track of all the people who were in some way involved in the stories and narrative, whether integrally or peripherally. There were so many introduced in rapid succession,... Continue Reading →

Redemption Above All

Book review: Rough Trade: A Shocking True Story of Prostitution, Murder and Redemption, by Steve Jackson (Amazon / Book Depository) Originally published in 2001, bestselling true crime author Steve Jackson writes in an introduction to a new release of Rough Trade that it was important to him to change the book's subtitle in this new edition. Originally... Continue Reading →

“He who lives will see.”

Book review: War Diaries, 1939-1945, by Astrid Lindgren, translated by Sarah Death (Amazon / Book Depository) Astrid Lindgren, the beloved author of the Pippi Longstocking series, lived through the Second World War with her family in Stockholm, Sweden. She was just beginning her writing career, and in wartime got a job in the censorship office. Lindgren began recording... Continue Reading →

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