May 2016: Non-Fiction


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May 2016: Non-Fiction

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Abr 29, 2016, 8:00pm

May is Non-fiction Horror!

This month we delve into non-fiction. Lots of suggestions have been put forth in our suggestion threads. Those include some questionable non-fictions accounts such as

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson

There are some really dastardly tales of evil such as

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Vlad the Impaler: In Search of the Real Dracula by M.J. Trow
The Lady and her Monsters: a Tale of Dissections, Real-Life Dr. Frankensteins, and the Creation of Mary Shelley's Masterpiece by Roseanne Montillo

Medical Horror such as

Rabid by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy
Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum

True Crime such as

Zodiac by Robert Graysmith
My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf
Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi
Columbine by Dave Cullen

There is a great list compiled by Monkey Non-fiction list here

Let's see what everyone is going to be reading.

Abr 30, 2016, 2:29am

My plan is for Danse Macabre as it's about horror, but I also have several others I could choose from, so I may read more than one or wind up switching, who knows! lol

Abr 30, 2016, 4:17pm

I put Danse Macabre on hold at the library, but I'm also going to look into reading some true crime, if I have time for it.

Maio 8, 2016, 8:38pm

I'm getting ready to start Fire a Lover by Joseph Wambaugh. It's about a serial arsonist. I've never read anything by Wambaugh but I think he's supposed to be pretty good.

Maio 12, 2016, 5:21pm

Great suggestions, you guys! :) I've been m.i.a. for a bit, but I might try this month. Best of luck to everyone!

Maio 19, 2016, 1:10pm

I recently read The Monster of Florence which is about a serial killer. But the true horror is the ineptitude of the Florentine and Italian police services. Made me scared to travel to Italy, not because I might be murdered, but because I might be wrongly arrested.

Editado: Maio 19, 2016, 4:01pm

Perhaps not quite what was intended with this month's theme, but I have been rereading my Amphigorey collection -- I have all 4 -- and they are classified usually as art rather than fiction.

Maio 23, 2016, 3:46pm

G'ah! I got interrupted by a move. Packing, moving, unpacking... Lost a lot of reading time. I do have Danse Macabre on hold at the library, but I paused it for the move. I will still plan to get to it, it just may not be this month.

Maio 23, 2016, 3:47pm

There is one true crime I could count, however. Finished it the night before possession day. I was wondering if it was "horrific" enough to include here, but I suppose a cop getting his face shot off could count!

So, I'll add it...

The Year We Disappeared / Cylin Busby and John Busby
4 stars

In 1979, Cylin was 9-years old. Her father, John, was police officer in a town in Massachusetts. He was shot in the face and survived, but – even though he was certain who was behind it – the police seemed to not be pursuing it. John believed the person behind the shooting was a local well-known criminal, Raymond Meyer, who also had connections at the police department and was known to be untouchable. Even so, some of the officers, including John, still tried to bring Ray to justice for various crimes.

I thought this was very good. Frustrating about the corruption in the police department and not being able to do anything about Ray for so many different offenses. The viewpoint went back and forth between Cylin and John, so you could read about the happenings from each person's perspective.

Maio 23, 2016, 5:31pm

>7 tjm568: Italy is amazing, you should most certainly go if you can.
Also, it was a good book; and yes there are horror aspects not related to the killing, but that is the same everywhere in the world, it's nothing limited to Italy.

I've started reading Danse Macabre, hopefully will finish before the month is up! :)

Maio 24, 2016, 2:12pm

I finished Deliver Us: Three Decades of Murder and Redemption in the Infamous I-45/Texas Killing Fields by Kathryn Casey. It was a really well researched and written book. There are well over 20 victims spread out across more than 3 decades. Not all of the cases are related but there are some that are linked. It's is horrifying to me because it happened so very close to home. I remember when I first moved to Houston in 1994 and the killings William Reece is accused of began happening in 1997. So scary. This book was published last year, prior to Reece finally admitting he killed Jessica Cain and leading authorities to her body and the body of another victim, Kelli Cox from North Texas. He certainly isn't the only who committed these horrible murders but I'm glad some of these girls can finally be laid to rest.

Maio 24, 2016, 4:12pm

I finished Fire Lover by Josephy Wambaugh. It was about John Orr, who was the well-respected Chief Arson Investigator of his department while setting a huge number of fires and not getting caught. He even wrote a fiction novel about a firefighter who did just that, which turned out to be more of a diary of the actual fires John set, his anger at the police, and him not being responsible if people got hurt because they were being stupid.

The interesting part of the book was learning about John Orr and why he might do this. The author leans toward anger and revenge toward the police for never letting him become a police officer, which he very much wanted and tried to do several times but failed. The least interesting was the part about the two trials, which were long and became tedious. Overall, just a so-so read for me.

Maio 24, 2016, 6:29pm

>13 gaylebutz: I remember this story. My brother is a retired firefighter so I tend to follow these stories when they come out.

Maio 24, 2016, 8:40pm

>14 luvamystery65: Your book sounds interesting with so many killings spanning three decades. It does sound really scary if you know the area and drove it at times. It would definitely make me wonder if it could happen to me.

Maio 24, 2016, 11:22pm

Yes! When I first moved to Houston, cell phones were still not common. A point made I the book. Many of the victims were last seen at pay phones. My car died twice in the early years here and neither time I had a cell phone. So scary. Also, there is still so much construction and we are the Bayou City. Way too many places to dump a body.

Jun 2, 2016, 10:08pm

I finished That Lonely Section of Hell: The Botched Investigation of a Serial Killer Who Almost Got Away by Lori Shenher. This was the memoir of the first detective to investigate serial killer Robert Picton. What was most disturbing was Shenher's account of the racism, sexism and incompetence that caused the Vancouver police force to take 4 years to finally arrest Picton.

Jun 2, 2016, 10:50pm

>17 mathgirl40: That sounds interesting...

Jun 4, 2016, 10:30pm

>17 mathgirl40: On the list it goes

Jun 5, 2016, 8:40am

>18 LibraryCin: >19 luvamystery65: I forgot to mention that the last third of Shenher's book discusses extensively her struggle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, developed as a result of her years on the Picton case. I thought that part was very interesting as well, though some reviewers of the book mentioned disappointment as they expected more of the book to be about Picton himself.

Jun 5, 2016, 11:51am

>20 mathgirl40: Thanks for the warning! I think I'll add it anyway.

Jul 26, 2016, 9:29am

>13 gaylebutz: Fire Lover might have been so-so but the case itself sounds outrageous - you couldn't make it up.

>12 luvamystery65: >17 mathgirl40: Both sound like good reads to me, I'll look out for them.