July 7, 2011

Hello! Welcome!

I would like to start out by saying that I do not profess to be some know-it-all when it comes to book recommendations.  You will not always (or maybe never) agree with what I say but that's the wonder of the blog isn't it? ;o)  However, I have been asked recently to give recommendations and because of this I thought it might be a good idea to try out a blog.  So let's get started!

I'm currently reading a fantastic bit of nonfiction entitled Thunderstruck by Erik Larson.  The book focuses on the beginning of the 20th century and two men in particular.  One of these men is trying to do something that is deemed impossible: create a form of transatlantic communication, i.e. wireless.  The other is an unassuming doctor who may or may not have commited a heinous crime.  Larson is a master at writing really compelling nonfiction books.  He weaves the story in such a way that you forget that you're reading about something that actually happened.  I personally enjoy reading the bibliography in the back because the notes he writes about some of the sources used makes me giggle.  I'm almost done with this one and so far I would say that it's a definite must-read!

I just finished another piece of nonfiction which was recommended to me by a librarian chum of mine: The Devil's Gentleman: Privilege, Poison, and the Trial That Ushered in the Twentieth Century by Harold Schechter.  It just so happens that this book is written about the same time period as the book above.  This read centers on two murders (and a third attempted) commited in NY by poison delivered in the guise of mail ordered medicine.  One of the interesting facets of this story is that at the time of this crime a phenomena was launched that still pervades today: yellow journalism (gossip rags).  The crime and the subsequent trial were plastered on the front of the papers and the main suspect was proven guilty even before the start of proceedings (seems familiar huh?).  It was a definite page turner but the ending left me feeling somewhat disappointed.  I would recommend it, however, because it's informative and it blows your mind just how much times have changed yet remained the same.

Well, that's the first entry.  Please let me know if you need recommendations and/or what you thought of the start of my blog!!


  1. I like it better when you read and talk about it with me. You tell it better. But other than that this is good stuff!

  2. This post is full of awesome and win. May I recommend World War Z for some seriously casual reading? :)

  3. Vanessa, thanks for the comment! You're just sore because I'm not giving you the plot blow by blow. haha

  4. Eric, I will look into this rec. ;o)

    PS Follow me, bro!

  5. Have you read The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson? It was great in the same ways you described the other one by him.

  6. Jenny, you are fantastic! I was going to mention this book in later entries because I thought it was absolutely fabulous and it was one of the main reasons that I am reading Thunderstruck. I commend you on your excellent reading choices!

    For those who have not read The Devil in the White City, it's about the Chicago World Fair. The focus is not only on the monumental task of creating this fair but on two men: the lead architect and a serial killer who chose some of his victims from visitors to the fair itself.