I chose this book from a list of nonfiction for my Adult Pop Lit class because I read a lot of nonfiction, but have never read true crime before. I'mI chose this book from a list of nonfiction for my Adult Pop Lit class because I read a lot of nonfiction, but have never read true crime before. I'm sort of surprised I haven't as I tend to really enjoy things like Forensic Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
Anyway, for class, I'm thinking about why readers might like this kind of book...personally, I'm drawn to the process and the puzzle. I think it's so interesting how crimes are solved and the amazing things we can do with technology and scientific analysis. This particular book has psychic consultation, which, for a skeptic like me is challenging to grapple with, but is really fascinating. Duncan makes it difficult not to believe--she provides transcripts and consulted 4 different psychics independently and received similar information.
On a general level, I think we're really fascinated by other people's tragedy (e.g. Caylee, Jon Benet, etc.) and this allows us to experience some of the feelings associated with tragedy in a safe way--and in a different way than fiction I think.
Duncan is already a successful suspense writer and I think this story is the better for it. She knows how to tell it--and knows in an even more intimate way than usual.
The edition of the book that I read was published in 1994 (original date 1991) and there is an accompanying web site with pictures and lots of up-to-date information. I spent an hour there after I read the book. This is a really effective way to update readers about further developments (although I only knew there was a web site after I googled the book). ...more
There were parts of this book that were interesting, and I confess that I added Erway's blog to my feed reader after reading it (mostly for the recipeThere were parts of this book that were interesting, and I confess that I added Erway's blog to my feed reader after reading it (mostly for the recipes).
That said, the lower star rating is because this book is not what I thought it would be based on the title or the marketing. Erway did indeed embark on a quest to stop eating out in NYC and she learned to love the stove. I thought the book (and its tips) would be more practical. I wanted to read it and feel like I could do it. But Erway doesn't just stop eating out. She also starts cooking in crazy competitions, going to underground supper clubs, foraging for food in the garbage and in the park...it just wasn't what I thought it would be. I wanted to be inspired to love my own kitchen more. I wanted to read tips about how to fit cooking into my life when I don't get home from work until almost 7 some nights. I didn't really want to read about picking edible weeds from the park....more
Talk about a book that will put your life in perspective! I'm the same age as Beah and over and over again while I was reading this book, I was thinkiTalk about a book that will put your life in perspective! I'm the same age as Beah and over and over again while I was reading this book, I was thinking about what I was doing with my life when he would mention ages and years. I had no inkling of what was going on outside of my own little world and I was definitely dramatic enough to think my problems were unique and challenging. This story was told with such honesty--Beah clearly struggles with what he did, but he has found a way to come to terms with it and has used his experience to inform his current work. I found this book both sad and inspiring. I think it might technically be an "adult" book, but I think lots and lots of young adults could benefit from reading this story. It is incredibly well-written and engaging as well as exposing readers to a world unlike their own, which is often the very best thing a book can do....more
There's no doubt that if you're a librarian, Johnson will make you feel super good about your job. She is way into librarians, and that's pretty cool.There's no doubt that if you're a librarian, Johnson will make you feel super good about your job. She is way into librarians, and that's pretty cool. There's some funny stuff in this book about the unexpected things that happen in public libraries, and some very interesting stuff about blogging and about the Patriot Act in libraries. Johnson ends up focusing a lot of the middle part of the book on libraries using Second Life and I personally think she makes too big of a deal about this. I don't know all that many libraries using this...however, I do think her point about libraries needing to be on the front of technology curves is one not to be taken lightly. Overall, I thought this was a pretty good book and one that will help hopefully sell lots of copies and make the general public understand the value of their librarians. :)...more
This book was super. It incites a lot of anger and it's a little depressing (especially if you're swimming in student loans like me), but it is nonethThis book was super. It incites a lot of anger and it's a little depressing (especially if you're swimming in student loans like me), but it is nonetheless a fabulous read....more