Yesterday I started Devil In The White City by Erik Larson, and so far, I’m enthralled by it. The book is about end of the 19th century Chicago, the 1893 World’s Fair, and serial killer H.H. Holmes. History and crime! What’s not to like? Plus, I like Larson’s writing. He is descriptive, factual and maintains a sense of drama that isn’t overdone or schlocky. Even 30 odd pages in, I know I’m going to continue to love it and devour it up by the end of this weekend.
This came on the heels of completing John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. A very solid book, though I rather felt it lost steam towards the end. I suppose when your central character dies unexpectedly and suddenly of a heart attack, this can’t be avoided. From my research, it appears Mr. Berendt took some extensive liberties with his characterizations of certain figures in the book as well as the general timeline of events. He glosses over them in a brief author’s note at the end of the book, but it seems to have gotten him into some contentious hot water. In an interview discussing this with a journalist from The Weekly Standard, he comes across as unnecessarily defensive and ornery. Still, it was a very entertaining and breezy read that I would recommend to those that enjoy quirky characters and highly sensational crime drama (aka ME). Also, I did decide to forgo watching the 1997 film version due to bad reviews and poor casting choices. Side note: I will be seeing Us on Sunday. Very excited for that!
In addition to Devil In The White City, I also ordered Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood from Amazon Prime. Marge suggested I consider getting a library card. Not a bad idea, however, I take pride in building my own physical library so that I may revisit old favorites whenever I want, as I have done this year with Madame Bovary and Wuthering Heights. I did recently start Lolita after having read it a few times before, and honestly, I lost interest. The author, Nabokov, is so smart that the process of reading the annotations to understand his references becomes a bit exasperating. I know you don’t have to do that, but I like to try to understand and learn what the references are and in his work, every page has multiple. Reading Lolita, then, became a rather tiresome exercise this time around.
If you have any other recommendations or thoughts on the books I’ve mentioned, don’t be shy! Let me know in the comments!
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