In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood has been on my to-read list for a while. Honestly, I'm not sure why I put it off. I enjoy both true crime and crime novels and since this is one of the classics in the genre, chances were pretty good I'd enjoy it, which of course I did. Well, as much as you can "enjoy" the story of a horrible murder, of the men who committed it, and the law enforcement trying to track them down. On November 15, 1959, Richard "Dick" Hickock and Perry Smith, on a tip from another inmate, went to the Clutter household in Holcomb, Kansas expecting to find a safe or $10,000 cash in the home. There was neither money nor a safe, but they had agreed to leave no witnesses, so the four family members in the house were killed. Due to the relentless work of the Kansas Bureau of Investigations led by Alvin Dewey, Hickock and Smith were eventually...
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The Nineties by Chuck Klosterman

The Nineties by Chuck Klosterman

Two things first. One - this is the first book by Klosterman I've read. Two - I, like Klosterman, am firmly a Gen X-er. I graduated high school in '93, college in '97. I got married in '99 and had Amber in 2000 (which counts because Klosterman doesn't consider the '90s officially over until 9/11). If I'm an adult, that was the decade I became one. I don't know if you have to be a member of my generation to enjoy The Nineties, but I'm sure it helps. If it was part of the culture during the '90s, it's in here: Nirvana, Reality Bites, American Beauty, Pulp Fiction, Seinfeld, Friends, Columbine, Mike Tyson, Tiger Woods, the Clintons, Dolly, Garth Brooks, Clarence Thomas. It covers TV shows I watched, bands I listened to and rappers I didn't, news stories that feel different when you look back at them than they did at the time. Klosterman talks about why the person and/or...
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On the Trail of Sherlock Holmes by Stephen Browning

On the Trail of Sherlock Holmes by Stephen Browning

I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan which is why On the Trail of Sherlock Holmes caught my eye. The author sets out a series of walks around London, incorporating locations that feature in stories from the canon and incidents in Conan Doyle's life. There are even tidbits about family, friends, and literary contemporaries to Doyle along with the mention of real life individuals and their stories that likely influenced his writing of Sherlock Holmes. It made me want to go to London and follow the walks and suggested side excursions. It also made me want to go back and read some of the stories again and maybe watch some of the adaptations I haven't seen. The appendices were fun too, giving a chronological timeline of the Conan Doyle stories, notable actors to have played Holmes over the years, and an alphabetical Holmes miscellany. My one complaint is that I wish there were more and better photos. I'd love full...
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Wine for Normal People by Elizabeth Schneider

Wine for Normal People by Elizabeth Schneider

Wine for Normal People is such a good book. I enjoy wine — well, some wines — but know very little about it. Wine is complicated, from the color, to the region in which it's grown, to the correct pairing with food, and the temperature at which it's served. I tend to stick with what I know I'll like, but this book has given me a bit of confidence to pick some less safe options. The book is interesting and conversational. We learn how to taste wine, how it's made, how both the winemaker and where the grapes are grown affect that taste. We get a quick tour of wines in both the Old World and New World. The author also gives advice on pairing wine and food, not a list to memorize, but characteristics to take into account. I listened to the audiobook narrated by the author, who also has a podcast by the same name. It felt like a friend...
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Putin’s People by Catherine Belton

Putin’s People by Catherine Belton

Putin's People is a clearly well-researched, possibly slightly biased, history of Putin, the KGB, and Russia from the fall of the Soviet Union to a couple of years ago. This was obviously published before the current war, but you can still see it coming. Honestly, the war is why I picked it up. I don't read much history or politics or economics, but then something happens and I wish I had more background to draw on. I am probably not the best audience for this book. There are tons and tons of people, places, companies, very few of which I'm familiar with. It's a dense book and I won't remember many of the details, but it's also well laid out and at times almost reads like a thriller. The Russia of today isn’t much different from the Russia before 1991 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Not only are the viewpoints, world views, and goals for the most part...
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Death by Unknown Event by Eliza Smith

Death by Unknown Event by Eliza Smith

I had never heard of the Cindy James case before, but Death by Unkown Event, another podcast available on Audible Plus, caught my eye. Cindy James suffered for 8 years, filing multiple reports of harassment and assaults. The podcast takes us through the events in Cindy James' life, and looks at the investigators in her case, her ex-husband, the psychiatrists, neighbors, private detective. It's a devastating story. We see all the theories and options, but at the heart of the case is that everyone failed Cindy. I think that's the writer's point. Regardless of how you see the case, Cindy asked for help again and again. And ended up dead. ...
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