Thursday, September 16, 2021

Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer

 

Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer is a book that has been on my reading wishlist for quite a while. I listened to the unabridged audio version of Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer, which was narrated by Sarah Mollo-Christensen.

I am a fan of true crime and in 2019, I thoroughly enjoyed Whoever Fights Monsters: My Twenty Years Tracking Serial Killers for the FBI by Robert K. Ressler and Tom Shachtman... However, the focus of this nonfiction book was on male serial killers, not women serial killers. In fact, the only female serial killer I knew a little about at the time was Aileen Wuornos.

I am happy that I finally listened to Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer as it focuses on several women serial killers (15+) throughout history and from different countries around the world. All of the women serial killers discussed in Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer were ones I'd never heard of before. The writing for Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer was good and I enjoyed the flow of this book. The narration was decent as well.

Below is the summary for Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer from Audible:

When you think of serial killers throughout history, the names that come to mind are likely Jack the Ripper, John Wayne Gacy, and Ted Bundy. But what about Tillie Klimek, Moulay Hassan, and Kate Bender?

The narrative we're comfortable with is one where women are the victims of violent crime - not the perpetrators. In fact, serial killers are thought to be so universally male that, in 1998, FBI profiler Roy Hazelwood infamously declared that there are no female serial killers. Inspired by Telfer's Jezebel column of the same name, Lady Killers disputes that claim and offers 14 gruesome examples as evidence.

Although largely forgotten by history, female serial killers rival their male counterparts in cunning, cruelty, and appetite. Each chapter explores the crimes and history of a different female serial killer and then proceeds to unpack her legacy and her portrayal in the media as well as the stereotypes and sexist clichés that inevitably surround her.

I am giving Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

 

I'd put off reading Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu for various reasons... I was mildly concerned that Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu wouldn't live up to the hype because it had won the 2020 National Book Award and also because so many people seemed to be talking about this novel last year.

Curiosity got the better of me though, so I decided to listen to the unabridged audio version of Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu and narrated by Joel de la Fuente earlier this month. 

I enjoyed Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu much more than I expected I would. This novel is written like a screenplay, which made it all the more unique. 

I must also add that listening to Joel de la Fuente narrate Interior Chinatown was a true pleasure... In fact, I may have liked Interior Chinatown just that much more as an audiobook than I would probably have if I had simply read this novel instead.

Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu is a satire that focuses on the stereotypes that befall Asian Americans in a way new and engaging way that makes one think about "race, pop culture, immigration, and assimilation." If you like satire, then this novel is a good one.

Listening time for Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu is 4 hours, 20 minutes.

Below is the plot summary for Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu from Audible:

A 2020 National Book Award Winner

"One of the funniest books of the year...a delicious, ambitious Hollywood satire." (The Washington Post)

From the infinitely inventive author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe comes a deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, immigration, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play.

Willis Wu doesn’t perceive himself as a protagonist even in his own life: He’s merely Generic Asian man. Sometimes he gets to be Background Oriental Making a Weird Face or even Disgraced Son, but he is always relegated to a prop. Yet every day he leaves his tiny room in a Chinatown SRO and enters the Golden Palace restaurant, where Black and White, a procedural cop show, is in perpetual production. He’s a bit player here, too, but he dreams of being Kung Fu Guy - the most respected role that anyone who looks like him can attain. At least that’s what he has been told, time and time again. Except by one person, his mother. Who says to him: Be more.

Playful but heartfelt, a send-up of Hollywood tropes and Asian stereotypes, Interior Chinatown is Charles Yu’s most moving, daring, and masterly novel yet.

I am giving Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Out Came the Sun: Overcoming the Legacy of Mental Illness, Addiction, and Suicide in My Family by Mariel Hemingway

 

I listened to the unabridged audio version of Out Came the Sun: Overcoming the Legacy of Mental Illness, Addiction, and Suicide in My Family by Mariel Hemingway and the author narrates her memoir. 

Listening time for Out Came the Sun: Overcoming the Legacy of Mental Illness, Addiction, and Suicide in My Family by Mariel Hemingway is 9 hours, 7 minutes.

In general, I enjoy reading or listening to memoirs, and listening to Out Came the Sun: Overcoming the Legacy of Mental Illness, Addiction, and Suicide in My Family by Mariel Hemingway was no exception. 

However, I must admit that I was surprised to find myself listening to Out Came the Sun: Overcoming the Legacy of Mental Illness, Addiction, and Suicide in My Family by Mariel Hemingway this month as I'd never really been that interested in Mariel Hemingway's life in the slightest. I am not even sure I've ever seen any of the movies she has acted in over the course of her life. But for whatever reason the subtitle of Mariel Hemingway's memoir caught my attention and had me intrigued, so decided to give her memoir a go.

Surprisingly, I found Mariel Hemingway's memoir to be excellent overall. I enjoyed learning about most aspects of her life, although some areas of her life were not as interesting as other areas. I think the best take away for me was how well written and organized Mariel Hemingway's memoir was. She also devotes an appendix to resources for drug/alcohol addiction, mental health resources, eating disorders, and lifestyle health at the end of her memoir.

Below is a summary for Out Came the Sun: Overcoming the Legacy of Mental Illness, Addiction, and Suicide in My Family by Mariel Hemingway from Audible:
A moving, compelling memoir about growing up and escaping the tragic legacy of mental illness, suicide, addiction, and depression in one of America's most famous families: the Hemingways.

She opens her eyes. The room is dark. She hears yelling, smashed plates, and wishes it was all a terrible dream. But it isn't. This is what it was like growing up as a Hemingway. In this deeply moving, searingly honest new memoir, actress and mental health icon Mariel Hemingway shares in candid detail the story of her troubled childhood in a famous family haunted by depression, alcoholism, illness, and suicide. Born just a few months after her grandfather, Ernest Hemingway, shot himself, it was Mariel's mission as a girl to escape the desperate cycle of severe mental health issues that had plagued generations of her family. Surrounded by a family tortured by alcoholism (Mariel's parents), depression (her sister, Margaux), suicide (her grandfather and four other members of her family), schizophrenia (her sister, Muffet), and cancer (her mother), it was all the young Mariel could do to keep her head. In a compassionate voice, she reveals her painful struggle to stay sane as the youngest child in her family, coping with the chaos by becoming obsessive about her food, schedule, and organization.

The twisted legacy of her family has never quite let go of Mariel, but in this memoir she opens up about her claustrophobic marriage, her faltering acting career, and her turning to spiritual healers and charlatans for solace. Mariel has ultimately written a story of triumph about learning to overcome her family's demons and developing love and deep compassion for them. At last she can tell the true story of the tragedies and troubles of the Hemingway family, and she delivers an audiobook that beckons comparisons with Mary Karr and Jeanette Walls.

I am giving Out Came the Sun: Overcoming the Legacy of Mental Illness, Addiction, and Suicide in My Family by Mariel Hemingway a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

High Summer Readathon 2021 Wrap Up Post

 

Yes, yes, and yes, to participating in the High Summer Readathon 2021 during the month of August!! 

I don't really need the motivation or inspiration to read books as I do love reading very much as it is. But it is fun, nevertheless, to join in on a few readathons here and there and feel like one is taking part within the reading community... Especially with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the raging spikes in delta variant cases this summer.

During the month of August 2021, I read (or listened to) to a total of 8 books as follows:

1. Of Neptune (The Syrena Legacy #3) by Anna Banks




Be sure and click on the above links to read my reviews of each book.

Rabid and Pandora's Lab were my two favorite reads during the month of August 2021. 

Who Is Elmyr?: Histories of an Art Forger by Max Horberry

 

This past weekend, I listened to Who Is Elmyr?: Histories of an Art Forger by Max Horberry and narrated by the author. 

Listening time for Who Is Elmyr?: Histories of an Art Forger by Max Horberry is 2 hours, 57 minutes.

Who Is Elmyr?: Histories of an Art Forger by Max Horberry is a short, interesting nonfiction listen. Who Is Elmyr?: Histories of an Art Forger by Max Horberry is part biography and part art history of an art forger named, Elmyr de Hory.

Frankly, I'd never heard of Elmyr de Hory before, but found this gripping listen difficult to put down. There were so many twists and turns to Elmyr de Hory's life that it leaves your head spinning in a good way.

Overall I found Who Is Elmyr?: Histories of an Art Forger by Max Horberry to be a good listen and also enjoyed the narration of it.

Below is a summary for Who Is Elmyr?: Histories of an Art Forger by Max Horberry from Audible:

Who is Elmyr?

Simply put, Elmyr de Hory is known by many as the most notorious art forger of all time. He believed that if a forgery hangs in a museum for long enough - as he claimed many of his works did - it eventually becomes real. Yet, as with many fraudsters, much of the myth is exaggeration or invention. Elmyr de Hory claimed he sold hundreds of his forgeries in the 1950s and '60s. It’s possible that many still hang in America’s museums today. With the help of his immense talent, he became known as the greatest art forger of the century, and four decades after his death, his old friend Mark Forgy has become the caretaker of his legacy. Forgy has dedicated himself to celebrating de Hory’s talent and fending off imposters on the internet. But in the process, he learned the hard truth: The story you get is not always the story you want. If a fake painting hangs in a museum for long enough, does it one day become real? If someone you loved was not who you thought they were, is it better not to know?

We tell stories about ourselves, about others, about art. Elmyr de Hory’s story is also the story of the art dealers who spent their careers chasing him, the millionaire who discovered his collection was not what it seemed, the biographer who helped in de Hory’s myth-making only to become a victim of his own fictions. And it is about the young American who would dedicate himself to his friend only to find strange new narratives disrupting the story. If a lie is told enough times, does it one day become real?

And so, who is Elmyr de Hory? He became internationally infamous as the world's greatest art forger, but the stories that lie beneath are more bizarre and surprising. When we examine what we value and why we value them, we might find that a fiction told enough times eventually becomes truth.
I am giving Who Is Elmyr?: Histories of an Art Forger by Max Horberry a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Monday, August 30, 2021

Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong by Paul A. Offit, M.D.


 I received a finished hardback copy of Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong by Paul A. Offit, M.D. for FREE through the Goodreads Giveaways program. 

Below is my honest, unbiased review of Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong by Paul A. Offit, M.D.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong by Paul A. Offit, M.D. If you like reading about science and also the topic of medicine, then this is the nonfiction book to read. Paul A. Offit, M.D. discusses seven stories about science going wrong from opioids, margarine, lobotomies, DDT, eugenics, and so much more!

I thought Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong by Paul A. Offit, M.D. was nicely organized, well written, and filled with plenty of material and background information for readers to gain significant insight into why certain scientific findings that initially seemed like sound science went awry and weren't that great after all.

Chapter 8 titled, 'Learning From The Past', was one of my favorite chapters in Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong by Paul A. Offit, M.D. as it discusses seven areas to focus on in order to avoid science disasters in the future. Chapter 8 even sites more cases/examples of science gone wrong with hot topics like e-cigarettes, BPAs, GMOs, and Autism.

The following is a summary for Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong by Paul A. Offit, M.D. from Amazon:
What happens when ideas presented as science lead us in the wrong direction?

History is filled with brilliant ideas that gave rise to disaster, and this book explores the most fascinating—and significant—missteps: from opium's heyday as the pain reliever of choice to recognition of opioids as a major cause of death in the U.S.; from the rise of trans fats as the golden ingredient for tastier, cheaper food to the heart disease epidemic that followed; and from the cries to ban DDT for the sake of the environment to an epidemic-level rise in world malaria.

These are today's sins of science—as deplorable as mistaken past ideas about advocating racial purity or using lobotomies as a cure for mental illness. These unwitting errors add up to seven lessons both cautionary and profound, narrated by renowned author and speaker Paul A. Offit. Offit uses these lessons to investigate how we can separate good science from bad, using some of today's most controversial creations—e-cigarettes, GMOs, drug treatments for ADHD—as case studies. For every "Aha!" moment that should have been an "Oh no," this book is an engrossing account of how science has been misused disastrously—and how we can learn to use its power for good.
I am giving Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong by Paul A. Offit, M.D. a rating of 5 stars put of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!!