A well-written atmospheric thriller, Depraved by Harold Schechter (1994) is all true! You won't want to put it down. The story follows the hard-to-believe life of Herman Mudgett aka H. H. Holmes, a cold-blooded serial killer active at the end of the 19th century. A contemporary of Jack the Ripper, Mudgett seems to have been more prolific. He confessed to 27 murders. Others have placed the number over 200. The true number may never be known.
The investigation that finally tracked him down is as exciting as the best TV detective shows. It reminded me of Harker and Van Helsing chasing down the Count at the end of Dracula. And you might recognize H. H. Holmes as one of the men profiled by Erik Larson in The Devil in the White City.
Schlechter is also the author of Deviant and Fiend, two more true crime stories. I haven't read them yet but they're on my list.
I picked up this book after hearing all the kerfuffle about the new Netflix adaptation. Persuasion by Jane Austen is beautiful and I am so happy to have picked it up. This novel is more melancholy compared to Austen's other novels, but with the same thoughtfulness and relatability.
Anne Elliot is a 27-year-old who differs drastically from her father and sisters. They are superficial and egotistical while Anne is a thoughtful, caring, and quiet young woman. Years ago, Anne called off her engagement to Captain Wentworth, the love of her life, at the insistence of her family due to his lower social standing. Years later, Captain Wentworth returns and Anne deals with changed feelings and circumstances of the relationship.
Although the setting and time of this book are a lot different than today, the book is a great read. Jane Austen has created a classic that involves themes and situations relatable to today. A great read!
The possible evolution of the anatomical relationship between fish and mammals is examined in this 2008 bestseller, Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin . I'm curious about evolution, so it's good the author mostly uses popular language even I can understand.
Dr. Neil Shubin starts by telling of the hardships of doing paleontology in the arctic. He found a fossil fish 387 million years old and hints this may be a piece of the missing link puzzle. Recently discovered animal footprints in Poland have been dated back 395 million years—but I wasn't interested in that part of his story anyway.
The winner for me was the part comparing fish anatomy to mammals. That was absolutely fascinating and worth the wait. I can recommend Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body to any layperson interested in evolution, paleontology, or genetics. The book inspired a PBS episode in 2014: watch it on Hoopla today.
In his book (also a hit YouTube series) Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, Emmanuel Acho seeks to answer a lot of the questions that white people have about black people but are afraid to ask. Acho's well-crafted answers are insightful and shine a light on the systemic racism and racist views that are still prevalent in society today. This is a must read for everyone.
Acho's conversations are available to watch on the Uncomfortable Convos website.