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review 2018-03-02 18:04
"Chicago Eternal" illuminates the graves of the Windy City's famous, infamous, and forgotten
Chicago Eternal - Larry Broutman


Chicago Eternal is the newest release in award-winning photographer and historian Larry Broutman’s collection of coffee table books of Chicago-themed photography. In this gigantic, gorgeous book of full-color haunting photographs, Broutman takes on an intimate journey through Cook County’s cemeteries.



Each picture of a tombstone, chapel, or mausoleum is accompanied by text and sometimes additional photographs or illustrations that give insight into that person’s life. Featured are politicians, sports legends, inventors, entertainers, singers, and mobsters who play heavily into Chicago’s history.



There are also soldiers and children who we may have never heard of but deserve to be remembered. This book is as touching as it is stunning.


Source: www.everythinggoesmedia.com/product-page/chicago-eternal
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quote 2018-03-02 17:24
“For me as a photographer, it is not only the human stories but the visual richness of cemeteries that is so arresting. Photographing the images for this book has shown me how very many ways Chicagoans over the decades and centuries have found to visibly express their love and loss in beautiful monuments.” –Larry Broutman
Chicago Eternal - Larry Broutman

From the foreword of Chicago Eternal (page 9).



Source: www.everythinggoesmedia.com/product-page/chicago-eternal
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review 2018-02-28 21:30
Unsurpassed in detail!
The Researcher's Guide to American Genea... The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. 4th Edition - Val D Greenwood

An outstanding, incredible body of work! Updated now, to include lots of methods of online help to assist you in your searches.  From beginner to expert, everyone interested in genealogy could benefit from this book.  And you will be referring to it, over and over again.  

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review 2018-01-11 20:05
It's All Relative / A.J. Jacobs
It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree - W.W. Jacobs

A.J. Jacobs has received some strange emails over the years, but this note was perhaps the strangest: “You don’t know me, but I’m your eighth cousin. And we have over 80,000 relatives of yours in our database.”

That’s enough family members to fill Madison Square Garden four times over. Who are these people, A.J. wondered, and how do I find them? So began Jacobs’s three-year adventure to help build the biggest family tree in history.

Jacobs’s journey would take him to all seven continents. He drank beer with a US president, found himself singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and unearthed genetic links to Hollywood actresses and real-life scoundrels. After all, we can choose our friends, but not our family.


I would call this a book about genealogy for people who aren’t really all that interested in the subject. It is genealogy lite. Which is not to say that it isn’t a good book or that I didn’t like it. I enjoyed it a great deal.

I’ve been doing genealogy since I was a teenager and discovered our family Bible, with my great-grandfather’s handwritten records of the family in it. It’s huge & heavy and he bought it from someone in a California train station for 25 cents back in the day. He was a lumberman and his family lived in New Brunswick (and he got migraines—he’s who I blame my headaches on!).

Maybe not the most exciting of stories, but you find all kinds of interesting tales when you start investigating. I haven’t made time for this pursuit for years, but reading this book has encouraged me to get thinking about it again.

I had read in a genealogy book that if you have European heritage, the very furthest apart you can be related to others with similar ties is 10th cousin. Jacobs’ research takes things a step farther: the farthest apart you can be related to anyone on Earth is 70th cousins. Start singing Kumbaya, folks, because we really do belong to the Family of Humankind.

The strange thing is, we do have a bias for treating our family just a little better than others—cutting them some slack when they do things that we don’t understand, for example. What better way is there to increase the kindness quotient in the world than to realize that we are all relatives and all deserve that kind of treatment.

Pie in the sky, I know, but both the author & I wish that it could come true.

Read for the PopSugar reading challenge to fill the “Book tied to your ancestry” choice.

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review 2017-12-18 21:19
The Blood Detective / Dan Waddell
The Blood Detective - Dan Waddell

When the naked, mutilated body of a man is found in a Notting Hill graveyard and the police investigation led by Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster and his colleague Detective Superintendent Heather Jenkins yields few results, a closer look at the corpse reveals that what looked at first glance like superficial knife wounds on the victim's chest is actually a string of carved letters and numbers, an index number referring to a file in city archives containing birth and death certificates and marriage licenses. Family historian Nigel Barnes is put on the case. As one after another victim is found in various locations all over London, each with a different mutilation but the same index number carved into their skin, Barnes and the police work frantically to figure out how the corresponding files are connected. With no clues to be found in the present, Barnes must now search the archives of the past to solve the mystery behind a string of 100-year-old murders. Only then will it be possible to stop the present series of gruesome killings, but will they be able to do so before the killer ensnares his next victim? Barnes, Foster, and Jenkins enter a race against time and before the end of the investigation, one of them will get much too close for comfort.


It’s pretty difficult to make genealogy and genealogists seem sexy. Records research is never going to be as riveting as blood splatter analysis or DNA, but Waddell does his best. I liked the link between the Victorian murders and those of the present day. As someone who has spent some time in family history centres and records offices, I could recognize many of the “types” who peopled these places. There’s always at least one creepy dude like Nigel Barnes’ nemesis.

Unfortunately it is cliché ridden (the handsome researcher with something troubling in his past, the policewoman with a soft heart, the stuck-in-a-rut DCI in charge). There’s potential here, but if you aren’t a fan of research or records management, this may not be the book that you’re looking for.

Not bad, but not wonderful either.

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