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review 2018-10-17 22:30
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CHARLES MANSON by Jeff Guinn, narrated by Jim Frangione
Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson - Jeff Guinn

This is a fascinating look inside the head of a monster.

 

I especially liked the observations regarding how Charlie used a little bit of knowledge from all sorts of different subjects and wove them together to manipulate specific people. During his many prison stints, he met and listened to Black Panthers, Scientologists and he even picked up some tips from Dale Carnegie's book, HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE. He melded TOGETHER bits from of all them, depending on his audience. The result was often striking-as a professional actor he might have done well, but as a professional musician he did not. There lies much of the frustration that ended up helping to fuel his attempt at "Helter Skelter."

 

Jeff Guinn writes excellent, detailed biographies, (I especially enjoyed his Bonnie and Clyde and Jim Jones books), which work well as audios. I'm not sure if I would have liked them all as much in print, but audio works perfectly for me. (There is so much detail included that I feel like I may have become bored in actually reading these books.) The narrator here, Jim Frangione, did an excellent job and helped keep me interested, especially when detailing the actions of various family members.

 

A warning for sensitive people-the descriptions of these brutal murders is graphic and unflinching. It's uncomfortable to listen to. Even after reading hundreds of books, (both fictional and non), about murders and horrific happenings, it never fails to bother me and I never fail to try to imagine how someone could do such things. Guinn attempts to tell us in his excellent biographies, but somehow, the answer to the question "Why?" is never fully answered in any of them. But I can't keep myself from continuing to try to understand.

 

Finally, one thing I wouldn't want to forget to mention is the ridiculously random nature and brutality of these crimes. I think that often gets lost in the mysterious aura that surrounds Manson and his "family." It would be an extreme disservice to forget: the very pregnant Sharon Tate and her friends, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski and poor Steven Parent, (who was just a young man trying to sell a clock radio), the LaBiancas, Shorty Shea and Gary Hinman. May they all rest in peace.

 

Highly recommended to fans of true crime and detailed biographies.

 

*This fits the "Slasher Stories" category for Halloween Bingo 2018 here at Booklikes.*

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text 2018-10-13 03:46
Bountiful (True North Book 4) by Sarina Bowen 99 cents!
Bountiful (True North Book 4) - Sarina Bowen

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on. 

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life. 

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave From Brooklyn will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Hockey star Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.

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review 2018-09-25 17:07
Bad Call by Mike Scardino
Bad Call: A Summer Job on a New York Ambulance - Mike Scardino

This is a morbidly fascinating book if you are into gross and disturbing and strange true accounts of real life horror (yeah, that’s me). It takes a lot to gross me out but this book managed to do it. I do not recommend reading it while eating breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks.

 

Mike Scardino worked as what he calls an “Ambulance Attendant” to help fund his college tuition in the late ‘60’s. I think he wishes he hadn’t because by time the book ends, he seemed truly scarred for life after seeing and smelling some truly revolting and heartbreaking sights. The writing is unpolished but that is not a criticism. It felt natural, raw and almost like a personal journal. I love that it wasn’t scrubbed clean. My only complaint was the lack of question marks throughout the text. The lack of them kept tripping me up.

 

It’s not uplifting in any way and there’s only a wee bit of humor sprinkled throughout. The overall feel of the book once you’ve finished is pretty bleak, truth be told. People are stupid and have lousy self-preservation skills, yeah, but terrible things happen to everyone and there’s no stopping them usually. Babies fall out of windows, diabetes will come for your limbs, you will die and maybe no one will notice until the flies start to breed. Bad Call (and they’re mostly all bad calls here) is absorbing and once you start it’s oh-so-hard to look away but once you’re done you’ll want to find something to make yourself happy. If you like this kind of thing you’ll know it and you’ll want to get yourself a copy of this book.

 

Here are a few quotes to ruin your day (you’re welcome):

 

“What often bothers me more than seeing how people die is seeing how they live.”

 

And this one, it’s my favorite.

 

“Something is a little unsettling. It’s his blood. The way it feels.

 

It feels good. Warm as it is. Running down my hand and arm on this in seasonably cold night. Nice and warm. It feels really good.

 

God help me. What the hell is happening to me.”

 

Just pretend there’s a question mark there at the end, ok?!

 

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text 2018-09-23 00:45
Reading progress update: I've listened to 1025 out of 1350 minutes.
Lethal White - Robert Galbraith,Robert Glenister

 

Well, good for you, Robin.  This was long overdue.  I hope this time you're going to really go through with it.

(spoiler show)
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review 2018-09-15 01:25
Great Book and Great Characters
My One True Highlander (No Ordinary Hero) - Suzanne Enoch

Rugged highlander Graeme has one thing on his mind—take a stand against the horrible Englishman Lattimer and he will be rewarded with enough money to be set for life. But when his reckless younger brothers take it one step too far and kidnaps a young woman on her way to see Lattimer, Graeme has to intervene. Unfortunately, trying to protect his brother keeps leading to more and more trouble.

This was a very cute story. There were times when I wanted to yell at Graeme for his assumptions about Marjorie, but I felt a little silly when I was yelling at my tablet and it didn’t change his misconceptions:) The side characters were so engrained into the story that they were just as interesting to follow. I can’t wait to read another book by Suzanne Enoch! I really loved it and highly recommend it.

**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book

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