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text 2018-05-23 01:03
A gripping read and hard to put down.....
Fire Lover: A True Story - Joseph Wambaugh

Like yesterday I remember the trial of John Leonard Orr as it was heavily covered in the Los Angeles Times at the beginning of the new century. It was truly unbelievable. John Leonard Orr was an arson investigator for the Glendale Fire Department at the time of his arrest. Turns out that this very arson investigator was, in fact, the CAUSE of a huge series of fire that started wherever he happened to be. And who better to tell the story than Joseph Wambaugh, whose writing style is perfect for this particular true crime story.

 

And like a lot of us looking back on an incident with 20/20 hindsight, you can't help but feel the old cliche of "Why in hell didn't anyone catch on to this guy sooner? How was that possible?" Wambaugh shows you with his top-notch writing style how it was possible. Though I knew how the story would turn out, it was amazing the amount of suspense this book generated. It's been a while since I read a true-life crime story, but glad I happened upon this book. I really recommend it.

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review 2018-05-21 03:28
BASED ON A TRUE STORY by NORM MacDONALD
Based on a True Story: A Memoir - Norm Macdonald

Audiobook

First off, Norm Macdonald did such a great job with this book. In the beginning when he was doing the voices of a young man, an older man, his father - they were all just great. He should really look into doing more audiobook narrations.

And speaking of the beginning of the book. I was feeling so sorry for Norm's family and the family friend with the squirrel. When I started the book I was telling my husband (a huge Norm Macdonald fan), "He's hit rock bottom Danny. He's drinking, doing drugs, has no money, people are tripping him as he gets off stage. It's horrible." Danny said he hadn't heard a thing and he still liked him. Then the next chapters started and I was thinking, "Wait a minute that doesn't sound right." I went online and he wasn't even born where he said he was and he wasn't dirt poor. Norm was interviewed and he said that the only part that was true was when he said there was water in a river. So the next day, I get home and tell Danny it was all a lie - or not really a lie, fiction. 

Norm does use living people in this book especially his friend Adam Eget who according to the book was giving hand jobs under a bridge when Norm made him his ASSistant. The difference between ASSistant and assistant went on a little too long. 

Overall, I loved the book. I'm listening to this book and trying not to smile and laugh like a loon while I'm on the train. The gambling bit went on way too long too but other than that, a real funny book of fiction.

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review 2018-05-14 16:44
Book #874 - 351,319 Pages Read
What Stands in a Storm: A True Story of Love and Resilience in the Worst Superstorm in History - Gillian Cross,Rick Bragg

I heard about this book from a podcast I listened to recently, entitled 'Tornado Talk'. I thought it sounded interesting and decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised by one of the best books I've ever had the privilege of reading.

Slowly laying out a story that the author claimed "needed to be told", Ms. Cross has put together a book unlike any other I have read among similar genres. This book focuses on what has been called the worst tornado outbreak this country has ever experienced (4/27/11), surpassing even the infamous "Super Outbreak" (4/3/74). I was very, very impressed with the amount of research done, making the science understandable and basic, yet not oversimplified for laymen purposes as is found in so many other similar publications.

It is here that Ms. Cross begins to bring the human stories into the developing dangerous situation: a woman and her budding meteorologist-to-be son in Smithville, Mississippi; an experienced meteorologist in Birmingham who would spend literally all day in front of the cameras saving countless lives with his repeated warnings; college students in Tuscaloosa preparing in various ways for the worsening weather; a family in Cordova, Alabama frantically trying to survive. I bring these examples up because this may be the most ingenious way I've ever seen an author combine these stories with the scientific explanation of how that fateful day unfolded. The tension is palpable; the dread is real, and when the worst finally happens, the stories are really only beginning.

The second part of the book deals with the aftermath of the devastation. It is no less tense than the first part, but along with that it becomes literally, emotionally gut wrenching in parts. No spoilers, but I must mention the part of a particular search and rescue worker who volunteers her services along with her search dogs that literally had me bawling.

Whew.....Ms. Cross then does an outstanding job of slowly bringing hope back into the situation: descriptions of emergency rescue personnel along with other heroes, hundreds if not thousands of volunteers descending on Tuscaloosa to help any way they could, emotional reunions of victims with their rescuers, and people slowly getting on with their lives with hope for the future while dealing with the constant but receding pain.

Highly recommended....well done, Kim Cross, a truly magnificent effort.

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review 2018-05-08 18:32
Mob Fest '29 By: Bill Tonelli
Mob Fest '29: The True Story Behind the Birth of Organized Crime - Bill Tonelli
  • According to this book pretty much everything you have ever read about or heard about the mob, is basically wrong. I just wish he had of given us some proof instead of just his opinion with no proof to back it up. He does offer up several questions to think about if you are interested into the Mob. The writing style is pretty good but this is not a book I will remember in a week.

  •  

    I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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review 2018-05-08 18:20
Last Meal: Based on the true story of the Bloody Benders by Paul A. Ibbetson
Last Meal: Based on the True Story of the Bloody Benders - Dr. Paul A. Ibbetson,Eve Arroyo

This book is the story of the Bender family who 1873 were the family involved in the largest serial killing in US history. The book is filled with historical facts s well as some fiction. I am still on the fence about the addition of the fiction. I am all about historical events n their true telling but the fiction did add to the story to an extent. 

 

Between 1871 and 1873  the Bender family later known as the Bloody Benders murdered at least 12 people along the Osage Trail in Kansas. The family was able to escape being captured and disappeared. They were never caught. 

 

Paul A. Ibbetson  has done a really good job adding fact and fiction together to bring this book to us. Molly King narrates the audiobook and though she done a good job with the book at times I was a little put off by her rendition. Some of her voices grated on my nerves, sometimes she sped up and raced through parts. 

 

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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