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20 minutes ago, blackwing said:

The authors I like best are Paige Shelton, Vicki Delany, and Ellery Adams. 

Great!  I'm already familiar with Delany and her Sherlock bookshop series.  They're basically a template for the modern cozy:  amateur detective, brisk plot, not too violent, doesn't take itself too seriously.  

I'll check out my library for Shelton and Adams.

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I don't know if Lawrence Block books would be considered "cozy". His burglar Bernie, is not violent and he owns a book store but it's set in the city...

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I'm a third of the way through What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins, which apparently has been on a lot of "what to read this summer" lists that I didn't see and instead just grabbed from the blurb on the library ebook page. I'm immersed and enjoying it a great deal.  The Revisioners by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, which I've been waiting for a while,  is up next.  

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On 6/15/2021 at 9:07 AM, BlackberryJam said:

I spend about an hour each day in the car. Since I don't enjoy music that much, I've really become a fan of audiobooks. The Brown ones are really well done.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. 

I need a new nice cozy series. Suggestions? I like cozy, but not completely ridiculous (like the Hannah Swenson books by Joanne Fluke.)

The book made a lot of headlines after Oprah picked it. I read it. Hated it. Maybe because I knew she was getting betrayed all along? It's been a while and I disliked it so much that I put it down and blocked it from my brain.

I know a lot of other people loved it.

 

Asking about a series took me way back to that wonderful series about the veterinarian over in England.  I think his name was James Heriot and one of the books was All things bright and beautiful.

They did movies on the book series shown on PBS broadcasting but I enjoyed the books much more!

I'm currently reading Daisy Brown and the Six a Reese Witherspoon book club book.  It's about a rock and roll band and so far their startup!

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Still on the fifth Witcher book. Might finish it this month, I don't know. With every book, the writing style does get better, but... overall, Sapkowski is still a mediocre writer (or the interpreter is mediocre, but, since the style of the book with every book gets better, as I've said, I'm guessing its the author's approach to writing that irritates me). 😒

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18 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

I don't know if Lawrence Block books would be considered "cozy". His burglar Bernie, is not violent and he owns a book store but it's set in the city...

Love Bernie Rhodenbarr!  I guess of the 3 series that Block writes, Bernie's is by far the cozy-est.  Block is such a good writer that he can put Bernie in the same situation 10 times (Bernie commits a burglary, finds a dead body, is caught by police and is charged with murder, Bernie sets out to clear himself, Bernie investigates, Bernie gathers all the suspects together, Bernie unmasks the murderer.), but every book seems brand new.  I love how Block can poke fun at the form of the locked room mystery, but still adhere to it's rules (or tropes, depending on how you look at it).  He's such a good writer, originally I read the rather dark, definitely hard-boiled Matt Scudder books.  Started reading the Bernie books after the Scudders.

The following is a quote from an article about the late great Sue Grafton about Block and Rhodenbarr:

When Lawrence Block wrote about a white male Jewish burglar named Bernie Rhodenbarr, he sold the rights to Hollywood and they cast Whoopi Goldberg as Bernie. If I ever had the poor taste to sell Kinsey to Hollywood, they would hire Eddie Murphy to play her. It would be a big old mess. I have had offers. I just don't want anyone tampering with Kinsey.

I miss Sue and Kinsey.

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45 minutes ago, sugarbaker design said:

Love Bernie Rhodenbarr!  I guess of the 3 series that Block writes, Bernie's is by far the cozy-est.  Block is such a good writer that he can put Bernie in the same situation 10 times (Bernie commits a burglary, finds a dead body, is caught by police and is charged with murder, Bernie sets out to clear himself, Bernie investigates, Bernie gathers all the suspects together, Bernie unmasks the murderer.), but every book seems brand new.  I love how Block can poke fun at the form of the locked room mystery, but still adhere to it's rules (or tropes, depending on how you look at it).  He's such a good writer, originally I read the rather dark, definitely hard-boiled Matt Scudder books.  Started reading the Bernie books after the Scudders.

The following is a quote from an article about the late great Sue Grafton about Block and Rhodenbarr:

When Lawrence Block wrote about a white male Jewish burglar named Bernie Rhodenbarr, he sold the rights to Hollywood and they cast Whoopi Goldberg as Bernie. If I ever had the poor taste to sell Kinsey to Hollywood, they would hire Eddie Murphy to play her. It would be a big old mess. I have had offers. I just don't want anyone tampering with Kinsey.

I miss Sue and Kinsey.

Did she ever get to Z?

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2 minutes ago, peacheslatour said:

Did she ever get to Z?

From a statement from Sue's widower Steve Humphrey:

"Sue always said that she would continue writing as long as she had the juice," she wrote in a post on Grafton's page. "Many of you also know that she was adamant that her books would never be turned into movies or TV shows, and in that same vein, she would never allow a ghost writer to write in her name. Because of all of those things, and out of the deep abiding love and respect for our dear sweet Sue, as far as we in the family are concerned, the alphabet now ends at Y."

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Love Block's Bernie series. Also have read most of the Scudder books but they are darker. 

For comedic mystery/caper books, no one beats Donald Westlake. His John Dortmunder books are wonderful.  They've been made into movies (The Hot Rock with Robert Redford(!!!) as Dortmunder) I remember reading Good Behavior and laughing out loud while riding the subway, thinking my fellow riders would think I'm nuts! Sadly, Donald has passed on so no new books.

And he and Block were well acquainted -- in their early days they wrote erotica together!!! 

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And he and Block were well acquainted -- in their early days they wrote erotica together!!! 

No kidding? Wow!

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21 minutes ago, SusieQ said:

For comedic mystery/caper books, no one beats Donald Westlake. His John Dortmunder books are wonderful.  They've been made into movies (The Hot Rock with Robert Redford(!!!) as Dortmunder) I remember reading Good Behavior and laughing out loud while riding the subway, thinking my fellow riders would think I'm nuts

Thanks for mentioning Westlake, he's one of those authors I've always wanted to pick up but for some reason I never did.  My library system doesn't carry any of the Dortmunder books, but I just bought a used copy of The Hot Rock on abe.com for less than $5!  Win!

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21 minutes ago, sugarbaker design said:

Thanks for mentioning Westlake, he's one of those authors I've always wanted to pick up but for some reason I never did.  My library system doesn't carry any of the Dortmunder books, but I just bought a used copy of The Hot Rock on abe.com for less than $5!  Win!

Yeah, Westlake books are hard to get from my library, too. I bought up lots of them from Better World Books. BWB if you're not aware buys up "discarded" library books and sells most for under $5, with free shipping. All the books that libraries used to sell at their used book sales now seem to go to BWB. I've got books from libraries across the country. Kind of fun.

With Westlake be aware that these were written in the 70s and 80s so you know the drill.

And in my mind John Dortmunder is nothing like Robert Redford! But that's Hollywood for you.

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Just now, SusieQ said:

And in my mind John Dortmunder is nothing like Robert Redford! But that's Hollywood for you.

and Bernie Rhodenbarr is nothing like Whoopi Goldberg!

1 minute ago, SusieQ said:

Yeah, Westlake books are hard to get from my library, too. I bought up lots of them from Better World Books. BWB if you're not aware buys up "discarded" library books and sells most for under $5, with free shipping.

Yes!  BWB is a major supplier on abe.com and alibris.com.

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22 hours ago, sugarbaker design said:

Great!  I'm already familiar with Delany and her Sherlock bookshop series.  They're basically a template for the modern cozy:  amateur detective, brisk plot, not too violent, doesn't take itself too seriously.  

I'll check out my library for Shelton and Adams.

I enjoyed the Adams Books by the Bay series. The others, not so much. I'm looking into Shelton now. 

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And in my mind John Dortmunder is nothing like Robert Redford! But that's Hollywood for you.

And in my mind Alex Cross looks nothing like Morgan Freeman and as handsome as Denzel is, I pictured Easy Rawlins looking like Sugar Ray Leonard. Don Cheadle was perfect as Mouse though.

Edited by peacheslatour
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Speaking of Sue Grafton, Don’t you hate it when your favorite series authors die or stop writing?  My husband and I always liked to listen to the Grafton and Jack Reacher novels on our long car rides. We may have found a successor to Reacher. My friend just recommended the Peter Ash series by Nick Petrie. Also about a returned vet. We got part way through the first book, The Drifter, today and yesterday. Very good so far. We still like the Michael Connelly Bosch books. 

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18 hours ago, GussieK said:

Speaking of Sue Grafton, Don’t you hate it when your favorite series authors die or stop writing?  

Yes.  I especially noticed this with cozy series, where the authors just disappeared or a series just ended and they had a new series coming out.  It took me some time to understand that these were probably publisher-mandated decisions.  It's too bad, because I hate getting into a series only to have it suddenly ended by the publisher.

I know that nothing can stop time, but I really miss the writing of John Jakes, the Godfather of the Historical Novel.  I have loved every single one of his books and will go back and read the "North and South" series again one day.  I believe he's almost 90 and he hasn't released a book in about 15 years, so I assumed he had retired.  But I never saw any official announcement of his retirement, he just kind of stopped writing.  I'm sad that his Crown Family Saga (which started with "Homeland" and continued some years later with "American Dreams") will never be finished, as I thought it was always intended to be a trilogy.

I also don't know what happened to Gary Corby.  He wrote this great mystery series set in Ancient Greece.  There are about 7 books in the series, he was writing about one per year.  The last one came out in 2017 and his blog hasn't been updated since then, and he hasn't posted on Twitter since 2018.  I haven't been able to find out any information about whether he died or stopped writing, but I miss his books.

I am currently reading The Two Lost Mountains by Matthew Reilly.  Reilly is an Australian author who writes action-packed adventure books that read like they could be blockbuster movie screenplays.  There's always riddles and cool sets and stunts and improbable death-defying action.  Great fun.

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I am half way through The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz which is book 2 in the Jane Hawk series.  The first book started slow and took a while before it really gripped me.  I decided to give the next book in the series a chance because I was very interested by the end of book 1.  I prefer book 2 so far.  I feel like it has better pacing.  The situation is very disturbing/suspenseful.   The odds Jane is facing are terrible and I really am intrigued where the story goes next.

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6 minutes ago, Luckylyn said:

I am half way through The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz which is book 2 in the Jane Hawk series.  The first book started slow and took a while before it really gripped me.  I decided to give the next book in the series a chance because I was very interested by the end of book 1.  I prefer book 2 so far.  I feel like it has better pacing.  The situation is very disturbing/suspenseful.   The odds Jane is facing are terrible and I really am intrigued where the story goes next.

I used to read a lot of Dean Koontz. I should start again, that sounds intriguing.

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Just finished: Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica, which follows the disappearances of two women in suburban Chicago, one right after the other. I had the same problem with this that I do with a lot of mysteries lately: the reveal is fine, but would have been a lot better if the groundwork had been properly laid.

Spoiler

Like, give me something besides Bea's soundproof studio that can be called back to later. Her propensity for irresponsible drinking, a paranoia around driving--otherwise it comes very out of left field that this solid, sensible woman is responsible for two murders and a kidnapping.

I did enjoy the smaller reveal that

Spoiler

the girl Josh and Leo think is Delilah is a completely different girl.

Also just in general I don't enjoy Kubica's prose style, and there were a lot of passages that were in desperate need of some good editing due to how repetitive they were. I know repetition can have certain stylistic value, but it wasn't the case in this book.

Next up: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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This is a good series but it begins to seem too wordy/draggy in the last 2 of 5 books. This is another series we listen to in the car instead of reading. 

7 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

I used to read a lot of Dean Koontz. I should start again, that sounds intriguing.

 

8 hours ago, Luckylyn said:

I am half way through The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz which is book 2 in the Jane Hawk series.  The first book started slow and took a while before it really gripped me.  I decided to give the next book in the series a chance because I was very interested by the end of book 1.  I prefer book 2 so far.  I feel like it has better pacing.  The situation is very disturbing/suspenseful.   The odds Jane is facing are terrible and I really am intrigued where the story goes next.

Edited by GussieK
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When I read a who done it book I like to read the last chapter first!

Then I can follow the actions of the killer throughout the book!

Just wondered if anybody else does this.

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1 minute ago, Jeanne222 said:

When I read a who done it book I like to read the last chapter first!

Blasphemy!  Sacrilege!  ;)

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2 hours ago, Jeanne222 said:

When I read a who done it book I like to read the last chapter first!

Then I can follow the actions of the killer throughout the book!

Just wondered if anybody else does this.

image.png.a31d02758a3fce3d8d592741cfb6d13b.png

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2 hours ago, Jeanne222 said:

When I read a who done it book I like to read the last chapter first!

Then I can follow the actions of the killer throughout the book!

Just wondered if anybody else does this.

I don't do this, but I can see why you would enjoy it.  I recently watched a couple of movies starting near the end because I was channel surfing.  Then I went back and started at the beginning.  It has the same informational effect. 

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3 hours ago, Jeanne222 said:

When I read a who done it book I like to read the last chapter first!

Then I can follow the actions of the killer throughout the book!

Just wondered if anybody else does this.

rs_500x223-161122153129-Harry-when-harry

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4 hours ago, Jeanne222 said:

When I read a who done it book I like to read the last chapter first!

Then I can follow the actions of the killer throughout the book!

Just wondered if anybody else does this.

Not necessarily with who done it books, but for a few years I had a system that I would skip passages of the book I was reading to check the general plot, while I was also slowly reading the full book. This was mostly when I started reading in English (as a second language) and it took me longer to read it than I would like. Now that I read at about the same pace as in my first language, I try not to do it too often, but I still sometimes do when I get stuck at some passage I find boring. 

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15 minutes ago, JustHereForFood said:

Not necessarily with who done it books, but for a few years I had a system that I would skip passages of the book I was reading to check the general plot, while I was also slowly reading the full book. This was mostly when I started reading in English (as a second language) and it took me longer to read it than I would like. Now that I read at about the same pace as in my first language, I try not to do it too often, but I still sometimes do when I get stuck at some passage I find boring. 

I have a confession to make. I skipped all the songs in LOTR. There. I said it.

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2 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

I have a confession to make. I skipped all the songs in LOTR. There. I said it.

I always try to read them, but end up skipping them a couple of chapters in. But if you listen to them, in the movies and other adaptations, they're actually really good. Some things should be heard, not read.

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7 hours ago, Jeanne222 said:

When I read a who done it book I like to read the last chapter first!

Then I can follow the actions of the killer throughout the book!

Just wondered if anybody else does this.

No, but I kind of want to try it now. Sounds fun. I do, if a book sounds kind of intriguing, but claims to have a "shocking twist you won't believe!" at the end, I will read spoilers to find out what the twist is before committing to the book. 1) because I don't want to speed through the book to get to the twist to find out what it is and 2) because if the twist is stupid I don't want to read the whole book only to be pissed off by the ending. 

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Thanks for the smiles.  I wasn’t sure if anybody else did that!

I did it once and really enjoyed following all the characters knowing who done it!

Surely not for everybody!

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2 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

I have a confession to make. I skipped all the songs in LOTR. There. I said it.

I have a confession to make.  I skipped all of LOTR period.  Just doesn't appeal to me.

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I don’t read the last chapter of a whodunnit first but I will flip to the last page or two of a missing-kid book. Not to find out the whos and the whys, just to make sure they, y’know, find the kid. Because a missing kid is one story and a missing-and-dead kid is a vastly different story and I want to know ahead of time which one I’m getting.

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1 hour ago, Dani-Ellie said:

Because a missing kid is one story and a missing-and-dead kid is a vastly different story and I want to know ahead of time which one I’m getting.

I do this.  If I am reading a story and I am getting attached to a character and I am getting an inkling they may not make it to the end, I'll check to see if they make it.  The cool thing about Kindle searching is that it is possible to do without spoilering too much. It tells you how many times that search term appears, whereabouts in the book it appears and each time that term appears it gives you a sentence or two before and after it so you get context just for the search term.

 

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13 minutes ago, DearEvette said:

If I am reading a story and I am getting attached to a character and I am getting an inkling they may not make it to the end, I'll check to see if they make it. 

I totally do that, too!

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In Cold Blood (the late Truman Capote's 1965 "non-fiction novel" classic about the gruesome, grisly murders of the Clutter family in Holcomb, KS in 1959; true, but somewhat hard to read and believe [albeit I'm almost halfway through it]).

incoldblood1.thumb.jpg.f17f8592afc606891c8fed96cf07375d.jpg

incoldblood2.thumb.jpg.5e458365b040774d880789d59f569433.jpg

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18 minutes ago, Annber03 said:

I've read that book! Very haunting. 

And I've heard of it (and the 1967 Columbia Pictures film of the same name), but have never read the book until now (or seen the film).

Edited by bmasters9 · Reason: Recent response
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11 hours ago, GussieK said:

I have a confession to make.  I skipped all of LOTR period.  Just doesn't appeal to me.

It's my favourite book, but I agree that it's an acquired taste. I won't force anyone to read it, there are plenty of classics I ignore myself.

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@bmasters9 Yeah, I didn't read the book until about...seven years or so ago, I think it was? I was familiar with the case prior to that, and I'd heard so much about the book that I was curious, so I would read it on my breaks at work (I worked at a bookstore) and I was drawn in right away. Capote can tell a story, that's for sure. 

I haven't seen the movie, either, outside of an occasional clip. I do remember seeing a story about the Clutter case on some show once, though, and when they talked about the movie and showed a picture of Robert Blake side by side with one of Perry Smith....it was spooky how close the resemblance was. 

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8 hours ago, Annber03 said:

@bmasters9 Yeah, I didn't read the book until about...seven years or so ago, I think it was? I was familiar with the case prior to that, and I'd heard so much about the book that I was curious, so I would read it on my breaks at work (I worked at a bookstore) and I was drawn in right away. Capote can tell a story, that's for sure. 

I haven't seen the movie, either, outside of an occasional clip. I do remember seeing a story about the Clutter case on some show once, though, and when they talked about the movie and showed a picture of Robert Blake side by side with one of Perry Smith....it was spooky how close the resemblance was. 

If you get a chance, watch the movie Capote with Phillip Seymour Hoffman. It's a brilliant performance by an actor and shows the toll that case had on Capote's mental and physical health. You see, he couldn't finish the book until the trial was over, so he spent months in Kansas with the two murderers. He mainly spent time with Perry, with whom he developed a strong rapport and kind of sympatico relationship, their childhoods being rather similar. It's a breathtaking film.

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5 hours ago, Annber03 said:

@bmasters9 Yeah, I didn't read the book until about...seven years or so ago, I think it was? I was familiar with the case prior to that, and I'd heard so much about the book that I was curious, so I would read it on my breaks at work (I worked at a bookstore) and I was drawn in right away. Capote can tell a story, that's for sure. 

I haven't seen the movie, either, outside of an occasional clip. I do remember seeing a story about the Clutter case on some show once, though, and when they talked about the movie and showed a picture of Robert Blake side by side with one of Perry Smith....it was spooky how close the resemblance was. 

I think I saw some show on that case too. It was very good!  Can’t remember. Dateline or 20/20?  

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I don't think I've ever noticed this thread before. The book I am currently reading is called The Wonders of Vilayet written by Mirza Sheikh I'tesamuddin, a Bengali secretary employed by the East India Company in the 18th century, who travelled on a mission to Britain to seek protection for the Mogul emperor Shah Alam II in 1765. The book, translated into English by a descendant, is basically a travelogue, his account of his travels, and is simply a delight. He has such an eye for detail, describing all kinds of aspects of life in Europe and the UK in the 18th century, and his personality comes shining through throughout. Most of the surviving accounts of 18th century life in Europe and Britain were written by people who lived there, which makes the Mirza's outsider perspective all the most fascinating to read - he goes into quite granular detail, because he was writing for an audience of people who knew next to nothing about the places he'd visited and he wanted them to know everything he'd seen and learned.

Many of the people he met on his travels had never met a Bengali before, and it is actually quite heartbreaking to read his account of how very welcome he was made to feel at every turn, knowing that so many of his compatriots today do not receive anything like the same warm welcome.

Extremely readable (although I found the potted history of the English in India at the start a little tough to follow), thoroughly recommend.

Edited by Llywela
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4 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

If you get a chance, watch the movie Capote with Phillip Seymour Hoffman. It's a brilliant performance by an actor and shows the toll that case had on Capote's mental and physical health. You see, he couldn't finish the book until the trial was over, so he spent months in Kansas with the two murderers. He mainly spent time with Perry, with whom he developed a strong rapport and kind of sympatico relationship, their childhoods being rather similar. It's a breathtaking film.

Oh, wow, okay, will keep an eye out for that one, then. The book certainly gave me a glimpse into how invested in this case he became, but yeah, it'd be interesting to delve into that further. Thanks for the recommendation :).

3 hours ago, Jeanne222 said:

I think I saw some show on that case too. It was very good!  Can’t remember. Dateline or 20/20?  

I can't recall if it was one of those two, though I wouldn't be surprised to hear one of them did do a story on it at some point. I know there was a documentary on...Sundance., I think it was, about that case at one point? I remember there was a point in the documentary where they showed the house the family had lived in, and man...it's one thing to read in the book about how isolated their house was, but you really didn't get a sense of just how isolated until that documentary. Just made everything that much creepier. 

I'll have to look up the name of that documentary now. 

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In Cold Blood kicked off my fascination with the true crime genre back when I was in college when I read the book.  The problem was, not too many true crime writers could write like Truman Capote.  The book was disturbing but holy cow he wrote the hell out of the story.  I did read a some BTS stuff about his writing process and his meetings with Perry and yeah, disturbing.  I still name it as one of my top reads whenever I am bothered to put together any top lists, but tbh, I could not read it today.

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4 minutes ago, DearEvette said:

In Cold Blood kicked off my fascination with the true crime genre back when I was in college when I read the book.  The problem was, not too many true crime writers could write like Truman Capote.  The book was disturbing but holy cow he wrote the hell out of the story.  I did read a some BTS stuff about his writing process and his meetings with Perry and yeah, disturbing.  I still name it as one of my top reads whenever I am bothered to put together any top lists, but tbh, I could not read it today.

I feel that way about One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest. I read it in high school and knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have as much sympathy for McMurphy as I did then, nor as much antipathy as I did toward Nurse Ratched.

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36 minutes ago, DearEvette said:

The problem was, not too many true crime writers could write like Truman Capote. 

Speaking of Capote, I'm also considering reading his 1958 classic Breakfast at Tiffany's-- what's that one like?

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Just finished Margaret Maron's Shooting at Loons (third in her Deborah Knott series and so good!) So I have pivoted from the Outer Banks to Gawd-forsaken Texas with James Lee Burke's Rain Gods, which is from 2009. I have read all of Burke's Dave Robicheaux books and just love his characters. This one is starting out awesomely with the discovery of a mass grave of Thai prostitutes in the northern Texas desert. I spent some time culling already read books of various sorts from my house and brought them to my local used bookstore to donate. I was asked if I wanted store credit for the books I brought and I said no...but the proprietress told me to definitely just browse around and pick out something, anything for free so this is what I chose :)

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1 hour ago, bmasters9 said:

Speaking of Capote, I'm also considering reading his 1958 classic Breakfast at Tiffany's-- what's that one like?

It's a short story and I loved it. The movie really softens it though, so expect something harsher. I haven't read it in about a decade. 

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