Five Things to Tell You {September 10th, 2020}

Gen The Bookworm

{Fall Shifts & Our First Day of School, Soaking in the Daylight, Currently Reading & Listening, Kindle Book Deals & Pinterest Therapy} 

ONE: Fall Shifts…& Our First Day of School!

VermontWe have done a lot of swapping kids with our “quarantine crew” since the end of August which meant there was A LOT of boy energy around here…even the dogs were wild! Although the end of summer is bittersweet, everyone is definitely ready for a change of pace. 

Continue reading “Five Things to Tell You {September 10th, 2020}”

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin | Blog Tour and Author Q&A

Megan Goldin

When I saw that author Megan Goldin was publishing another book this summer I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Her 2019 novel The Escape Room was one of my favorite suspense reads last summer and I became an instant fan of her writing style. You can read my blog tour post featuring The Escape Room HERE.

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Life Lately…{Pandemic Fatigue, The COVID-19 Pool Club & True Crime Podcasts}

Instagram Story-2

Hello! I have been meaning to share a personal post for a while now, but it just hasn’t happened. I have had a hard time focusing on much of anything “extra” lately and I have noticed that things that used to feel easy feel very daunting now…maybe this is pandemic fatigue? I have found that when I do have a little downtime, I “waste it”, either mindlessly scrolling or cleaning and organizing a house that never stays that way for long because we are here pretty much 24/7 now…maybe because it gives me some sense of control?

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Currently Listening…Podcast Edition!

podcasts

Just like with my reading tastes, what I am listening to has changed a bit over the last few weeks. I have found that my ability to focus has shifted with my podcasts and I am seeing that I either need some small helpful bits of information, relatable banter, some inspiring messages, or maybe a quick distraction.

Fitting in Podcast Listening…

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Previously podcasts made up a good part of my workday whether it was when I was editing on the computer or during my commute. Photos above are back in the “good old days”.

Now that I don’t have either of those things, both my amount of time and attention to detail has changed. I am now listening while quickly getting ready for the day, while I am doing tasks around the house, on a walk to the mailbox…and sometimes when I just need to block out the decibel level from the kids.

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The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg | Hachette Books {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

Emma Copley Eisenbeg

The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg

Book Summary:

In the early evening of June 25, 1980, in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, two middle-class outsiders named Vicki Durian, 26, and Nancy Santomero, 19, were murdered in an isolated clearing. They were hitchhiking to a festival known as the Rainbow Gathering but never arrived; they traveled with a third woman however, who lived. For thirteen years, no one was prosecuted for the “Rainbow Murders,” though deep suspicion was cast on a succession of local residents in the community, depicted as poor, dangerous, and backward.

In 1993, a local farmer was convicted, only to be released when a known serial killer and diagnosed schizophrenic named Joseph Paul Franklin claimed responsibility. With the passage of time, as the truth seemed to slip away, the investigation itself caused its own traumas–turning neighbor against neighbor and confirming a fear of the violence outsiders have done to this region for centuries.

Emma Copley Eisenberg spent years living in Pocahontas and re-investigating these brutal acts. Using the past and the present, she shows how this mysterious act of violence has loomed over all those affected for generations, shaping their fears, fates, and the stories they tell about themselves. In The Third Rainbow Girl, Eisenberg follows the threads of this crime through the complex history of Appalachia, forming a searing and wide-ranging portrait of America–its divisions of gender and class, and of its violence.

Publication Date:

January 21st, 2020

Genre:

True Crime/Memoir/Sociology

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

Gen The Bookworm Book Review

The Third Rainbow Girl

While I love a memoir and investigation into a person or area, I think my expectations for this to be more of a true-crime deep dive made this book disappointing for me as the reader. This may just have been one of those situations where I thought this would be a different kind of book based on the book summary.

I struggled to engage with the content because I was really wishing I could get more information about the actual events related to these cases. I have recently enjoyed some of the books that portray life in Appalachia that were quite compelling but this one was just really hard to engage with and felt quite unfocused.

The Third Rainbow Girl ended up being such a slow read for me and it just didn’t hold my interest. While there was some relevant information a lot of it just seemed unnecessary and way too drawn out.

Thank you to NetGalley, LibroFM and Hachette books for advanced copies. All opinions are my own.


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

What’s On Your Nightstand? |Reading List & Book Recommendations {Mandi}

Book Recommendations

What’s On Your Nightstand?

Welcome to another edition of The Nightstand Series! It’s been so fun to have this series back in the swing of things and today I have another book-loving friend sharing her reading list and book recommendations!

Today I am Excited to Introduce you to Mandi!

Mandi and I have known each other since our early 20s and she has been a part of my adult reading life for almost as long as I can remember. We have always swapped books and it has been fun to watch our reading tastes grow and change over time. Mandi has always had an impressive amount of books and I could always count her to have a bookshelf full of amazing recommendations…and she is still that way today!

I hope you enjoy getting to know more about Mandi today!

Nightstand Series Introduction:

My name is Mandi AKA @mandireads and I live in South Burlington, Vermont with my husband and our yellow lab Chance.

I enjoy being active (hiking, spinning, group workout classes, walking), being on the lake in the summer, music (if it’s live, even better), spending time with friends and family, eating candy, true crime, podcasts and obviously reading.

I love traveling both within the US and abroad and have been fortunate enough to have been able to travel to some incredible places. I have a real soft spot for our annual trip to Maine every fall and after our destination wedding in April, Barbados is my favorite island that I’ve traveled to.

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, hands down. (I LOVE FOOD!) Growing up my parents would make whatever we wanted as a birthday dinner; my request was always a full Thanksgiving meal (thanks Mom)!

What Kind of Reader Are You?

I have always been a reader. I had to take a little hiatus during grad school (there just weren’t enough hours in a day with school, a full-time job, and life), but once I graduated I jumped right back into reading!

I have been known to read a book cover to cover in a day. In the 7th grade, we had to do a book report on a trilogy or three books by the same author. I was the kid that read three John Grisham books!

Favorite Genres & Ways To Read

I love a lot of different genres, some of my favorites being true crime, mysteries, thrillers, romance and military (true stories or works of fiction). I am a mood reader and try to be open to different types of books and joining #bookstagram and Book of the Month has helped with that. That being said, I can’t seem to get into or enjoy time travel, sci-fi, and dystopian type books.

For a long time, I was strictly a physical book reader and put off getting an e-reader for a long time. When I finally cracked and got my first Kindle I understood all the hype! You can read anywhere and anytime without having to carry around a ton of books. You never have to worry about running out of something to read when you’re traveling either!

What Time of Day do you do Most of Your Reading?

During the week I get most of my reading done in the afternoon and evenings. I don’t watch a ton of TV and can tune out background noises so I can read while my husband watches sports or one of his shows. On the weekends it always depends on our plans, but rarely is there a day I don’t get some reading in.

What Books Are You Currently Reading?

Daisy Jones & The Six

I am currently listening to Call Me God, about the DC Snipers in 2002, through Audible. I just finished Daisy Jones & The Six (thanks for letting me borrow it Gen!) and need to figure out what to start next.

book recommendations

Some books I loved so far this year have to be Beyond The Point by Claire Gibson, Verity by Colleen Hoover, Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes. I could add so many other books that are worth picking up, but I’ll try and keep this short 😉

What Are You Reading Next?

TBR list

Off the top of my head, the books I’m most looking forward to reading in the next few months have to be The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett Graff, Regretting You by Colleen Hoover, Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin and The Swallows by Lisa Lutz.

Are There Any Books You Read and Didn’t Love?

don't recommend

Lock Every Door was a miss for me. I loved Riley’s other books (Final Girls and The Last Time I Lied especially) but this one fell short for me. My Friend Anna is a book I went into with really high expectations (the overview sounded so good) that also fell short. It was an interesting read but I had a hard time connecting to it.

What Are You Listening to?

podcast series

I love podcasts and listen to a few. I get my morning news highlights from ABC’s Start Here and my True Crime fix by listening to True Crime Garage and Crime Junkie. My foray into podcasts was Serial (again, thanks to Gen) and I was instantly hooked. A few other true crime podcasts that I always recommend are Dirty John, Up and Vanished(especially the first season on Tara Grinstead), 22 Hours: An American Nightmare and The First Degree.

Audiobooks are something I got into this summer. I typically listen to them when I walk the dog, which is a lot and has helped pass the time with all those miles and sniffs and pee breaks and on solo car rides (when I’m not giving a concert anyway)!

What Else is on Your Nightstand?

Nightstand Series

You will always find my kindle, whatever physical book I’m reading, lotion, chapstick, water and my apple watch charging up for the next day. Sometimes you’ll find a book sleeve, books I want to read soon and whatever hair tie or clip I used that day. For the most part, I am pretty minimal and don’t handle clutter well (especially on my nightstand!)


Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Mandi! You certainly made my TBR and podcast list even longer!

 

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you.

 

American Predator by Maureen Callahan | Viking | Book of the Month Add-On Selection {Book Review}

;Israel Keyes true crime novel

 American Predator by Maureen Callahan

Book Summary:

“Ted Bundy. John Wayne Gacy. Jeffrey Dahmer. The names of notorious serial killers are usually well-known; they echo in the news and in public consciousness. But most people have never heard of Israel Keyes, one of the most ambitious and terrifying serial killers in modern history. The FBI considered his behavior unprecedented. Described by a prosecutor as “a force of pure evil,” Keyes was a predator who struck all over the United States. He buried “kill kits”–cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools–in remote locations across the country. Over the course of fourteen years, Keyes would fly to a city, rent a car, and drive thousands of miles in order to use his kits. He would break into a stranger’s house, abduct his victims in broad daylight, and kill and dispose of them in mere hours. And then he would return home to Alaska, resuming life as a quiet, reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughter.

When journalist Maureen Callahan first heard about Israel Keyes in 2012, she was captivated by how a killer of this magnitude could go undetected by law enforcement for over a decade. And so began a project that consumed her for the next several years–uncovering the true story behind how the FBI ultimately caught Israel Keyes, and trying to understand what it means for a killer like Keyes to exist. A killer who left a path of monstrous, randomly committed crimes in his wake–many of which remain unsolved to this day.

American Predator is the ambitious culmination of years of interviews with key figures in law enforcement and in Keyes’s life, and research uncovered from classified FBI files. Callahan takes us on a journey into the chilling, nightmarish mind of a relentless killer, and to the limitations of traditional law enforcement.”

Publication Date:

July 2nd, 2019

Genre:

True Crime

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

43231095._SY475_

(you can find the referral link for American Predator HERE)

I am a huge fan of true crime podcasts and documentaries and I especially enjoy going down the rabbit hole and diving into a series about a specific event or person. I had previously read and listened to a lot about Israel Keyes because of one his crimes happened just a few towns over from us. I wasn’t sure if this book would seem repetitive but after a few of my friends kept recommending this I decided to go for it.

I really don’t read a lot of true crime novels because I have found some of them to be a little dry in the past but I have to hand it to Maureen Callahan! Not only did she write an engrossing book that read almost like fiction, but I learned a lot of new things about Keyes that I had not heard about before.

It does feel a little strange to be raving about this type of genre, but if you are interested in this kind of topic, I think you would just find this book fascinating. I won’t go into too many details but if you are interested in the backstory of Keyes as well as the behind the scenes moments in the investigation of his crimes, you will love this.

This was a hard book to put down and Callahan is truly given at weaving these stories together in an informative and engaging manner. Highly recommend!

I picked this as my add-on book in August through my Book of the Month subscription. You can get your first BOTM book for free by using my referral link HERE.