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jgoody

Book Goodies

The act of writing always creates something of value. When I'm reading, it is the various manifestations of that inherent and powerful value that I'm looking to capture and share with my fellow book lovers.  

 

 

From humble days as a bookseller in Colorado, I now live in NYC and work for one of the big publishing houses. I'm always reading a huge variety of books, but you're bound to find more reviews on titles that might not be on every bookstore's shelf quite yet! 

 

And I must also say that it is immensely important to support independent bookstores. Definitely consider shopping with your local bookshop if you don't already!  

If you're looking for one then check out the great store I used to work at:

oldfirehousebooks.com

In the minority

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America - Erik Larson

Erik Larson is coming to our little town of Fort Collins, Colorado this November.  I work on the committee that puts together our community read, which ended up picking Mr. Larson for our 2013 author, and as a result I've been starting to read through his body of work.  We found out that he'll be focusing on "In the Garden of Beasts," and this ended up being to the dismay of most of our community as many hoped to learn more about his notorious National Book Award finalist, "Devil in the White City."  

 

I have now read ITGOB and DITWC and can confidently say that I favor "In the Garden of Beasts."  With this preference, I am certainly a part of the committee's minority group who favor ITGOB.  From the most objective point of view I can muster, I believe that the content of "Devil in the White City" really is more worthy of being written about than the not overly well known American Ambassador of ITGOB, William Dodd.  DITWC takes you into a world that you can't believe you didn't know more about.  In those pages you learn about belly dancing, architecture, the invention of countless things like the ferris wheel, cracker jacks, shredded wheat, etc.  It is mind blowing what a big deal the Chicago World Fair was, and on top of that, the details of it are perfectly balanced by the horrors of H.H. Holmes, the so called "devil" killing several people in his house of death.  It really is a hell of a book, and I enjoyed it.  Despite all of this, I find myself more attached to the subtlety, etiquette, and finesse of the ITGOB story.  It felt like reading about a class of celebrities trying to navigate their way through choppy social waters, and the part of me that likes things like "Pretty Wild" and "The O.C." I simply loved it.  

 

Both books are great and I would recommend them highly.  Erik Larson has got it together and I look forward to his other titles.