Sunday, November 22, 2015

2014 favorite books

I keep putting off finishing this because I don't want to look up all the books on Amazon, so I decided not to. My first post of favorite books seems to be one of my most visited, so I thought I'd keep going with this one.
I've seen on other people's blogs that they're posting about the books the read in August, so I figured it was time to do my favorite books post from 2014. I read 82 reading books with an actual total of 126 books. Here are some of my favorites:
House of Evil: The Indiana Torture Slaying by John Dean. This is about a teenage girl who goes to live with some neighbors and the mother proceeds to starve and beat her to death. There were quite a few books and some movies made on this story. It's based on a true story, and is very messed up on what this lady and her kids did to this girl. I read a lot of true crime and I'm sad to say I can't believe what people do to others.
Andersonville Journey by Edward F Roberts. This is about the Confederate prison camp in the Civil War that was in Georgia. Basically, the conditions in the camp were horrible, more than 13,000 prisoners died here during the Civil War. Basically, the commander of the camp didn't have the resources to provide what was needed and the results were horrible. I had this one on my staff picks for awhile.
Chernobyl by A Villesh. It's about Chernobyl, it was written not that long after the explosion, so it's more about what happened that day and the days after it than the years after it.
On the Trail of the Assassins: My Investigation and Prosecution of the Murder of President Kennedy by Jim Garrison. I really liked this book, I have a fascination with the assassination of President Kennedy, and this book does well to cover the facts. Jim Garrison is a lawyer and felt like he needed to prosecute someone for the death of JFK, unfortunately the conspiracy was not easy to figure out and the person he did prosecute was on the outskirts of it. It's interesting to read about everyone's views on this event.
Oddball Iowa: A Guide to Some Really Strange Places by Jerome Pohlen I really like reading about interesting places to visit in Iowa.
Doctors from Hell: The Horrible Account of Nazi Experiments on Humans by Vivien Spitz This was an interesting read, maybe not for the faint of heart.
Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eicher I'm not sure this is the true story because he wrote it in 2013, and it happened in 1959, so there's a lot he doesn't know/can't find out about. I think his explanation works, but it doesn't sound like exactly what happened. I like how he basically tells their story up until the night they disappeared.
Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Social Grounds by Dawn B. Sova I think it's interesting to see what people find offensive and what I've read. There's a week to celebrate banned books at the end of September and I've found I've read a lot of banned books. It's also sad to see what people think it so offensive that they decide other people shouldn't read it.
Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell I find Jack the Ripper very interesting, maybe because they never figured out who he was even after he stopped killing. This book does a very good job of looking at the details in the cases and making a decision on who he could have been. I don't think we'll ever really know because there's so much that we can't find out, but it's fun to speculate.
A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive by Dave Pelzer I don't know why, but I really like to read about how messed up people are and how they treat others. I know truth is so much worse than fiction and you can't make some of the worst stuff up. I'm appalled someone would treat their own child like this and so happy that he got out.
Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America by Kevin Cook this one is on my staff picks at the library. One of the things you learn when studying criminal justice (maybe not so much now) is the bystander affect: that if there are a lot of people that witness something, most people assume that someone else will call the police or intervene. This concept was based on the Kitty Genovese case. I always learned that quite a few people saw her get assaulted (they greatly increased the real number of people) and just assumed that someone else would do something. This book proves that wrong. That's not how it happened. Very good book.
A Brother's Journey: Surviving a Childhood of Abuse by Richard B. Pelzer This is Dave Pelzer's brother and his story about what happened after Dave got out. Again, a very sad book.
Inside Charlie's Chocolate Factory: The Complete Story of Willy Wonka, The Golden Ticket, and Roald Dahl's Most Famous Creation by Lucy Mangan I'm stealing an review I wrote shortly after I read this book from another post. It's all about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, apparently we're celebrating the 50th anniversary this year. If you look at the pages of the book from the outside, you see there is a rainbow of colors, each one a different section in the book. There is an introduction from one of Roald's grandchildren about the wonderment of chocolate at his house. The book starts out with re...d: the background on writing Charlie and the Chocolate factory, then goes into orange: Charlie going to video and stage, next is yellow: focusing on the various illustrators of the books, and then blue: showing the effect on popular culture with various memorabilia including a LEGO Chocolate room and tiny dolls of Willy and Oompa Loompas. Purple follows focusing on chocolate, and how people tried to make Wonka bars and take chocolate to whole new levels, finally there is green: with the thoughts from critics and fans about the book. Throughout, there is illustrations from the book, movies, plays and fans creations. Very cool!
The Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Taj Hotel by Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy This book stayed with me a long time after reading it. It's about the terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Toiba's attack on Mumbai in 2008 and focuses mostly on the terrorist group's attack on the Taj Hotel. It follows several of the people in the hotel and their horrible night.
Long Mile Home: Boston Under Attack, the City's Courageous Recover and the Epic Hunt for Justice by Scott Helman & Jenna Russel Have you noticed a theme in the books I read and the ones that really stick with me? I love the self-less acts of the people in this book.
My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate their Favorite Places to Browse, Read and Shop edited by Ronald Rice I also love reading about what other people love. I really liked this book with all the detail the writers put into describing some of their favorite places, it made me want to step through the book into the stores.
Cujo by Stephen King I don't read a lot of fiction books, but I saw the movie and my dad said it scared him so much, I had to see how different it was from the book. I enjoy reading Stephen King books, the detail he puts into things is great.

That was the last book I read in 2014. I'm up to 101 reading books (over 200 pages or with deep content) this year. I will do a post on favorite books for three or four months soon. What are your favorite books?

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