Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Review: The Secrets of my Life by Caitlyn Jenner

The story of Caitlyn Jenner's story of gender dysphoria and transition from Olympic Medalist, Bruce to her authentic self.Due to Bruce's celebrity, we watched from the POV of paparazzis and rumors for years until she "came out" with Diane Sawyer and Vanity Fair.  Then of course, we had two seasons of I am Cait where she tried to tell her story and learn lessons along the way.  It is a very personal book.  I am not sure how well she explains her issues with gender overall, but she tries to be honest and share her pain and fears and relief and growth.  The main point being to see her for the person she is.  I enjoyed the read but felt like a lot of others' pain might have been glossed over a bit but I think we need to read the story to understand a life much more complicated than we thought.

I remember the Wheaties box and the BIG DEAL of Bruce Jenner breaking the record and all of that -- I was a kid.  It is very interesting and sad to see how conflicted and unhappy he was.  You never know what goes on behind closed doors....


Friday, December 15, 2017

Review: The Road to Jonestown - Jeff Guinn

Jim Jones and the Jonestown suicides remain one of the most horrific cult moments of all time.  I was just a kid at the time and was so horrified by the whole thing.

This book tells the story of Jim Jones from his childhood to the formation of the Peoples Temple in Indiana where it was a positive force for change in race relations and care of the needy.  Then of course, over the years, as it grew, Jones became more and more erratic and unstable.  It shows the progression of the insanity that would culminate in the deaths of 918 people.

This is the best book I have read on the subject and makes the people and their choices more understandable of a terrible story that will hopefully never happen again.

The book is well researched and written.  In fact, almost 20% of the book is end notes.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Review: The Man from the Train by Bill James and Rachel McCarthy James

This was a fascinating book.  Between 1898 and 1912 there were quite a lot of axe murders of entire families throughout the US.  I never knew how many!  The most famous likely being Villisca.  The authors sort through the historical records and discuss the different cases, including if others were convicted of the crimes (many times) and executed.  The compare similarities in methods and signatures of the crimes.  They give opinions of which were connected crimes vs. those that were not - including those of the New Orleans Axe murderer.  It is a fascinating read and they clearly did a huge amount of research on the crimes.  It shocked me how many axe murders there were during the period.  It was shocking.  Of note -- Lizzie Borden was not mentioned. LOL

They even propose who they thought the killer was and make a case.  Of course, we'll never know for sure, but it was a very interesting book.


Review: Blotto, Twinks and the Intimate Review by Simon Brett

Blotto and his friend go see  Light and Frothy;   a new popular show and his friend falls for the star of the show.  After his friend is k...