Sunday, February 5, 2012

Book Club!

I just realized that I haven't shared any book club choices lately.  Maybe because I haven't loved any of the recent choices.  All of them were okay, some were even pretty good, but I didn't LOVE any until last month's pick:

I'm always hesitant to recommend books (or movies, for that matter), because what consitutes a "good" book is somewhat subjective.  But this book has so many facets to it that I think it will satisfy many different types of readers.  In case you want just a bit of info on it, here's my very brief summary:

  • It's a true story.  Most of the historic info was obtained from letters between many of the people in the book, or police and court documents.
  • It takes place just before, during and after the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
  • It weaves together the stories of some of the most influential people involved with the Fair, who also happened to be the most influential people in the country at the time. Then there's H.H. Holmes - recognize that name?  He's the "Devil" in the book's title.  Maybe not influential, but definitely a historical figure in America.
  • Some influential people in this country were indirectly involved or influenced, like Walt Disney (who wasn't yet born in 1893), whose father worked on many of the buildings on the fairgrounds.  
  • The book is jam-packed with so much historical information.  The 1893 World's Fair impacted so much in this country, much of it that most of us are unaware of! 
In short, I found this book fascinating and will go out on a limb and recommend it. Let me know if you've read it and what you thought? Or if you've read this author's (Erik Larson)other book, "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and An American Family in Hitler's Berlin"?  (Mr. Larson doesn't believe in short titles, apparently.)   My own book choice for the book club will be in April.  I'll let you know what it is, and will recommend it as well (I've already read it, of course, and loved it).

I haven't started my next book club choice yet, but in the meantime I'm reading "The Paris Wife: A Novel".  It's the story of Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.  I've never been a big fan of Hemingway (a little too macho, I think), but this takes place before he wrote anything and became famous.  So far, so good, I would say.  About one fourth of the way through it I'm finding it very interesting.   I seem to be in a "historical" frame of mind lately!


  1. I nominated "Devil in the White City" for my book group. They selected "Isaacs's Storm" also by Larson. I have to say I really enjoyed it. I love "The Paris Wife". Like you, I do not enjoy reading Hemingway, a bit to much bravado, but I enjoy reading about him. ha..ha..I'm not for sure how much sense that makes. Happy reading.

    1. Hi Bonnie - I know exactly what you mean. Did you read "Ahab's Wife"? (I get the feeling you have read everything I have!)I never liked "Moby Dick" (or Melville for that matter!) or Captain Ahab, the main character, but I LOVE this book about Una, Ahab's wife!

  2. my book club read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern last month....thumbs up.

    1. Thanks Kelly! I always appreciate book recommendations.