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October 25, 2017 • Cee • Discussion

Currently Reading will act as my check-in, letting you guys know what I’m forever reading at the moment, and what I’m enjoying about it. I’m not gonna discuss books that are on my priority October TBR list. Instead, I’m gonna talk about the books I picked up on a whim this month.

Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer

Inspired by author Tori Telfer’s Jezebel column “Lady Killers,” this thrilling and entertaining compendium investigates female serial killers and their crimes through the ages.

When you think of serial killers throughout history, the names that come to mind are ones like Jack the Ripper, John Wayne Gacy, and Ted Bundy. But what about Tillie Klimek, Moulay Hassan, Kate Bender? The narrative we’re comfortable with is the one where women are the victims of violent crime, not the perpetrators. In fact, serial killers are thought to be so universally, overwhelmingly male that in 1998, FBI profiler Roy Hazelwood infamously declared in a homicide conference, “There are no female serial killers.”

Lady Killers, based on the popular online series that appeared on Jezebel and The Hairpin, disputes that claim and offers fourteen gruesome examples as evidence. Though largely forgotten by history, female serial killers such as Erzsébet Báthory, Nannie Doss, Mary Ann Cotton, and Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova rival their male counterparts in cunning, cruelty, and appetite for destruction.

Each chapter explores the crimes and history of a different subject and then proceeds to unpack her legacy and her portrayal in the media, as well as the stereotypes and sexist clichés that inevitably surround her. The first book to examine female serial killers through a feminist lens with a witty and dryly humorous tone, Lady Killers dismisses easy explanations (she was hormonal, she did it for love, a man made her do it) and tired tropes (she was a femme fatale, a black widow, a witch), delving into the complex reality of female aggression and predation. Featuring 14 illustrations from Dame Darcy, Lady Killers is a bloodcurdling, insightful, and irresistible journey into the heart of darkness.

Why did I want to read Lady Killers? I hear a lot about male serial killers, but what about the women? There surely plenty out there that I don’t know about, but I don’t hear a lot about it. I’m fascinated by I want to see what these women have in common—how they kill and their reasoning.

What do I like about it so far? I love how it explores different female serial killers, and how they killed their victims (usually with poison). I like seeing how Tori Telfer unpacks the history and explains what could be behind the thinking of these ladies, instead of chalking it up to tired cliches.

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April 22, 2017 • Cee • Discussion

I haven’t been great at keeping with my TBR books this past month. (Blame that on all the stress! Ack.) Currently Reading will act as my check-in, letting you guys know what I’m forever reading at the moment, and what I’m enjoying about it. Today, I’m sharing with you three books I’m juggling/reading

Bette & Joan: The Divine Feud by Shaun Considine

They were two of the most talented beauties Hollywood ever produced: the elegant Joan Crawford, a former chorus girl who shot through the ranks at MGM, and the brash, tempestuous Bette Davis, a Broadway star notorious for refusing to bow to the studio bosses.

Their work together in the hit film Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? sowed the seeds for a mutual hatred that would consume their lives. As each fading star tried to outshine the other, lives were upended and reputations were destroyed. Glamorous, merciless, and cruel, their feud became the stuff of legends.

Based on interviews the author conducted with both actresses and more than a decade of research, Bette & Joan shows the hard-drinking, hard-fighting duo at their best and worst. The epic story of these dueling divas is hilarious, monstrous, tragic, and the inspiration for the Ryan Murphy TV series Feud starring Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange. Now updated with two new chapters and a sixteen-page photo insert.

Why did I want to read Bette & Joan? It certainly wasn’t because of Ryan Murphy’s TV show about the pair. (No sarcasm.) What’s not to be interested in Old Hollywood feuds? I had always been fascinated by Bette and Joan’s relationship. These divas have been butting heads for decades, and I wanted to know more details about their feud.

What do I like about it so far? Wow, their lives were so fascinating. So many tragedies and affairs and jealousy and whatnot. That’s Old Hollywood for ya. As I read this book, I was honestly more interested in learning more about Bette, even though Joan had more exciting stuff happening to her.

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November 29, 2016 • Cee • Discussion

I haven’t been great at keeping with my TBR books this past month. (Blame that on all the stress! Ack.) Currently Reading will act as my check-in, letting you guys know what I’m forever reading at the moment, and what I’m enjoying about it. Today, I’m sharing with you three books I’m juggling/reading

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

Why did I want to read Three Dark Crowns? When I read that Three Dark Crowns was about three triplets—all queens in their rights—I thought about the daughters of Shakespeare’s King Lear and this beautiful image of three ladies from Dinara Mirtalipova. Since then, I can’t stop thinking about these two things. I like reading stories about sisters, and you had a fantastical element with a power struggle? I’d want to experience the unexpectedness and weirdness.

What do I like about it so far? That I don’t know how to feel about it? I just started the book, but it really throws me into what’s happening, not giving you a clue what I’ve stepped into. I imagine I will get to know all these characters as I keep reading. But you guys, one queen ingesting poison? Another being able to bloom flowers? Another being able to control the elementals? I hope the ??? I feel about the book turns into a definite opinion of like.

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October 31, 2016 • Cee • Discussion

I haven’t been great at keeping with my TBR books this past month. (Blame that on all the stress! Ack.) Currently Reading will act as my check-in, letting you guys know what I’m forever reading at the moment, and what I’m enjoying about it. Today, I’m sharing with you three books I’m juggling/reading

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

iron-cast

SYNOPSIS
It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite. When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.

Why did I want to read Iron Cast? This book has things I love reading about: Prohibition era, magic, and cons! I’m excited to see what kind of things Corinne and Ada finds out about the world they’re in.

What do I like about it so far? The friendship! I am livinnnnnnng for Ada and Corinne’s friendship. This is what I love seeing in books—friends supporting and having each other’s back despite arguments and danger. When I started reading Iron Cast, I was surprised (and pleased) about these characters and the Cast Iron people; it was totally unexpected and I needed to learn more.

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