Saturday, January 6, 2018

The “Deadly Nonfiction” Book Haul


Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. I get to show off all the books I’ve gotten recently.

I read a lot of nonfiction in 2017, and I want to continue that in 2018. Here are some of the nonfiction books I’ll be reading. These are all about death in some way. (Of course they’re about death. Haven’t you read this blog before? What else would they be about?)




The “Deadly Nonfiction” Book Haul










The Blood of Emmett Till – Timothy B. Tyson

In 1955, white men in the Mississippi Delta lynched a fourteen-year-old from Chicago named Emmett Till. His murder was part of a wave of white terrorism in the wake of the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared public school segregation unconstitutional. Only weeks later, Rosa Parks thought about young Emmett as she refused to move to the back of a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Five years later, Black students who called themselves “the Emmett Till generation” launched sit-in campaigns that turned the struggle for civil rights into a mass movement. Till’s lynching became the most notorious hate crime in American history. 
But what actually happened to Emmett Till—not the icon of injustice, but the flesh-and-blood boy? Part detective story, part political history, The Blood of Emmett Till “unfolds like a movie” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution), drawing on a wealth of new evidence, including a shocking admission of Till’s innocence from the woman in whose name he was killed.









The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple – Jeff Guinn

In the 1950s, a young Indianapolis minister named Jim Jones preached a curious blend of the gospel and Marxism. His congregation was racially integrated, and he was a much-lauded leader in the contemporary civil rights movement. Eventually, Jones moved his church, Peoples Temple, to northern California. He became involved in electoral politics, and soon was a prominent Bay Area leader. 
In this riveting narrative, Jeff Guinn examines Jones’s life, from his extramarital affairs, drug use, and fraudulent faith healing to the fraught decision to move almost a thousand of his followers to a settlement in the jungles of Guyana in South America. Guinn provides stunning new details of the events leading to the fatal day in November, 1978 when more than nine hundred people died—including almost three hundred infants and children—after being ordered to swallow a cyanide-laced drink.









The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder and Memory in an American City – Laura Tillman

On March 11, 2003, in Brownsville, Texas—one of America’s poorest cities—John Allen Rubio and Angela Camacho murdered their three young children. The apartment building in which the brutal crimes took place was already rundown, and in their aftermath a consensus developed in the community that it should be destroyed. It was a place, neighbors felt, that was plagued by spiritual cancer. 
In 2008, journalist Laura Tillman covered the story for The Brownsville Herald. The questions it raised haunted her, particularly one asked by the sole member of the city’s Heritage Council to oppose demolition: is there any such thing as an evil building? Her investigation took her far beyond that question, revealing the nature of the toll that the crime exacted on a city already wracked with poverty. It sprawled into a six-year inquiry into the larger significance of such acts, ones so difficult to imagine or explain that their perpetrators are often dismissed as monsters alien to humanity.









Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them – Jennifer Wright

In 1518, in a small town in France, Frau Troffea began dancing and didn’t stop. She danced herself to her death six days later, and soon thirty-four more villagers joined her. Then more. In a month more than 400 people had died from the mysterious dancing plague. In late-nineteenth-century England an eccentric gentleman founded the No Nose Club in his gracious townhome—a social club for those who had lost their noses, and other body parts, to the plague of syphilis for which there was then no cure. And in turn-of-the-century New York, an Irish cook caused two lethal outbreaks of typhoid fever, a case that transformed her into the notorious Typhoid Mary and led to historic medical breakthroughs.









Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History – Bill Schutt

For centuries scientists have written off cannibalism as a bizarre phenomenon with little biological significance. Its presence in nature was dismissed as a desperate response to starvation or other life-threatening circumstances, and few spent time studying it. A taboo subject in our culture, the behavior was portrayed mostly through horror movies or tabloids sensationalizing the crimes of real-life flesh-eaters. But the true nature of cannibalism—the role it plays in evolution as well as human history—is even more intriguing (and more normal) than the misconceptions we've come to accept as fact.







Have you read any of these? What did you think?









17 comments:

  1. The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts sounds good! I haven't read any of these though, hope you enjoy them!

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  2. Ohh can't wait to see what you think of the Jonestown one. Happy reading!!

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  3. Love the list! The Blood of Emmett Till and the Jonestown book are both on my TBR, big surprise. I have been wavering back and forth on the Cannibalism one, let me know how it works for you. Happy Reading!

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  4. You crack me up, AJ. Enjoy your death reads!! :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  5. These sound interesting and I have read the Emmett Till book (and even posted a review): http://sagecoveredhills.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-blood-of-emmett-till.html

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  6. I hope you enjoy these books! They look very intriguing!

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  7. I need to read more no fiction. Get Well Soon looks super interesting, and Cannibalism... that cover always freaks me out. :)

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  8. I haven't read any of them, but I saw a TV special on Jonestown and I listened to a podcast on Till.

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  9. I have a couple books about TIll in my classroom library and keep meaning to read them. The others sound fascinating and yes, right up your alley.

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  10. What a great haul! Many of these are on my TBR too and I hope to purchase a few soon :P I hope you enjoy all of your reads :)

    MY STS: http://flippingthruthepages.com/2018/01/stacking-shelves-14-first-book-haul-2018/

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  11. Oh, I heard about the dancing epidemic! Sounds like a very interesting read, although I bet it will be forcing you to anxiously wash your hands every time you pick it up :D the one about cannibalism also sounds very intriguing, at least the blurb makes me very curious :)

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  12. I'm not familiar with Emmett Till's story but it sounds like an interesting (but tough) read. I feel like I spent send most of the book infuriated. I've always found the Jonestown massacre fascinating. Like, how could so many people blindly follow such a man? Crazy. Hope you enjoy these!

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

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  13. Jonestown left its mark on the Bay Area...and I won't forget the impact his actions had.

    The Long Shadow looks like a good one, too.

    Thanks for sharing...and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

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  14. That Emmett Till books sounds like something I would want to learn more about. I'll have to see if my library has it. Great books this week.

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  15. I haven't read any of these, but I am curious about several, including Cannibalism. I've heard good things about that one. The story of Jonestown has always interested me. And Get Well Soon sounds intriguing. I hope you enjoy all of these! Have a great week!

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  16. I listened to the audiobook of Cannibalism. I did it in very small doses and would share what I learned with my family over dinner. I think they were glad when I finally finished with that book. Enjoy all of these!

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  17. There's some intriguing books here. I like the look of the Emmett Till one and the Long Shadows one. Recently I read a history of modern Iran by Abbas Amanat which was fascinating.

    Stephanie Jane @ Literary Flits

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