I finally caved and signed up for HBONow, which means I wasted an entire weekend watching The Jinx. The Jinx is a documentary that follows Robert Durst, an eccentric and wealthy man suspected in his wife’s disappearance (among other crimes). Being the true crime junkie that I am, I was captivated by the story. I know that I am not alone, so I put together this handy graphic of book recommendations for other fans now that the show is over.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve binge-watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt at least five times since its debut on Netflix. My Unbreakableaddiction is seriously becoming a problem, it’s even spurred several bouts of Hulkamania. I need more! If you also need more Unbreakablegoodness in your life, step away from the TV, grab some pinot noir, and check out one of these books:
Dawn and the Surfer Ghost by Ann M. Martin – This book helped Kimmy survive the bunker and put Xanthippe in her place, so you know it’s good. C’mon there is a surfer ghost, what more could you ask for?!
Bossypants by Tina Fey – Fey’s signature humor is what makesUnbreakable so fantastic, so her book is a must-read for fans.
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus – If you enjoy watching watching Kimmy’s experiences working for the uber-rich Vorhees clan, you’ll love this humorous look at Park Aveune nannyhood.
Finding Me by Michelle Knight – If the plight of the Mole Women has you interested in real-life kidnapping survivors, pick up Michelle Knight’s memoir. It’s a heartbreaking but inspiring tale of courage in the face of unimaginable circumstances.
Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham – Do you crack up watching Titus’s attempts to become a famous actor? Then you might like this charming novel about a young woman also trying to find acting success in New York.
I am a self-professed true crime junkie. I drop everything when my TV is tuned to Investigation Discovery. Ann Rule and Harold Schechter are my superheroes. I am also a bit of a history geek; my undergrad degree is in the subject. When history and true crime intertwine in a single book, it is nerd heaven for this gal; and that’s the case with The Wilderness of Ruin by Roseanne Montillo.
The Wilderness of Ruin is a fascinating examination of the crimes and trial of Jesse Pomeroy, America’s youngest serial killer and the original bad seed. Pomeroy’s atrocious spree of violence took place in late 19th century Boston, a vulnerable town struggling to recover from a devastating fire. In 1872, at the tender age of twelve, Pomeroy abducted younger children for the purpose of torture. These acts of defilement resulted in a sixteen-month stint at the Lyman School for Boys. In 1874, mere months after his release, Jesse mutilated and murdered two children. Given his track record, it did not take Boston police long to pinpoint Pomeroy the culprit. The resulting trial sparked a national debate about mental health and capital punishment.
With sparkling prose and perspicuous description, Montillo has created a supremely readable piece of nonfiction. Montillo maintains the lurid elements of a typical true crime novel while expertly capturing the essence of Gilded Age America. She offers an in-depth view of the tumultuous era by punctuating Jesse Pomeroy’s tale with accounts from the likes of Boston fire chief, John Darnell; Herman Melville; and Oliver Wendell Holmes. The gruesomely detailed depictions of Pomeroy’s horrific activities are evidence of Montillo’s masterful research.
The Wilderness of Ruin will keep you engaged page after grisly page. It is a standout among historical true crime novels. I believe it should be required reading for all who loved Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City.