Book Recommendations for Fans of HBO’s The Jinx

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.

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I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son Review

 

Karen Russell’s Swamplandia! wowed me (if you haven’t read it, do it now), so when I found out that her brother penned a collection of essays I had to pick it up. Kent Russell’s I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son is very different from Karen’s writing (she writes offbeat fiction, he writes literary nonfiction), but the siblings share a spectacular amount of talent. It doesn’t seem quite fair that one family contains two literary virtuosos.

 

In I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son, Kent invites readers on a hilarious and intimate exploration of self and society’s fringes. Russell shares frank vignettes of his familial relationships and childhood, parlaying them into observational portraits of the unorthodox people he encounters. He mingles with misunderstood Insane Clown Posse fans at the Gathering of the Juggalos. He spends an alcohol-fueled weekend with a self-immunizer, a man who conditions himself to survive poisonous snake bites by injecting himself with venom. He visits a retired (and possibly brain-damaged) hockey enforcer, takes in an Amish baseball game, enrolls in a course taught by a horror movie make-up artist, and maroons himself on a deserted island with a modern-day Robinson Crusoe.

 
Kent Russell is a robust voice in nonfiction. He is sure to become a favorite among fans of Hunter S. Thompson and David Foster Wallace. You can read more of his essays in The New Republic, Harper’s, GQ, n+1, The Believer, and Grantland.

Originally posted on OverDrive Blogs.

9 Books to Terrify You this Halloween

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In honor of the impending Halloween holiday, I’ve comprised a list of 9 books that truly terrified me. Enjoy!

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson – The most famous haunted house case may or may not be true, but it will still keep you hiding under the covers. I read this in the 7th grade and hid the book because it scared me so much. The next day, it was laying on my bed. My mom had cleaned my room, but I was still freaked out.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix – In an attempt to catch a vandal, a group of employees camp out in a furniture store overnight. What they find is much more menacing. Be prepared for fright-induced insomnia.

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson – This novel about a murderous sheriff will have you questioning what kind of sickness lies within everyone you know.

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf – A graphic novel about Jeffery Dahmer’s adolescence written by his high school friend. Dahmer’s transition from disturbed teen to serial killer is unnerving, as is the look into his depressing homelife.

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin – The horror classic about a woman impregnated with the Antichrist will make your blood curdle.

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris – If you can read this book without getting scared, then you are not human.

The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule & Unholy Messenger by Stephen Singular – Yes, more true crime. Reality is more horrifying than fiction. These books are about Ted Bundy and BTK – two of the most gruesome serial killers ever. After reading these, I was constantly checking the locks on my door and windows.

The Telltale Lilac Bush by Ruth Ann Musick – This is a compilation of West Virginia ghost stories. Required reading for any kid who grew up in the state (like me). I recommend starting with “The Little Rag Doll” or “Big John’s Ghost”.

So what is the most terrifying book you’ve ever read?

9 Books to Try if You Loved Game of Thrones

9 Books to Try if you Loved Game of Thrones

I made this graphic today, since the season 4 premiere was last night. I used read-alike suggestions from this OverDrive Library Blog post and from George R.R. Martin’s Not A Blog.

The font used is “Game of Thrones Font” by user Charlie Samways on fontmeme.

We Mustache You to Read – Teen Winter Reading Program

Mustache DisplayThis Teen Librarian Toolbox post inspired my first library display last year (see photo) and now it is inspiring my first ever teen winter reading program.

Our teens requested that we host a winter reading program this year, they also requested that we use BINGO cards (I made BINGO cards for summer reading and they loved them). So, I went with the theme “We Mustache You to Read” and made a simple, bookish BINGO card. Basically they check off each type of book they read to make a BINGO, completed cards get entered into a raffle. I’ll also make a recommended reading list, in case they need help finding titles.  I’m not sure what I’m going to give out as a prize yet. At a previous trivia event, the prize was a mustache tote and the teens loved that. I’ll probably get another one of those and stuff it with books and delightfully geeky things.Winter Reading BINGO

I wanted to keep the program passive, so we aren’t having any big activities at the library outside of our regular clubs. The winter weather in West Virginia is just too unpredictable to expect teens to make it to events. I’m just glad to know that they enjoy the programs I plan and are requesting more. Unfortunately, since my official position requires most of my attention, I can’t always give them the amount of programs they want.

Here is a PDF of the BINGO card. Feel free to swipe it for your own use.