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The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America | Erik Larson
The story of two men's obsessions with the Chicago World's Fair, one its architect, the other a murderer. The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others.
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longisland_mom
Pickpick

The chapters in the first half are slow-moving. I didn't need every architectural detail. Still giving a 🤘🏼 because I flew through the ending and learned a lot and thought it was cool. The characters are all immensely interesting, it's nuts (and maybe hard to believe) Larson found so much detail.

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Songbird72
Mehso-so

I enjoyed the sections on HH Holmes and think the book would've been much better had it all been about him. The chapters about the design and building got a little tedious and dry. I thought it would eventually all tie together but it never really did.

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GidgetsTreasures75
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6-30-19: My 52nd finished book of 2019! #devilinthewhitecity #eriklarson 👍🏼📖#️⃣5️⃣2️⃣

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jckphnx
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Mehso-so

Its inclusion in popular "narrative nonfiction" lists may seem a bit strange, but upon the conclusion of the two overlapping, complementary tales, fans of Chicago, futurism, and serial killers will all be pleased.

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wideeyedreader
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1. Roses! I love them
2. Tagged! I just can‘t believe how good it is
3. Reign—a teen drama about Mary Queen of Scots, what could be better?
4. Nikky Finney! The coolest part is I got to meet and talk to her because she visited my school
#humpdaypost

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wideeyedreader
Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I really enjoyed this read for the most part, though it dragged towards the middle of the World‘s Fair preparations. Still, I‘d totally read it again!

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wideeyedreader
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1. Tagged!
2. @1001BooksPodcast ! I‘m really loving it so far lol
3. I was talking about The Handmaid‘s Tale with a coworker today! She‘s never read it, so of course I recommended it
#weekendreads

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wideeyedreader
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Decided to put down The Queen‘s Fool for now, and picked up this one instead! I‘m excited to read it.

Shakespearience It is very good! It blew me away how many people (famous at that) were at the World‘s Fair at that time and what all went into making it happen...on top of the murders of course. Very good read! 1mo
wideeyedreader @Shakespearience Oooh, that just makes me more excited! 1mo
Crazeedi Oh this was a good one, IMO 1mo
15 likes3 comments
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Butterflyamore
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More books arrived in the mail today! Did I need them? No. 😂

These are all from my favorite secondhand bookshop, The Book Drunkard! You can find her awesome resale group on Facebook!

Kate.Braithwaite News of the World is a brilliant book! 2mo
marleed It‘s like saving a kitten purring in a box at the entry to your grocery door - you have to do it. 2mo
Butterflyamore @marleed You‘ve made such a good point! 2mo
73 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Expandingbookshelf
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My dog is unsure if reading about a serial killer is the best way to spend my night. He argues my time would be better spent feeding him treats and rubbing his belly. He makes many good points and I would like to subscribe to his newsletter.

marleed Hahaha! 2mo
13 likes1 comment
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EmilieGR
Pickpick

Engrossig

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Edecmcl
Mehso-so

Having trouble getting into it. Will re-evaluate in a few chapters

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BekaReid
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Picked up a few books in the community yard sale today.

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Gina
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Kaye 🤚🏼 3mo
11 likes1 comment
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Hestapleton
Mehso-so

This is my second time reading, and it‘s still meh. The contrast between the beauty of the fair and the evil of Holmes‘s actions just doesn‘t mesh as well as it needed to and there is SO little on Holmes, compared to the fair. Reads more like a history than true crime, overall. Still an interesting read, just not what I‘d hoped it would be ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Crazeedi I loved this book! 3mo
britt_brooke @Hestapleton Completely agree. 3mo
60 likes2 comments
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WhatWouldJaneDo
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Pickpick

This was an engaging tale of the Chicago World's Fair and the issues that plagued it. I'm not sure that Larson's attempt to juxtapose the White City (the fair) and the Black City (the rest of Chicago as represented by psychopath H H Holmes) was fully successful to me - I would've liked more about the life of the average working family at the time to make that point, but I enjoyed following the dreamers who built the fair and the nightmare nearby.

47 likes2 stack adds
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WhatWouldJaneDo
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Polly's been putting out her top level cute stuff today. And I'm on track to finish this book tonight! #catsoflitsy

Texreader Good for both of you! 3mo
rretzler 😻 3mo
Leftcoastzen Cute!😻 3mo
55 likes3 comments
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WhatWouldJaneDo
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Finally getting around to reading The Devil in the White City; this book has been on my radar for years but I haven't been a big nonfiction reader so I kept putting it off. I branched out a bit last year and read some NF I really enjoyed but between Litsy and some of the podcasts I've been listening to, I've already read more this year than I did all last year! #nonfiction2019

26 likes1 stack add
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mdemanatee
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My brother is a music teacher and works with multiple marching band programs, so there‘s only like one break a year where he can find some time to pleasure read. He purchased this based on a recommendation list I made for him last year (Bird Box was last year‘s read) and I promptly forgot what was on the list 😂 Part of me was sad because I was working on a new list. But happy this is what he went with.

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Lauram
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Listening to the tagged book and enjoying the view. I‘m not ready for this to be the last snow of the year.

78 likes1 stack add
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csimmer23
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I am a big true crime fan. Have you read these? What's your favorite true crime? #truecrimebooks

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Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick
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Pickpick

Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.

The acts of H.H. Holmes were the more intriguing part of the story, but the World's Fair piece is still interesting, if a bit bogged down by the details of the development & building of the fair. I was hoping for some insight into the actual fair once it opened. Not great, but worth about 3.5 stars for this little slice of history. I'll leave you with this author's note kicking off the book.

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Jessicaanne
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Pickpick

March got off to a slow start but I finally finished my first book of the month!
This book wasn‘t too bad but it wasn‘t what I was expecting. It had two different storylines that were very loosely related. One followed the World Fair and all the difficulties surrounding it and the other followed HH Holmes‘ life. Both were interesting but would have been better separate.
#booked2019 #relatedtoapodcast thanks to MFM

Cinfhen Well done ❣️I really enjoyed this book, too. 4mo
14 likes1 stack add1 comment
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GripLitGrl
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📚 The Devil in the White City
🎥 The Devil's Advocate
🎶 Runnin with the devil by Van Halen
#ManicMonday #😈 @JoScho

JoScho 🖤😈🖤 4mo
34 likes1 comment
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karajay
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📖 tagged
🎬 Horns
🎶 Where the Devil Don't Go - Elle King

#manicmonday @JoScho

JoScho 🖤😈🖤 4mo
10 likes1 comment
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Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick
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My co-pilot this week is Tony Goldwyn reading this book. I may have given up on this book in print but a few chapters at a time while navigating the highways of NJ is just the right amount of architecture & murderous maniac.

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Chrissyreadit
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Pick your favorite #psychokiller as we #marchintothe70‘s

lynneamch Oh yeah. I should've thought of that one. Really liked that book! 5mo
Lizpixie That was my first choice, then I remembered Katherine Knight😬 5mo
Cinfhen What‘s wrong with people?!?!!! So many #psychoKiller(s) 5mo
See All 7 Comments
Chrissyreadit I wonder if there are cultures that do not have Serial killers? And if that has been studied @Cinfhen @Lizpixie your woman from Australia was so different from examples I know of women killers. 5mo
Lizpixie @Chrissyreadit she‘s a super special snowflake alright❄️ 5mo
Chrissyreadit @Lizpixie @Cinfhen @EadieB (I thought of you too)- I had to look- this is pretty disturbing in its own way- https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-that-have-produced-the-most-serial... 5mo
Lizpixie @Chrissyreadit that‘s a pretty big number! 5mo
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Bklover
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1. Fiction. I like to wander.
2.Tagged book. Outstanding.
3. Biology. (Loved chemistry though)
4. To be honest, I wouldn‘t actually want to live in any period where there are no antibiotics and indoor plumbing. As far as books, I like reading about early U.S. history. Pioneers!
5. New Littens- join in!
#Frideas
#SaturdayEdition

Thanks again @Reecaspieces ❤️

rubyslippersreads I agree—just because I love reading about the past doesn‘t mean I want to live without modern conveniences. 😁 5mo
Kerrioke Ohh, big fan of the tagged book. Makes me want to try some of his other ones! 5mo
SailorMoon Thanks for playing!!! 💕🤟🏻🌙 and OMG point 4... you are sooo right!!! 5mo
82 likes3 comments
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MolliesaurusRex
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1. Both, please!
2. Devil in the White City is one of my all-time FAVORITES!
3. PE. Hands down.😂
4. 1900s
5. Tagged below😊

BookishMarginalia Thanks for the tag! 5mo
6 likes1 comment
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Jerdencon
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1. Fiction
2. Tagged
3. Chemistry
4. I love reading about the US in the 1920s
5. Tagging my newest followers @kstadt929 @rretzler
@SailorMoon #frideas

SailorMoon Thanks for playing!!! 💕🤟🏻🌙 5mo
38 likes1 comment
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SamanthaMarie
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Mehso-so

My seasonal depression has been a little rough these past few weeks. Some days I'm just so tired I can't even deal with the internet "world." But I've been steadily reading. This macabre book was interesting to read and led to more than one nightmare. The counterpart of the World's Fair was interesting. You could tell the author was passionate about the fair. A few too many details for my taste and I'm not usually a reader of true crime.

KrystleTheBookSlayer I hope you feel better, my seasonal depression has been bad lately too. This book had a bit too much architectural details about the fair for my taste, I thought it was so-so too. 5mo
SamanthaMarie @KrystleTheBookSlayer Thank you so much. I hope you feel better soon as well. Winter always seems to get longer year to year. Yes! I think that was it. It had a lot of jargon that I didn't care to research more to understand. Thus making large portions of the book so so. 5mo
KrystleTheBookSlayer It honestly feels like we're in our 3rd winter this year & February has had a lot of snow! I think I really need to move somewhere with a better climate. 5mo
86 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Patchshank
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Mehso-so

The information in the book was interesting. Overall I enjoyed it. But I did find it a bit overrated. I didn't really enjoy the writing style. At times it was too detailed and uninteresting. I don't think it really did a good job intertwining Holmes and the world fair. It could have easily just been a book about the world fair and left Holmes out of it all together. But it still appealed to my interest in history and I learned a lot.

SamanthaMarie I just finished this as well haha! I too, found it to be a bit boring. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 5mo
65 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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JessNevertheless
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Taking a little break from Dune to re-read a favorite nonfiction. 🖤🎡 #tbrr2019

JenReadsAlot Great book! 5mo
63 likes1 comment
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Patchshank

I'm semi new to Instagram and haven't mess with it too much. Does any one have recommendations for interesting bookish accounts to follow?

BookishClaire Look for the hashtag #bookstagram, it‘ll lead you to some great ones! 5mo
Patchshank @BookishClaire thank you! 5mo
AnansiGirl Hashtags amreading, riotgrams or as mentioned above bookstagram should guide you to bookish people. 5mo
41 likes3 comments
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TallyBooks
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Pickpick

I have very mixed feelings about this book. I love architecture and World Fairs, but I wasn‘t the biggest fan of The Devil in the White City. It was good, it just took me a while to read because of the other books I read at the same time as it and because of that the pacing of the book was a bit off.

3.5/5 ⭐️
(I finished this around a week ago but just never got around to posting about it)

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Mitch
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Well this is good news! Loved the book, it‘s got such a strong sense of place, think it will translate well to screen.

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/devil-in-the-white-city-series-hulu-leonardo-di...

Cinfhen Agreed 5mo
AnneCecilie I‘ll definitely watch this. It has Leo in it. 5mo
BridgetteM Yay! Love this book and have thought it would make a good movie/series for a long time. 5mo
megnews Now if I could just get to the book beforehand 5mo
Mitch @megnews it‘s a good one! 5mo
96 likes5 comments
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heyitsMacall
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Pickpick

I read this book on audio and I thought it was well suited for that format. There is a lot of architecture talk and I was prepared, but I do like learning about architecture.

It blows my mind that there was a time where a man could kill possibly hundreds of people and get away with it for a long time. Was this the United States that was great? I don‘t think so.

saguarosally Architecture talk? I‘m really not into historical books but when there‘s architecture I‘m in! 5mo
heyitsMacall @saguarosally oh yeah, there‘s building talk throughout. HH Holmes murder house is pretty interesting and the guy that designed the flatiron building was building at the Chicago World Fair or whatever it was! 5mo
8little_paws I would also recommend this book to you 5mo
heyitsMacall @8little_paws thanks so much! 5mo
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TracyReadsBooks
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This is very exciting! Love the book and rumors about it being made into a movie by DiCaprio & Scorsese—the original plan—have been swirling for years. I actually like the idea of it as a tv miniseries/series. Can‘t wait!

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Ericalambbrown
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I know some folk didn‘t like this book because they didn‘t like the parallel story of the World‘s Fair along with the story of Holmes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I loved it and can‘t wait for this series!

Here‘s the link to the Deadline article if interested:
https://deadline.com/2019/02/martin-scorsese-leonardo-dicaprio-the-devil-in-the-...

cathysaid Loved this book! Curious to see how effectively they follow both storylines. 🤔 (edited) 5mo
Ericalambbrown @cathysaid I wonder that, too! Scorsese taking it makes me happy 😊 5mo
GloVerdino I guess I‘ll have to move this up on my TBR list! 5mo
See All 9 Comments
inthegreensandblues Wow, it's finally happening! I'm in the Loved Both Stories camp. 5mo
BryanaB Loved the parts about Holmes. Couldn‘t stand the rest. That being said, I‘m excited to see what they do with the movie. Loveee Scorsese and Leo. 5mo
RamsFan1963 @BryanaB I was the exact opposite, found the creation of the World's Faire fascinating, but found Holmes to be the same old tired serial killer motif 5mo
RainyDayReading I had no idea this was a thing! 5mo
BryanaB @RamsFan1963 That‘s fair. I think I‘ve always found Holmes to be one of the more interesting serial killers since he was one of the first, so I tend to eat up things about him. But, I‘m also really big into true crime, so that probably adds to it as well. 5mo
70 likes9 comments
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Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick
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At least 3 times a year I say to myself I really need to read this book and another year passes without me changing the status to read. Since books are usually better than the movie/show, I usually watch them before reading. I clearly have a decision to make. Will 2019 be the year I (finally, for real) read this? 🤣 https://ew.com/tv/2019/02/11/devil-in-the-white-city-hulu/?utm_source=facebook&u...

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Mdonald
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Pickpick

Very interesting! #LitsyAtoZ #D✔️

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Mdonald
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I‘m gonna start using this. 😆

CindyRene Haha...Yes! 5mo
8 likes1 comment
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Laura317
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Panpan

I skimmed this book. It was a pan for me. The parts about the Chicago Fair were dry, and didn‘t mesh well with the evil deeds of Mr. Holmes. Not the book for me.

Redwritinghood Totally agree. I found the two parts didn‘t mesh well. 5mo
43 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Laura317
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Adding that I‘m reading this. So far, it‘s pretty dry.

Patchshank I've been having the same problem with it. I'm not very far into it. Keep getting side tracked by other books. But I'm always getting side tracked. Always reading something, but never finishing anything. 6mo
Kaye I‘ve started this so many times it‘s not even funny. Cannot keep interested in it. (edited) 6mo
Laura317 @Patchshank @kaye I am glad I‘m not alone! 6mo
39 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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annaperuses
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Pickpick

Great, great read. Amazing and riveting. Well-researched and well-written. I regret that I've reached the end of the book. But it has ignited in me an interest in architecture and its history. I most certainly will inquire my architect friends about the great men I have learned from this book, particularly Daniel Burnham.

Aaand Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio is to team up again for the film adaptation.

I. Can't. Wait.

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TheFunkyBookworm
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So I picked this book for bookclub one month because I was really interested in the sections about H.H. Holmes.... turns out most of it was tediously long, #unwanted descriptions of the architecture that went into building the World‘s Fair... interesting at first but quickly became boringggggg lol give me more serial killer stuff please! 😂

#anewchapter
@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @vkois88

knotmagick I felt the same way. Dead Wake was a lot better. 6mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I have this one, but haven‘t gotten to it!!! 6mo
KarynGood Same! 6mo
See All 13 Comments
RamsFan1963 I was the exact opposite, I found the creation of the World's Faire endlessly fascinating, while the sordid serial killer story wasn't at all interesting. 6mo
TheFunkyBookworm @RamsFan1963 once they got to the part where they finally opened the fair, I enjoyed it a LOT more... def did a deep dive on google looking up pics! 6mo
TheFunkyBookworm @knotmagick I think it‘s very impressive how well researched his books are and he is clearly passionate about his subjects but I‘m not sure I have that passion within me to stick through allllll those details 😂 6mo
Linear I have this book somewhere. But I never read it, it didnt seem my cup of tea. Maybe I should try it. But I dont handle overly done details... hmm 6mo
vkois88 I am SO angry I read this book. I wanted more than I got about Holmes. I feel like it was advertised differently than it should have been... if I had known going into it what it was, it would have been fine 6mo
cherinium I find it interesting that I have seen reviews going both ways. It seems that those interested in the architecture hate the serial killer chapters and the true crime nuts are bored to tears by the World Fair sections. I was one of the latter. Perhaps these 2 topics are a bit too disparate to work in one book. 6mo
TheFunkyBookworm @Linear well- unless you are uber interested in architecture, I‘d say “overly done” is a good description lol 6mo
TheFunkyBookworm @vkois88 yesss I agree!!!! Now I‘ve heard they are making a move (with Leo D. as Holmes!)- and I‘m better that will focus more on what we were looking for! Lol 6mo
TheFunkyBookworm @cherinium interesting perspective- you might be right about that.... but then again i would have appreciated more of the architecture description in reference to HH Holmes‘s hotel- although maybe the true problem was that there just isn‘t a lot of information available! 6mo
vkois88 Yes!!! 6mo
96 likes4 stack adds13 comments
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annaperuses
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As a mood reader, starting a new book is such a pain, mainly because it takes me a looong time to decide which book to read next.

So starting this year, I am employing the draw-from-the-jar method whenever I feel stumped. Now, I can finally get more reading done!

First pick of 2019 is The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.

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CoffeeNBooks
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Pickpick

I learned so much about the Chicago World's Fair, the architects involved in creating it, and the community support for the fair. I learned about Ferris and his wheel, and the influences of the fair on people such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Walt Disney. Interwoven with the story of the Chicago World's Fair, however is the story of serial killer H.H. Holmes. #nonfiction #historicaldrama #truecrime #ReadingThroughTheYears192021 #192021 #2003

KathyWheeler When I bought this book, I bought it for the H.H. Holmes part of the story; however, I ended up actually being more interested in the architecture parts of the book. 6mo
Lcsmcat My book group all loved this one, but were pretty evenly divided over which part they liked better. I liked both parts. 😀 6mo
Bookish.SAM I really enjoyed this one! 6mo
See All 15 Comments
Slajaunie I‘ve heard of H.H. Holmes. Creepy! 6mo
jessinikkip I always have loved this book since I first read it years ago 6mo
Crazeedi I really enjoyed reading this, Larsons nonfiction books are so readable, never boring 6mo
nelehelen I love this book so much! 6mo
Kaye NF 🌟 6mo
Reviewsbylola Such a great book. 6mo
CoffeeNBooks @Crazeedi I definitely want to read more of his books now! 6mo
Zee3 I've been wanting to read this! I can't wait for the movie. 6mo
5280reader Learning about the architecture in Chicago was so interesting! A favorite for sure. 6mo
EmilyM I love all of his books! 6mo
Biverson12 Read this for a book club and I loved it! Glad you liked it too! 6mo
jz4usc This is an amazing book! 6mo
168 likes11 stack adds15 comments
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Lizpixie
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#BookMail Pt2 The 2nd non-fiction in today‘s haul is another Erik Larson, whose Dead Wake I‘ve just enjoyed. This is definitely a #blameitonlitsy purchase, I‘ve seen so many littens rave about how good it is! This is the story of the Chicago Worlds Fair In 1893 from 2 points of view, the gentlemen running the fair & the serial killer taking advantage of the influx of strangers. Dr H.H.Holmes built a “murder house” with secret rooms & body shutes.

Kaye NF⭐️ 6mo
Literary_Siren I‘ve had this book and Thunderstruck on my bookshelves for years waiting to be read. 6mo
WhatThePuck It's a great book! 6mo
CouronneDhiver Thanks for all these individual book mail posts... I love reading them! 😊 Gives me lots of good ideas 6mo
Lizpixie @kaye #NonFiction2019🙌 @literarysiren @WhatThePuck it‘s been on my wishlist for a long time too, can‘t wait to read it @CouronneDhiver I‘m only doing this for you guys. Honest, it‘s my public service duty. No benefit for me. At all.😋🤣 6mo
52 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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Chrissyreadit
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#cellblocktango #musicalnewyear
Meanwhile in Chicago....

MMenefee Great pix! I love this book 7mo
Kaye 🌟NF 7mo
vivastory Fantastic choice. I really liked this one, especially the passages about the world fair 7mo
See All 8 Comments
SilversReviews Ooooo...love your photos. Great book too. 7mo
Biverson12 I loved this book too! I thought the architecture parts were slow at first but I got really into it as the book progressed. 7mo
Cinfhen Fabulous 😜😂😂😂 7mo
Chrissyreadit @MMenefee @vivastory @SilversReviews @Biverson12 thanks! I think this book took me by surprise! It was so much more than I anticipated! 7mo
96 likes4 stack adds8 comments