Category Archives: book lists

Lists of favorite and popular books.

18 Creepy AF True Crime Books

When it comes to guilty pleasures of the literary kind, there’s nothing I like better than a good true-crime thriller.

Be it murder, mayhem, corruption or conspiracy, I’m all about those haunting stories that keep us up at night.

If you’re in the mood for something similar, check out this list of amazing true-crime books that will leave you itching for more…

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18 Creepy AF True Crime Books

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My Story, Elizabeth Smart

On June 5, 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was taken from her home in the middle of the night by a religious fanatic. Elizabeth was chained up, raped and hidden from view until her rescue nearly one year later. This book recounts her amazing story of survival in her own words.

The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy: The Shocking Inside Story, Ann Rule

Ann Rule was a writer working on the biggest story of her life, tracking down a brutal mass-murderer. Little did she know that Ted Bundy, one of her closest friends, was the savage slayer she was hunting.

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed, Michelle Knight

For more than a decade, Knight was kept hostage in a basement in Cleveland, Ohio. Kept in captivity with two other women, Knight and her fellow captors endured horrible torture and pain. Their escape in 2013 made headlines around the world and Knight’s account will leave you shook.

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In Cold Blood, Truman Capote

In November of 1959 in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by a shotgun to the face. There was no motive and there were no clues. As Capote tries to reconstruct the murder and the investigation that led to finding the killers, he generates great suspense and astonishing empathy, making this book a true classic.

Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders, Vincent Bugliosi

Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, Vincent Bugliosi, held a unique insider’s position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the 20th century: the murders carried out by Charles Manson and his followers. This book recounts the story of these famous and haunting crimes.

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, Erik Larson

In this engrossing book, Larson intertwines the true tale of the Chicago World’s Fair with the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure victims to their death. A true must-read, especially if you’re from the Chicago area!

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Columbine, Dave Cullen

What really happened on April 20, 1999, the day two troubled teens decided to bring a whole arson of weapons into their school? Cullen, who was a reporter on the Columbine shooting for years, puts together an amazing account by combining first-hand interviews, insights from psychologists and the killers’ own words and drawings into a book that you’ll want to finish in one nail-biting sitting.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, Michelle McNamara

Written at the time of her sudden death, this book offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history that sent chills down the spines of the entire west coast. A book that may have helped lead to the capture of “the Golden State Killer”, this page-turner is made all the more bittersweet in that McNamara couldn’t see the subject of her study captured.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt

Filled with sublime and seductive language, this book is an engaging portrait of a Southern city torn. On the morning of May 2, 1981, shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion. Was it murder or self-defense? Berendt journeys to find out…

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Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery, Robert Kolker

Award-winning investigative reporter Robert Kolker delivers a humanizing account of the true-life search for a serial killer still at large on Long Island and presents the first detailed look at the shadow world of online escorts, where making a living is easier than ever, and the dangers remain all too real.

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective, Kate Summerscale

In June of 1860 three-year-old Saville Kent was found at the bottom of an outdoor privy with his throat slit. The crime horrified all England and led to a national obsession with detection, ironically destroying, in the process, the career of perhaps the greatest detective in the land. This is the dramatic story of the real-life murder that inspired the birth of modern detective fiction.

People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo-and the Evil that Swallowed Her Up, Richard Lloyd Parry

Lucie Blackman – tall, blonde, and 21 years old – stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000, then disappeared forever. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave. With a little something for everyone, this book is a non-fiction thriller, a courtroom drama and the biography of both a victim and a killer.

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American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land, Monica Hesse

The arsons started on a cold November midnight and didn’t stop for months. Night after night, the people of Accomack County waited to see which building would burn down next, regarding each other at first with compassion, and later suspicion. The culprit, and the path that led to these crimes, is a story of twenty-first century America.

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

This is the story of preacher Jim Jones, the man responsible for the Jonestown Massacre – the largest murder-suicide in American history. Through FBI files, research and interviews, Guinn tries to piece together what led Jones to this tragedy at Jonestown.

My Dark Places, James Ellroy

In 1958 Jean Ellroy was murdered, her body dumped on a roadway in a seedy L.A. suburb.  Her killer was never found, and the police dismissed her as a casualty of a cheap Saturday night. James Ellroy was ten when his mother died, and he spent the next thirty-six years running from her ghost and attempting to exorcize it through crime fiction. In 1994, Ellroy quit running.  He went back to L.A., to find out the truth about his mother–and himself.

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The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America’s First Serial Killer, Skip Hollandsworth

In the late 1800s, the city of Austin, Texas was on the cusp of emerging from an isolated western outpost into a truly cosmopolitan metropolis. But beginning in December 1884, Austin was terrorized by someone equally as vicious and, in some ways, far more diabolical than London’s infamous Jack the Ripper. For almost exactly one year, the Midnight Assassin crisscrossed the entire city, striking on moonlit nights, using axes, knives, and long steel rods to rip apart women from every race and class. With vivid historical detail, Hollandsworth brings this terrifying saga to life.

The Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders, Anthony Flacco

From 1926 to 1928, Gordon Stewart Northcott committed at least 20 murders on a chicken ranch outside of Los Angeles. His nephew, Sanford Clark, was held captive there from the age of 13 to 15, and was the sole surviving victim of the killing spree. Here, acclaimed crime writer Anthony Flacco―using never-before-heard information from Sanford’s son, Jerry Clark―tells the real story behind the case that riveted the nation. This book was also the inspiration for Clint Eastwood’s movie, The Changling.

The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder, Charles Graeber

When nurse Charlie Cullen was arrested in 2003, journalists were quick to dub him “The Angel of Death.” But Cullen was neither a mercy killer nor a simple monster. He was a son, a husband, a father, a best friend, and a valued caregiver. He was also implicated in the deaths of as many as 400 people, and may be the most prolific serial killer in American history.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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Around the World in 18 Cookbooks

Whether you’re craving traditional Indian food or your missing the delicious street food of Israel or Thailand, the next best thing to getting up and getting on a plane is to take a few steps to your kitchen.

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With this collection of amazing cookbooks from far-away places, you can easily re-create your regional favorites from the comfort of your own home.

Around the World in 18 Cookbooks

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Argentina
Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way, by Francis Mallmann

Brazil
The Brazilian Kitchen, by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz

China
Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking, by Fuchsia Dunlop

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Denmark
Scandinavian Comfort Food: Embracing the Art of Hygge, by Trine Hahnemann

Ethiopia
Teff Love: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopian Cooking, by Kittee Berns

France
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child (I mean, duh)

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Greece
Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die, by Diane Kochilas

Iceland
The Nordic Cookbook, by Magnus Nilsson

Israel
Jerusalem: A Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

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India
Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook, by Richa Hingle

Italy
Cooking with Nonna: Celebrate food and Family with Over 100 Classic Recipes From Italian Grandmothers, by Rossella Rago

Japan
Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking, by Masaharu Morimoto

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Mexico
Mexico: The Cookbook, by Margarita Carrillo Arronte

Morocco
Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon, by Claudia Roden

Peru
Peru: The Cookbook, by Gaston Acurid

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Russia
Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking, by Bonnie Frumkin Morales

Spain
Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain, by Jeffrey Weiss

Thailand
Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen, by Leela Punyaratabandhu

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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Books about Your Favorite Animals, Part 1

I’m always fascinated to learn about our animal brothers. The emotional range of elephants, the level of commitment from lobsters, the strategy and hierarchy of a wolf pack…the animal kingdom never ceases to amaze me.

Whenever I’m in a reading slump and I don’t know what to read next, I tend to gravitate towards books about animals. The Secret Life of Lobsters was one I read on a whim…and was completely captivated by their social and romantic lives (I know, so scandalous!).

Never Cry Wolf was the book that motivated me to be more proactive about protecting this beautiful, smart, amazing creature…and The Elephant’s Secret Sense helped open my eyes to an animal that’s smarter, kinder, and more protective than most people I know.

Creating a list of books about animals is daunting to say the least…therefore, I have decided to break this up into parts…the first section being brought to you today! Here are a few great books to read if you want to learn about everything from the rat to the platypus.

Books about Your Favorite Animals, Part 1

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Lobsters
The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fisherman and Scientists are Unraveling the Mysteries of Our Favorite Crustacean

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Elephants
The Elephant’s Secret Sense: The Hidden Life of the Wild Herds of Africa

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Grizzly Bears
The Lost Grizzlies: A Search for Survivors in the Wilderness of Colorado

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Wolves
Never Cry Wolf: The Groundbreaking Book that Changed How the World Looks at the Wolf

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Squid
Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid

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Seahorse
Poseidon’s Steed: The Story of Seahorses, from Myth to Reality

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Octopus
The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness

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Crow
Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans

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Bat
The Secret Lives of Bats: My Adventures with the World’s Most Misunderstood Mammals

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Pig
The Whole Hog: Exploring the Extraordinary Potential of Pigs

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Dog
How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain

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Giraffe
Tall Blondes

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Bees
Plan Bee: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Hardest-Working Creatures on the Planet

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Pigeons
Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World’s Most Revered and Reviled Bird

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Rats
Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants

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Cod
Cod: A Biography of the First Fish that Changed the World

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Tuna
Tuna: A Love Story

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Fox
Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain

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Platypus
Platypus: The Extraordinary Story of How a Curious Creature Baffled the World

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Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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Just 25 Book Memes that Will Have Book Lovers Shouting “ME TOO!”

Take a break from Friday reading and enjoy these hilarious (and true) memes for book lovers!

25 Book Memes for Book Lovers

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Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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How Many of the Greatest Books of All Time Have You Read?

So I recently stumbled upon an amazing site called thegreatestbooks.org…which is exactly what you think it is. Want to know the greatest books of 2000? The Greatest Books of 1900? The Greatest German Novels of the 20th Century? It’s all waiting for you!

While browsing around this site, I found a list of the greatest books of all time. ALL. TIME. I was a little skeptical about this list because they’re not really that open about how these lists are curated, but from what I could find, they reviewed more than 100 “best of” book lists from a variety of sources, then created an algorithm to determine how many times a particular book appears on a list…thus this greatest list is born.

Now this ultimate list is pretty cumbersome. I stopped after 5 pages, but it keeps going and going and going…there are actually more than 2,000 books on this list!

As a fun little Friday activity, I’ve gathered the top 100 books on this ultimate list to see how many we’ve all read! My score was pretty pitiful (I’ve only read 27 of the top 100)…but to be fair, I’m really not one for the classics…

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You can download your spreadsheet of the top 100 books here! Leave a comment below and let me know what your score is!

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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10 Awesome Detective Novels

A little more than 170 years ago, Edgar Allen Poe’s story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, first appeared in Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine. The story described the analytical power used by one Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin to solve a slew of murders in Paris. Thus, the first detective story was born.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue also inspired the creation of perhaps one of the greatest literary detectives of all time, Sherlock Holmes. He first hit bookshelves 46 years after Poe’s story and set into motion one of the most read literary genres ever.

Often filled with chilling and complex stories, clever and witty humor and strong characters that seem to come to life before your eyes, detective novels are a great go-to solution for a summer beach read, a vacation read, or just a quick and exciting story to help pass the time.

If you’re looking for a great detective novel, here are 10 awesome ones to get you started!

10 Awesome Detective Novels

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The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson

The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon

And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami

In the Woods, Tana French

Booked to Die, John Dunning

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, P.D. James

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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12 Beautiful Books about the Holocaust

Go to any bookstore today and you’re bound to be overwhelmed with the amount of books there are on the topic of World War II and the Nazi regime. Perhaps just surpassed by the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln, there are more books about World War II than any other war in history. Makes finding literature about the Holocaust pretty daunting…especially for young kids and teens.

While I am by no means an expert in Holocaust literature, I feel some of the best books out there are told from those that survived it…those who saw, first hand, the monstrosities of Germany, Poland, and Austria in the late 1940’s.

Here are 12 of some of the best books that I’ve read about the Holocaust…with Night and The Book Thief probably topping my list. In poetic prose and heart-wrenching detail, these books bring to life a time not that long ago…when the basic rights of food, shelter, and decent clothing were stripped from 11 million men, women and children, all because of one man’s fears and insecurities.

12 Beautiful Books about the Holocaust

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The Diary of Anne Frank
Anne Frank
The real diary of a girl who tried so hard to see the beauty in a world crumbling around her.

Night
Elie Wiesel
Night is the story of one man’s survival in Auschwitz. This is perhaps one of the most amazing accounts of the true horror of the Holocaust.

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
Narrated by Death himself, The Book Thief tells the story of a young girl named Liesel and her stealing talents that help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding in their basement.

Number the Stars
When Ellen moves in with her friend Annemarie to escape the Nazi ragime, Annemarie embarks on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.

The Devil’s Arithmetic
Jane Yolen
Hannah thinks her Passover Seder will be just the same as last year…but this year as she opens the door for Elijah, she’s transported into the past. Only she knows the horrors that await.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
John Boyne
When young Bruno arrives at a new place with his family and meets a young boy on the other side of the fence, they develop a friendship that has devastating consequences. (This book has received some negative critism about it’s “historical account”, but keep in mind this is a fictional story.)

Maus
Art Spiegelman
A cartoonist tries to come to terms with his father’s story and history itself through a series of graphic novels depecting Jewish people as mice and the Nazi soilders as cats.

Animal Farm
George Orwell
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Schindler’s List
Thomas Keneally
This is the amazing story of Oskar Schindler, who risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland.

The Reader
Bernhard Schlink
The Reader is a profound book concerning the moral guilt that comes with being a second-generation German. Also, I rarely say this but the movie interpretation of this book is phenomenal (and stars Kate Winslet so, I mean…).

The Nazi Officer’s Wife
Edith Hahn Beer
A Jewish woman falls in love and marries a Nazi officer. In vivid, wrenching detail, Edith recalls a life of constant, near paralyzing fear as her husband tries tirelessly to keep her safe during the war.

I Never Saw Another Butterfly
Hana Volavkova (editor)
About 15,000 children under the age of 16 passed through the Terezin Concentration Camp. Of those, fewer than 100 survived. In the poems and pictures collected in I Never Saw Another Butterfly, we see the daily misery, the loss of hope and their never-ending courage and fear that these children suffered during the brink of WWII.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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