October Book Reads

A little late, but these are the books I read in October, a mixture of crime and feminism.

  1. Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  2. Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie
  3. Bitch Doctrine: Essays for Dissenting Adults, Laurie Penny
  4. Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime, Val McDermid
  5. Life After Death, Damien Echols
  6. The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris

Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

When you read a book and you want to buy it for every person who might ever have contact with children! I really enjoyed her thoughtful list of advice and it is something I will always keep in mind when interacting with children.

A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s letter of response. Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman.

Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie

This was my first Christie book, it is an easy read but it’s not really my style. The book is about a murder which occurs on a train and it has to be someone on board. The jumps that are made to ‘solve’ the crime are just too much for me.

Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.

Bitch Doctrine: Essays for Dissenting Adults, Laurie Penny

The name of this book is what grabbed me first of all – it was calling me! Penny is succinct in her writing style and deals with a number of issues. You can feel her passion and her anger and as a feminist you can relate to a number of the issues which she talks about.

Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime, Val McDermid

I could not put this book down. It deals with a range of forensic sciences and talks about them in an engaging way. There are a number of case examples and McDermid has discussed a number of issues with forensic scientists. If you are into forensics this is a definite recommendation.

Life After Death, Damien Echols

There is no way that an outsider can place themselves in the position of someone like Echols and his experience. But Echols does allow you to glimpse the impact of wrongful conviction on a person. He is clear and honest about his experiences and demonstrates the devastating impact of incarceration.

Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three, who was falsely convicted of three murders and spent nearly eighteen years on Death Row. In 1993, teenagers Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr.–who have come to be known as the West Memphis Three–were arrested for the murders of three eight-year-old boys in Arkansas. All three men were released in August 2011

The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris 

This was a beautiful and terrible story. Morris was able to capture a moment in the lives of two people in love and how powerful that is. It is so nice that she was able to share their story.

In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too.

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