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Ephemera

Ephemera

Joined March 2018

Fiction, non-fiction, whatever appeals
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Ephemera
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Many people have premonitions but what good are they? In 1966 a huge pile of coal mine slag rolled downhill and covered a school in Aberfan, a village in England, killing 144 people, many of them children. A doctor who responded to this emergency learned that people in other parts of the country had had a premonition of this event and established a premonitions bureau. This book is about both the doctor and the puzzle of premonitions.

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Ephemera
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If true crime is your thing, you should read this book. This book is about how a cold case double murder was solved using genetic genealogy, which is the process that was used to track down the killer of the four students in Idaho and also the Golden State Killer. The writing is terrific and the story is a page turner. Five big stars.

DocBrown This author just came to my town! 6d
Ephemera Very cool. The book is really well written and researched 5d
4 likes2 comments
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Ephemera
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This book about assisted dying was written by a Canadian doctor who decided to switch her specialty from obstetrics to assisted dying when Canada voted to allow medically assisted dying in 2016. It highlights the changes she experienced in herself as well as the changes in the Canadian medical system from that year up to 2021, when this book came out. Very informative and enlightening. Five stars.

DocBrown Have you come across this one? 6d
Ephemera No. The books I was interested in reading about assisted dying had many, many stories about how families and spouses dealt with grief and loss. But thanks for the suggestion. 5d
7 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Ephemera
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The story of death with dignity or assisted dying is often a story of someone with a debilitating diagnosis who can‘t use the assisted dying law in their state or country. This book tells the stories of four such people and how they dealt with their situation. It‘s a very good book and new; it came out in 2021. If you are curious about the right to die movement, this book will teach you a lot. Four stars.

7 likes2 stack adds
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Ephemera
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This book was written by a woman whose father died a bad death. It wasn‘t peaceful or dignified and it was not the way her father wished to go. After this happened, the author decided to look into the way Americans deal with death. She became a hospice volunteer, but she also did a lot of research on aspects of our health system, the Death With Dignity laws, extreme measures after brain death and so on. A very good book.

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Ephemera
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This is a very good book written by a doctor in the UK who specializes in palliative care. She is very talented and compassionate in her interactions with patients who are terminal and their families. Every true story in the book teaches the reader something about dying and grief. I recommend this book for anyone who may have a family member or friend who is approaching the end of life. Five stars.

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Ephemera
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If you live in a state that has an assisted dying law, you might like to read this book. If you have a family member with a terminal illness who wishes to use an assisted dying law, you should definitely read this book. Just about every question you might have about assisted dying is addressed in this book. I live in a state with a death with dignity law and I will use it if need be. Very well written. Five stars.

5 likes2 stack adds
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Ephemera
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This is a very good book. It‘s all about the different professions that deal with death and dying. I know that sounds morbid, but nothing here is offensive. As I was reading it, so many of the things she wrote jogged my memory. Very well written and very well researched. Five stars.

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Ephemera
Hollywood Horrors | Andrea Van Landingham
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Ignore the sensationalistic title. If you‘re interested in the history of Hollywood and the scandals involving big Hollywood names, I think you will enjoy this book. I was quite intrigued by the chapter on the Black Dahlia murder, and also the death of mob figure John Stompanato, the abusive boyfriend of Lana Turner. Lots of information here and pretty well written. Four stars.

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Shrines of Gaiety | Kate Atkinson
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I have read almost every book by Kate Atkinson and enjoyed them all. This book is another winner. Set in London in 1926, it follows the life of Nellie Coker and her adult children. Nellie owns five popular nightclubs frequented by the rich and famous. She has just been released from prison for violating the liquor laws as the book begins. Full of interesting characters and droll humor, the story is a page turner. Five stars. Go grab it!

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I really enjoyed reading this book. Although I am not a ghost hunter or haunted house explorer, I do like to read about the experiences of people who pursue this kind of paranormal investigation. This book covers a wide range of subjects and at the end of it there are suggestions on how to become more open to psychic phenomena. The author is British and the writing is very good. Five stars.

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This book is a collection of articles written by Joan Didion during the 1960s. Being a Boomer, I could relate to a lot of her observations and anyone born after 1980 can read this book and get a good sense of what life in the US was like during those years. The writing is excellent, I can‘t say that enough. Didion had a wonderful style and incisiveness about her writing. Her voice was wholly her own. Five stars.

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Ephemera
Sleepwalk: A Novel | Dan Chaon
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I love Dan Chaon‘s work and this new book is excellent. Set in the US in some not so distant future, the main character is a 50 year old man named Billy who works for a mysterious company doing various shady chores. He has a dog named Flip and he travels in a small RV he has named Guiding Star. That‘s all I‘ll say except you should read this book immediately. Ten stars.

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True crime mixed with science. This book is by a professor of physiology so it includes a section in each chapter about how each poison works in the human body, at the cellular level. Famous murder cases are related and include the death of Georgi Markov, killed with a tiny hollow pellet filled with ricin, and Charles Cullen, the killer nurse who used digoxin. Quite interesting. Five stars.

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If you‘re a fan of dystopian sci-fi, I think you‘ll enjoy the stories in this collection. There are many permutations of the Apocalypse here by many good writers. Not all the stories are scary and sad, there are some filled with black humor. It‘s interesting to see what the writers came up with for the end of the world. Five stars.

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Ephemera
Miami | Joan Didion
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This book came out in 1987 and relates the ins and outs of Cuban exile politics as played out in Miami, Florida. After Castro removed Batista from power, a lot of Cubans fled to the US and most took up residence in Miami. Because this was during the Cold War era, it was expected that the US would provide the means to remove Castro and thwart communism there. These hopes were never fulfilled. Four stars

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Where I Was From | Joan Didion
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The state of California has a lot of cultural mythology surrounding it. Anyone who grew up there or lived there for any length of time should read this book. Joan Didion was born and grew up in Sacramento, and this incisive series of essays puts a truer perspective on California history. The writing is superb. Five stars.

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When the author‘s soon to be father in law died suddenly, she was deeply affected by his passing. Determined to overcome her fear of death and dying, she decided to attend seven different cultural celebrations in widely diverse nations to see how human mortality is handled. This may sound very solemn and gloomy, but this book is quite humorous in places. Very uplifting. Highly recommended.

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Good Rich People | Eliza Jane Brazier
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This book is full of black humor. Lyla and Graham are married and live in a huge house in the hills of Los Angeles. Graham‘s mother lives next door. Mother and son are filthy rich and bored,especially Graham. To ease their boredom, they like to manipulate and ruin the lives of others. It‘s Lyla‘s turn to play this game, but does she have the nerve to follow through? Four stars.

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I saw this book at a bookstore and grabbed it because I‘d never seen it before and I am always looking for new books about Sasquatch. The author didn‘t do much research of his own, this book is merely accounts of encounters with Sasquatch gleaned from other sources. However, most of these stories were new to me so I did enjoy reading it. If you‘re into Sasquatch, check it out. Lots of photos too. Four stars.

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Ephemera
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I‘ve read most of the books Mary Roach has written and enjoyed them all. This book is about what happens when humans and wildlife collide. What measures can be taken against a bear that raids your garbage can or breaks into your summer home? What can farmers do about birds that feed on their crops or mice that eat the cattle feed? How to deal with invasive species brought in for sport? Roach wants to know the answers! Five stars

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Lots of good short horror stories gathered by editor Ellen Datlow. This is an annual collection and well worth reading. If you‘re a horror fan, you‘ll like this anthology. Five stars

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Ephemera
A Killer by Design | Ann Wolbert Burgess
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The author of this book was chosen by the FBI to help agents set up the Behavioral Science Unit. This is the unit that profiles serial killers and helps local police departments narrow their suspect list in order to apprehend these murderers. Burgess helped to establish and refine procedures used today. She worked with such well-known profilers as Ressler and Hazelwood and was the only woman on the team. Interesting true crime. Five stars.

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The Salish Sea is the name given to Puget Sound by the indigenous tribes in the area we now know as western Washington State. So all these true tales of crimes committed happened in the towns along that body of water. This was quite an interesting book. Starting in pioneer times and going to 1938, these stories show the rough and tumble times people lived in up in the far northwest corner of our country. Five stars.

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Ephemera
Body Shocks | Ellen Datlow
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Ellen Datlow is the editor of this collection of horror stories with the theme of body horror. Datlow is probably the best editor there is with regard to short stories in the horror or fantasy genres. Her Best Horror of the Year collections are unmatched and I highly recommend them. This book does not disappoint and is full of truly frightening tales. If horror is your thing, you will enjoy this book. Five stars.

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This book was written by two women from the UK who have a true crime podcast. I haven‘t listened to the podcast at all, but this book is pretty good. The first chapter is all about the neurological and physiological roots of murder and is quite informative. The rest of the book deals with various killers and the circumstances of their crimes. It‘s a quick read and well-written so if true crime is your thing, you‘ll like it.

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This book was written by Corey Taylor, the singer for Slipknot, a band I know nothing about. Taylor believes in ghosts and that‘s why I checked this book out. Although he has no formal college education, he does have a good head on his shoulders and an open minded curiosity and he‘s had many paranormal experiences in his life. It‘s an interesting book and if you don‘t mind profanity, you‘ll no doubt learn a few things. Four stars

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There are several Lore books out and I‘ve read one other prior to this one. This particular book is about evil people such as murderers. However, the entire book isn‘t entirely focused on killers, it‘s more about bad human behavior and the consequences of that. All these stories are true and had previously been told on the author‘s podcast. Very quirky and full of coincidences, and very enjoyable. Five stars.

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This book is everything a good mystery book should be. Good, twisty plotting and interesting characters. I am a slow reader but I finished it in two days. Grab it and enjoy! Five big stars.

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The title of this book refers to small towns in Washington State. The author classifies these as towns between 48 and 3500 in population. Each two page chapter gives a rundown of the town‘s history and how it fares today. Sad to read about the loss of tribal lands due to settlers and miners. Good reference book for local history buffs. Four stars for this one.

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True Tales of Puget Sound | Dorothy Wilhelm
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I grew up in California and have only lived here in western Washington since 2009, so I don‘t know a lot about the history of our adopted state. It was fun and interesting to read this book and to learn more about the people and events around Puget Sound. I now hope to visit some of these towns soon and see their historic sites in person. Five stars.

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Yet another book about movies, but in an oblique way. This is a short memoir by Patton Oswalt, about his early years doing stand-up and his move to Los Angeles. He became a film buff and spent a lot of time at a local theater watching classic movies. At the same time he was fine tuning his stand-up approach. It‘s quite an insightful book and includes a listing of all the films he saw over 4 years. Movie fans would enjoy it.

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I‘m not a huge horror movie fan, but I have been known to watch a few over the years. This book was very interesting because it provides insight and background on some of the most well known horror film directors and how they moved the genre forward in the 1960s and 70s. Think Rosemary‘s Baby, Alien, Halloween, etc.So if horror is your thing, you‘ll enjoy this book and learn a lot too.

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If you are a film buff, you will like this book. Not only will you learn more about the film noir genre, you will also learn all about Hollywood clothing designers. This is a large format book with many photos in each chapter. Even if movie fashion isn‘t your thing, it‘s a fun read. Five stars

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Instinct: A Novel | Jason M. Hough
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Something is amiss in the little village of Silvertown, WA. This is a good little mystery set in a former company town in rural Washington. With the police chief gone on personal business, new hire Mary Whittaker is in charge and soon things are happening. Before she can pin down the reason, Mary is literally in a bind. Not a bad story, kind of fun to read. Four stars.

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If you read true crime, you might like this book. But if you‘ve read a lot of true crime then most of these killers will be known to you and the details of their crimes will already be familiar. Fair warning: graphic explanation of murders in this book mean it‘s not for the squeamish. Four stars.

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If you are a fan of Sylvia Plath or Anne Sexton, you may enjoy this book. The author deals with both women very frankly, warts and all. She compares their lives and work, their loves and fears, and their deaths with great scholarship and caring. These two American poets were instrumental in helping to break down the barriers around male-dominated poetry and should be celebrated as such. Five stars.

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This is a short history of the defining of depression and its treatment. Starting with Freud and his analysis approach and ending in the present day with microdosing psychedelics such as LSD and ketamine, it gives a good overall view of what depression is and how doctors have treated it for the past 100 years or so. The author suffers from this illness himself and provides insight into it on a personal level. Four stars.

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This book is the third in a trilogy by the author. Everything in it is documented and backed up by facts. If you are someone who still believes that Donald Trump was fit to be President or that he is not criminally inclined, then I challenge you to read this entire book. If he had won the 2020 election, America as we know it would have died a gruesome death. Five big shiny stars for exposing the disgusting liar and his lackeys.

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Ephemera
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This was a very interesting book. It goes a long way toward explaining why Donald Trump behaves as he does. Written by his niece Mary, it‘s an inside look at the dysfunctional family of Fred and Mary Trump. Donald learned from watching his father tear down oldest son Freddy because Freddy wanted his own life and career. After Freddy failed to please his father, Donald became the golden child. Very well-written, a fast read. Five stars.

skewermann @Ephemera for a delicious allegorical twisting of this tale, I recommend my paint-peeling parody of "Fire and Fury"... "Dire and Puny". Includes the story of Freddy Chump. Love Martha Skewermann, Official Biographer of the Chump administration ? #satire ? #Orwell https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081S5JLTX You'll find reviews here: https://twitter.com/skewermann/status/1301793540624670722?s=19 Enjoy! ? 2y
7 likes1 comment
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Ephemera
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This is a true crime story about a woman whose cyberstalking stymied both police and victims for about three years. Leslie Rule is the daughter of Anne Rule, a well known true crime writer. The book is well written and well researched as it had to be in order to pull all the myriad threads together. The woman at the center of all this is a sociopath, not someone sane people would want to encounter. Four stars.

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We all know what a horrible President Donald Trump was. This book is about how the Fox News network aligned itself to Trump and supported him before and during his term. Between Fox personalities such as Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham lying for Trump and Trump tweeting out lies day after day, any viewer of Fox became radicalized. And when covid came along, the excrement hit the fan. It‘s why I‘m very glad he lost the election.

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Killer Triggers | Joe Kenda
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I watched Joe Kenda‘s TV series every week for its entire run and enjoyed it immensely. This book is very interesting and gives a good insight into his personal philosophy on crime, criminals and the law. It also showcases his droll sense of humor. Being a homicide detective is tough on a person‘s psyche and Kenda explains that very accurately. Five stars. True crime fans will enjoy this book.

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Ephemera
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Mehso-so

No doubt there will be a movie or limited TV series made of this book. It has all the elements of a pot boiler that would appeal to viewers. But I thought the ending was weak and overall the prose seemed overly dramatic and somewhat purple. It left me feeling manipulated in the same way that Gone Girl did. Three and a half stars, and that‘s generous.

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Breakdown | Taylor Downing
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This book is about what used to be called ‘shell shock‘ and is now called PTSD. No matter what you call it, it was a major concern during World War 1. Soldiers lived under appalling conditions in this war and were routinely shelled and raked by machine gun fire. Any progress in taking enemy territory was short lived and the cost in human lives was devastating. Few officers or doctors understood shell shock and cure was rare. A very sad book.

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Columbine | Dave Cullen
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Most of us remember the mass shooting at Columbine High School. But unless you read this book, you won‘t know the whole story of the two teen killers and why they did what they did. You won‘t know how inept the response was to the event by police and SWAT. You won‘t understand the heartbreak of losing a child or the immediate response of the local community. Well written and researched, infuriating in places. Five stars.

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Ephemera
Possession: A Novel | Katie Lowe
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Mehso-so

The plotting of this book is good and it has a lot of twists at the end, but I have to say the writing was overblown and melodramatic. It‘s a murder mystery set in the UK. I can‘t give it more than 2.5 stars. Just okay.

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True stories of female confidence criminals and their scams. The last chapter was about Sante Kimes, a woman who helped murder an 80 year old woman in NYC so she could take over all her assets and property. She was truly evil. Con games work well for women since most people trust a woman more than they would a man. Fast reading, decent writing. Four stars.🌟🌟🌟🌟

peanutnine Sounds interesting! 2y
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Ephemera
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This is nice little book about life in the small town of Haines, Alaska. It‘s full of local characters and local color. Lende is a very reflective writer so we read a lot of life lessons she has learned since she and her husband moved to Haines right after their marriage. Life can be precarious in Alaska but these townspeople are in it all together. Five stars.

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Every year people go missing in America‘s wilderness. The National Park service doesn‘t keep track of these cases and beyond the initial search, it‘s left up to family members to keep looking for missing loved ones. This book is about the search for Jacob Gray, who went missing in Olympic National Park. But it‘s also about other missing persons and how families deal with the loss. Well written, five stars.🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟