Monthly Archives: June 2019

Review: The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

The Stranger Beside MeLike many, I’ve had a renewed fascination with convicted serial killer Ted Bundy thank to Netflix. With not one but two new offerings on the infamous murder, one a four-part documentary and the other the feature film with Zac Effron taking on the role of Bundy, it’s hard to look away. And while I appreciate what both Netflix offerings gave us, I still think Ann Rule’s first real-crime book recalling her friendship with Ted Bundy is one of the more definitive works on the subject.

Part of it this stems from Rule never losing sight of the fact that the real tragedy of the Bundy story is the lives of his victims that were cut short. While Rule does relate conversations and letters shared with Bundy, she never allows the reader to forget the toll in human lives that Bundy exacted.
In fact in a new forward, Rule says that while this book helped launch her career to a different level, she’d trade all of that if it meant those Bundy killed had been allowed to live their lives instead of seeing them cut short.

Rule met Bundy while working on a crisis hotline in Seattle. It’s fascinating to read how a real-crime reporter could have such conflicting emotions about Bundy and whether or not he was guilty of the horrible crimes associated with him. One of the most riveting moments of the book is when Rule realizes in a Florida court room that there is no way Bundy isn’t guilty of all the horrible things he’s being charged with.

The book paints a chilling portrait of Bundy and his crimes. But Rule stays away from trying to determine more about what motivated Bundy or getting inside his head.

It’s a compelling, chilling true-crime read that may be one of the definitive works on Ted Bundy. But it’s one that, at times, you may want to read with the lights on.


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Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Summer TBR


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us what are the top ten books on your summer to-be-read list.  Here are a couple of mine.

  1. orangetree Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
  2. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
  3. Magic for Liars by Sarah Galley
  4. Recursion by Blake Crouch
  5. Limited Wish by Mark Lawrence
  6. Star Trek: Captain’s Oath by Christopher L. Bennett
  7. The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang
  8. Doctor Who: Scratchman by Tom Baker (audiobook)
  9. Doctor Who: Mawdryn Undead by Peter Grimwade (audiobook)
  10. The Queen Con by Meghan Scott Molin


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Excerpt: Fury from the Top of the Stairs

Last week, Shortcake was startled while climbing the stairs and I got to find out how fast I can run.

I decided it was a good chance to post on my “being a dad” blog.  Here’s an excerpt:

Shortcake doesn’t react well to being startled.  Most of the times, she’ll just let out a yelp. But last week, she was climbing the stairs to give Mommy and her sister cat a hug.  I was planning to follow her upstairs, but got distracted by something that kept me from being on the stairs with her at the moment of the big scream.

If you’d like to read the entire story, you can HERE.

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Throwback Thursday: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Where the Red Fern GrowsThrowback Thursday is a weekly feature hosted by Tenacious Reader to highlight books from the past. It can honestly be anything as long as its not a book that is a current release. Maybe its a book that I read and reviewed and just want to highlight, maybe its a book I read before I started reviewing or maybe its a book that has a sequel coming out soon or maybe its a backlist book from my TBR that I just want to revisit and decide if I will make the time to read. Pretty much, anything goes. 

Between second and seventh grade, I read Wilson Rawl’s Where The Red Fern Grows a couple of dozen times. It was either my first or second grade teacher who read the book aloud to my class, hooking me on this book as a kid and adding it to me “go to” rotation of books I’d return to time and again as comfort reading.

Now, if you know how this novel ends, it being “comfort reading” may feel a bit like an oxymoron. But, apart from the final chapter being a bit of a downer (because all books about dogs seem to end this way), the rest of the novel is a moving story of the bond between a boy and his dogs.

The boy in this case is Billy Coleman, growing up in the Ozark Mountains and wanting nothing more in his life than to have two hunting dogs of his own. Coming across a sportsman magazine left by some fisherman, Billy sees an ad selling dogs for $25 each. Billy spends the better part of two years earning extra money with traps his father gives him, selling vegetables and bait to fisherman, and doing various odd jobs to earn the fifty dollars needed to purchase his dogs. Continue reading

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Filed under audio book review, audiobook review, book review, meme, review, Throwback Thursday