What I've Read | May - August 2023


Welcome back to the Reading Nook & this month's 'What I've Read' series. The 'What I've Read" series is a monthly post and will be a combination of audible, kindle and physical books. Let me know if you've read/listened to any of these and if so what you thought.

☆ There was no "What I've Read" in April due to another family emergency. My mother was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, she was given 4 to 5 months. She refused Chemo/radiation therapy because at 88 it wasn't a guarantee to prolong her time, plus her quality of life wouldn't have been that great. So she received 20 days of oral chemo.



DELIBERATE CRUELTY | Author: Rosanne Monillo | Hardcover |☆☆☆¾




When Ann Woodward shot her husband, banking heir Billy Woodward, in the middle of the night in 1955, her life changed forever. Though she claimed she thought he was a prowler, few believed the woman who had risen from charismatic showgirl to popular socialite. Everyone had something to say about the scorching scandal afflicting one of the most rich and famous families of New York City, but no one was more obsessed with the tale than Truman Capote.

Acclaimed for his bestselling nonfiction book In Cold Blood, Capote was looking for new material and followed the scandal from beginning to end. Like Ann, he too had ascended from nobody to toast of the town, but he always felt like an outsider, even among the exclusive coterie of high society women who adored him. He decided the story of Ann’s turbulent marriage would be the basis of his masterpiece—a novel about the dysfunction and sordid secrets revealed to him by his high society “swans”—never thinking that it would eventually lead to Ann’s suicide and his own scandalous downfall.

“A 20th-century morality tale of enduring fascination” (Laura Thompson, author of The Heiresses), Deliberate Cruelty is a haunting cross between true crime and literary history that is perfect for fans of Furious Hours, Empty Mansions, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.


This book was interesting.


LIAR, TEMPTRESS, SOLDIER SPY: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War | Author:  KarenAbbott | Narrator: Karen White | Audible: 15hr 14m | ☆☆☆☆


Karen Abbott illuminates one of the most fascinating yet little known aspects of the Civil War: the stories of four courageous women—a socialite, a farmgirl, an abolitionist, and a widow—who were spies.

After shooting a Union soldier in her front hall with a pocket pistol, Belle Boyd became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds cut off her hair and assumed the identity of a man to enlist as a Union private, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The beautiful widow, Rose O’Neale Greenhow, engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians to gather intelligence for the Confederacy, and used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring, right under the noses of suspicious rebel detectives.

Using a wealth of primary source material and interviews with the spies’ descendants, Abbott seamlessly weaves the adventures of these four heroines throughout the tumultuous years of the war. With a cast of real-life characters including Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor Napoleon III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy draws you into the war as these daring women lived it.
DON'T BUY the audible version! The narrator is flat and stiff! However this was a fascinating piece of history! 


BLOOD IN THE SNOW: The True Story of a Stay-at-home Dad, His High-powered Wife, and the Jealousy That Drove Him to Murder | Author: Tom Henderson |Narrator: Paul Michael GarcĂ­a | Audible: 11h 30m | ☆☆☆☆¼



Washington Township, Michigan: Valentine's Day, 2007. Stephen Grant filed a missing person's report on his beloved wife, Tara. The stay-at-home father of two was beside himself with despair. Why would Tara abandon him and their family? Was she involved with another man?

Stephen's frantic, emotional search for Tara made national headlines, and the case was featured on Dateline among other television shows and news outlets. But key elements in Stephen's story still weren't adding up: Why did he wait five days to go to police? What was the nature of his relationship with his children's beautiful, nineteen-year-old babysitter? Why did Stephen have cuts on his hands, and random bruises? Then, the police made a gruesome discovery.

Parts of Tara Grant's body started turning up around the woods near the Grant's home. The truth was finally coming to light…and, after a two-day manhunt, Stephen admitted to having killed Tara—first strangling her, then cutting her body into fourteen pieces before burying them. This is the shocking true story about a bitter, cheating husband whose crimes were revealed by the BLOOD IN THE SNOW.

This book will have you shaking your head. 



THE GHOSTS OF EDEN PARK: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-age America | Author: Karen Abbott | Narrators: Rob Shapiro & Cassandra Campbell | Audible: 11h 12m |☆☆☆☆½




In the early days of Prohibition, long before Al Capone became a household name, a German immigrant named George Remus quits practicing law and starts trafficking whiskey. Within two years he's a multi-millionaire. The press calls him "King of the Bootleggers," writing breathless stories about the Gatsby-esque events he and his glamorous second wife, Imogene, host at their Cincinnati mansion, with party favors ranging from diamond jewelry for the men to brand-new cars for the women. By the summer of 1921, Remus owns 35 percent of all the liquor in the United States.

Pioneering prosecutor Mabel Walker Willebrandt is determined to bring him down. Willebrandt's bosses at the Justice Department hired her right out of law school, assuming she'd pose no real threat to the cozy relationship they maintain with Remus. Eager to prove them wrong, she dispatches her best investigator, Franklin Dodge, to look into his empire. It's a decision with deadly consequences. With the fledgling FBI on the case, Remus is quickly imprisoned for violating the Volstead Act. Her husband behind bars, Imogene begins an affair with Dodge. Together, they plot to ruin Remus, sparking a bitter feud that soon reaches the highest levels of government--and that can only end in murder.

Combining deep historical research with novelistic flair, The Ghosts of Eden Park is the unforgettable, stranger-than-fiction story of a rags-to-riches entrepreneur and a long-forgotten heroine, of the excesses and absurdities of the Jazz Age, and of the infinite human capacity to deceive.

Happy Reading! 
Enjoy your day! ♡ Tina


☆you'll find me sharing at the parties listed here

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