Nonfiction November 2019 ~ Week 3

Week 3: (Nov. 11 to 15) – Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert

Hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey

Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert)

I’m going to participate this year in an Ask the Expert fashion.

At the moment, I may or may not be writing a historic true crime book. Since I’m using NaNoWriMo as a effort blitz on back-burner project, I’m very early in the process and don’t quite know what it is yet. But I realized I’d like to learn more about the true crime genre.

I’m not asking for true crime recommendations, per se; it’s more like I’m looking for books that discuss the genre and what true crime fans get out it. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark does this somewhat because it’s also about Michelle McNamara’s involvement as an amateur  investigator. Why do we enjoy books like I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, TV shows like Making a Murderer, and podcasts like Serial?

And, heck, if you feel super strongly about a really good true crime book, especially on the historical end, tell me about those too!

17 thoughts on “Nonfiction November 2019 ~ Week 3

  1. whatsnonfiction

    There was a book out earlier this year called Savage Appetites that looks at why so many women, and certain “archetypes” that the author identifies among them, are so drawn to different kinds of crime. I didn’t think it worked so well on a broader perspective because her examples were really extreme and didn’t cover the majority of readers/watchers/listeners, but it’s a compelling read and might lead you onto other directions you’re more interested in or that are more helpful for this project?

    There was also a book this year, The Trial of Lizzie Borden, that looked a little at why people in that time were also so fascinated by and obsessed with a crime, so some historical context around it. (I would warn that it’s a little dry in parts though). I think there are a lot of articles around this topic recently too, you might be able to find some good long-form journalism on it.

  2. hmsgofita

    I haven’t read it but I’ve heard of the book Why We Love Serial Killers: The Curious Appeal of the World’s Most Savage Murderers by Scott Bonn is a good one. I also think Billy Jensen’s Chase Darkness With Me is similar to Michelle McNamara’s in how he got started solving crimes and how ordinary citizens can too. Great topic!

    1. Katherine Nabity Post author

      Why We Love Serial Killers sounds like what I’m looking for. I found Chase Darkness with Me while poking around on Goodreads, so it’s good to get some word on it. Thank you!

  3. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

    I second Chase Darkness With Me.
    I’d also recommend
    The Killer of Little Shepherds By Douglas Starr
    Crime and Circumstance: Investigating the History of Forensic Science by Suzanne Bell
    Beyond the Body Farm by William Bass and Jon Jefferson
    If I Tell You..I’ll Have To Kill You Edited by Michael Robotham. Its a collection from Australian Crime authors about writing crime fiction, but I think it could be useful.
    Inside the Law by Vikki Petraitis (again Australian but useful for your purposes)

    Hope they help 😉

  4. tbretc

    Definitely think Savage Appetites belongs on your list (though I haven’t read it myself). I dont know if I can articulate why I’m so into true crime- something about the call of the void, wanting to honor the victims, and the magical thinking that if I know enough about it I’ll not be a victim myself. Best of luck in your writing!

  5. louloureads

    I can’t remember what books they recommended, but there was a discussion about true crime and books about true crime on the most recent episode of the podcast What Should I Read Next?, so you might want to check that out.

  6. DoingDewey

    I’m late to the party, but I also thought of Chase Darkness With Me when I saw what you’re looking for. The question of why we care about true crime is mostly tangentially discussed in that book though, so I’m excited to check out what other recommendations you got on this fascinating topic!


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