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Showing posts from April 29, 2018

Review: The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson

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The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk W. Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

During almost the entire reading of this book I had to remind myself it was a true story. I think if the author had gone to his publisher with a story about a 20-year-old American student at the Royal Academy of Music in London who broke into a natural history museum to steal rare bird skins/feathers -- some collected by a colleague of Charles Darwin -- so he could sell them to Victorian salmon fly-tying enthusiasts.

The authorities do catch up with the thief, Edwin Rist, but his punishment is less-than-satisfying when you consider the enormity of the crime.

Johnson does explain the importance of these skins and feathers, and how/why he got personally involved, which is just as interesting as the weird crime.

You can hear my interview with Kirk Wallace Johnson here


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Review: The Hellfire Club by Jake Tapper

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The Hellfire Club by Jake Tapper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sometimes I had to remind myself this story is based in the McCarthy era, not today. Amid the corruption in Washington, concern about the "Reds'" and the lack of morals in a great number of people, is the story of new Congressman Charlie and his pregnant wife Maggie, and how they get caught up in all that's happening in Washington's underbelly. If the names McCarthy and Eisenhower weren't in the last chapter, though, I think most people would believe he's writing about today.

Jake Tapper. Award-winning journalist, nonfiction author, TV show host, talented cartoonist. Now, not only does he write a fabulous thriller, he narrates it with different voices and everything! Congratulations, Jake, on lots of jobs well done. And, I'm looking forward to the next book.


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