And Now for Something Completely Different — Podcast Recommendation

I’m going to do something a little different for this Towel Day and make a recommendation of a podcast that has been around for years, but I’ve only recently started downloading.

Most Notorious is a true-crime podcast hosted by author and historian, Erik Rivenes. In each episode, Erik examines a certain moment, both well known and obscure, of history by interviewing the authors who have written books about the event. Erik and his guests strip the mythology of the bygone eras away and get to the hear of. His linear style of guiding the conversation through the event discussed is engrossing. Since discovering this podcast my “to be read” pile has grown exponentially.

In an early episode, Erik interviews author Harold Schechter whose work of non-fiction Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness I reviewed last year (to read that review click here). The interview with Erik Rivenes focuses on Schechter’s book Fiend, the subject of which is America’s youngest serial killer, Jesse Pomeroy (to check out the book’s Amazon page, click here). They discuss the recorded and likely reasons that the 14-year-old sexual sadist chose his victims and what became of him after his conviction and the many years he spent in isolation. In another early episode, Erik interviews E. Don Harpe with a focus on his book The Harpe’s Last Rampage, the True Story of America’s First Serial Killers (to check out the book’s Amazon page, click here). E. Don Harpe, a descendant of the Harpe brothers, digs deep into his subject matter and opens up about the connection he felt to his ancestors when he visited the site of their hideout. In another episode, Erik and J.D. Chandler, author of Murder and Scandal in Prohibition Portland, discuss the Torso Murder and the police’s lack of action to find a missing woman who may have been more of a danger to local law enforcement officials than they might have liked. Why was the disappearance never investigated? Is the Torso found in the local river that of the missing woman? Will the recent reopening of her disappearance yield any results?

The host’s ease with his guests and his knowledge of each subject keeps the subject moving and really makes washing dishes and cleaning the bathroom in this time of isolation a delight. As with any true-crime podcast, the subject gets heavy at times but the style of the host imbues a lighter tone while not robbing the bad that happened of its gravity. That is not to say, that all of the episodes involving bloody and horrible crimes (Nazis in America with author Arnie Bernstein was entertaining and will give listeners a new perspective on journalist, Walter Winchell).

Most Notorious is my new favorite podcast and if, like me, you love history and maybe tend to run a little bit behind the times, check it out. I think you’ll love it too. I am rapidly plowing through the 162 episodes currently uploaded and unlike some of my other podcasts, no break needed. I’m spending a ton of books and there are no regrets. Check it out today!

To check out the Most Notorious podcast go to their website.

The Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What’s My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen by Mark Shaw

Publication Date: December 6, 2016

 

On November 8, 1965, 52-year-old investigative reporter and television personality, Dorothy Kilgallen, is found dead of an apparent overdose in her New York City home. Her files are missing and the air conditioning is running. She has been investigating the Kennedy assassination and has told people she is poised to crack it wide open. Was she the reporter who knew too much?

 

Before he started investigating the Jack Ruby trial, Mark Shaw remembered Dorothy Kilgallen as a panelist on the syndicated CBS game show, “What’s my Line.” Digging into the records, Kilgallen’s name kept coming up and her interest and dedication to cracking the case sparked Shaw’s interest in the enigmatic and talented reporter and her mysterious death. Research for The Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What’s My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen took Shaw 12 years and justice for Kilgallen has become his calling. Continue reading The Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What’s My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen by Mark Shaw

To End All Wars; a Story of Love, Loyalty and Rebellion 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild

Publication Date: March 6, 2012

To End All Wars; a Story of Love, Loyalty and Rebellion 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild is a look at the often ignored World War I moral objectors along with those people who wholeheartedly believed in the cause.

Is it the job of the historian to moralize and pontificate? History is propaganda written by the winners, so to read a book highlighting the moral objectors is supremely interesting. To sermonize that an event already placed in history shouldn’t have happened is not appealing. People died in World War I. It happened. It’s done. It’s 100 years in the past. History is about facts and while “woulda” “shoulda” and “coulda” are nice to suggest that a war in which an estimated 37 million people (civilian and military) died was a waste of human life. Maybe. But it happened and isn’t it a disservice to chide key figures in history-making portraying them as Keystone Cop archetypes. Despite my distaste at the author’s position, the story of the objectors is one that should be told and was presented with delicacy, mindful of the challenges they faced. Continue reading To End All Wars; a Story of Love, Loyalty and Rebellion 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild

Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2017

This year again, Rabid Reader’s Reviews presents a list of books dealing with human rights. In light of the events, human rights violations have increased and become a pressing issue worldwide.

 

To Live Out Loud: A Novel by Paulette Mahurin

Review quotes:

“There’s an electricity of fear and suspicion in the people. It was believed that Dreyfus would be a traitor because he was a Jew.”

“To Live Out Loud is an outstanding work of historical fiction and a must-read for everyone, especially those interested in the history of human rights violations.” 

Read the complete To Live Out Loud: A Novel by Paulette Mahurin review here.    Continue reading Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2017

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

Publication Date: March 10, 2015

 

EL_Death_WakeOn Friday, May 7, 1915 a German U-Boat sunk the RMS Lusitania. [easyazon_link identifier=”0307408868″ locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]“Dead Wake”[/easyazon_link] tells the true story and political machinations and personalities behind the tragic event nearly 100 years ago.

 

Continue reading Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

Windfall by Colin Dodds

Publication Date: January 29, 2014

 

Windfall by Colin DoddsIn Windfall by Colin Dodds, Seth Tatton is an average guy who practices law by day. By night, Seth is a hit man for a super secret organization made up of the 1%. With each hit, the organization’s plans become clearer to Seth and he’s finding himself more entrenched in their plot. What Seth doesn’t realize that there are forces at work within himself eager to use his unique skills but when he’s called upon for a special task, will everything change?

 

 

Continue reading Windfall by Colin Dodds

New Stars for Old by Marc Read

Publication Date: July 9, 2013

 

New Stars for Old by Marc ReadNew Stars for Old by Marc Read is a collection of 20 short stories highlighting the human aspect of science through entertaining tales starring key historical figures.

 

 

 

Continue reading New Stars for Old by Marc Read

1963: Year of Hope and Hostility by Reverend Byron Williams

Publication Date: July 28, 2013

 

1963 was a key year in the Civil Rights Movement. Rev. Williams highlights events and personalities of the day that may not have seemed connected in his book but contributed to the advance toward equality.

 

 

 

Continue reading 1963: Year of Hope and Hostility by Reverend Byron Williams

The Mogadishu Diaries: 1992-1993 Bloodlines by Eddie Thompkins III

Publication Date: May 3, 2012

 

The Mogadishu Diaries: 1992-1993 Bloodlines by Eddie Thompkins IIIThe Mogadishu Diaries: 1992-1993 Bloodlines by Eddie Thompkins III is a fictional account detailing the real events surrounding Operation Restore Hope, a military relief mission to Somalia. The story follows the footsteps of Gunnery Sergeant Thompson from volunteering for the mission to his final days in Somalia.

 

 

Continue reading The Mogadishu Diaries: 1992-1993 Bloodlines by Eddie Thompkins III

No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden by Mark Owen

Publication Date: September 4, 2012

 

MO_No_Easy_DayMark Owen recounts his Seal training, the previously unreported missions that his team executed and the ultimate mission in which Osama Bin Laden fell. No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden is a first-hand account of the War on Terror.

 

 

 

Continue reading No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden by Mark Owen