On My Bookshelf

Whitey: The Life of American’s Most Notorious Mob Boss by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’NeilWhitey

From Amazon: Drawing on a trove of sealed files and previously classified material, Whitey digs deep into the mind of James J. “Whitey” Bulger, the crime boss and killer who brought the FBI to its knees. He is an American original –a psychopath who fostered a following with a frightening mix of terror, deadly intimidation and the deft touch of a politician who often helped a family in need meet their monthly rent. But the history shows that despite the early false myths portraying him as a Robin Hood figure, Whitey was a supreme narcissist, and everything–every interaction with family and his politician brother Bill Bulger, with underworld cohorts, with law enforcement, with his South Boston neighbors, and with his victims–was always about him.

I am really enjoying this book. It is compelling and fast moving, but still an easy read. I don’t know much about Whitey, so everything is new for me this time around. Don’t spoil it for me!

Drunk Tank Pink and other unexpected forces that shape how we think, feel and behave by Adam Alterdrunktank

From Amazon: Why are people named Kim, Kelly, and Ken more likely to donate to Hurricane Katrina victims than to Hurricane Rita victims? Are you really more likely to solve puzzles if you watch a light bulb illuminate? How did installing blue lights along a Japanese railway line halt rising crime and suicide rates? Can decorating your walls with the right artwork make you more honest? The human brain is fantastically complex, having engineered space travel and liberated nuclear energy, so it’s no wonder that we resist the idea that we’re deeply influenced by our surroundings. As profound as they are, these effects are almost impossible to detect both as they’re occurring and in hindsight. Drunk Tank Pink is the first detailed exploration of how our environment shapes what we think, how we feel, and the ways we behave.

I am about half way through this one and it hasn’t captured my attention as much as similar books I’ve read in the past (or as much a Whitey). I’ll finish it though – the subject matter is interesting, it just moves a little slow to justify the dense reading.

Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives by Becky Aikmanwidows

From Amazon: In her forties – a widow, too young, too modern to accept the role – Becky Aikman struggled to make sense of her place in an altered world.  In this transcendent and infectiously wise memoir, she explores surprising new discoveries about how people experience grief and transcend loss and, following her own remarriage, forms a group with five other young widows to test these unconventional ideas.  Together, these friends summon the humor, resilience,and striving spirit essential for anyone overcoming adversity.

Loved this one. Aikman has a wonderful story and a great writing style. Even though I couldn’t exactly relate to the challenges faced by the women, I could relate to their feelings and needs. Recommended if you are a fan of memoirs.

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