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mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
41,210
60,419
One of my wife's close college friends sent me a belated birthday book, "Hellhound On His Trail," by Hampton Sides, a national best seller from 2010. This is a brilliantly researched and written account of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and his assassin James Earl Ray who appears in the book under various of his aliases. The text is about 400 pages and I knocked it out in a day and a half, couldn't put it down. It's entirely respectful of MLK, yet it paints him as the human being he was, and it patiently but ardently follows the criminally cursed life of Ray who was living under assumed names having escaped the Missouri state penitentiary in Jefferson City Missouri, and escaping from another max security prison after he was convicted of the murder.

I've read a lot of authors trying to show multiple points of view woven together, but this is by far the most artful and effective. It's biography, history, true-crime, and if not exactly a who-done-it, certainly an exploration of why-he-done-it.

My only quibble is the title, "Hellhound On His Trail," which refers both the to two female bloodhounds who track Ray after his second successful escape from a maximum security prison, and to Ray himself, who tracked his victim endlessly. I just find the title lacks the resonance of the book, its expansiveness. But it sold well, and I can't argue with that. The cover blurbs from national publications describe it as compulsively readable, truly.

The two actual bloodhounds were trained to track silently, which seems like an advanced level of either canine training or hound breeding. You don't know they're coming until they are in sight. It also points out that hounds track better after a soaking rain, to settle down the dust and varying smells. Probably like most people, I would have guessed exactly the opposite, that rain would wash away the scents.
 

brian64

Lifer
Jan 31, 2011
9,599
14,652
Whitney Webb is a great researcher IMO...just getting into her new 2 volume treatise on:

One Nation Under Blackmail

The sordid union between Intelligence and Organized Crime that gave rise to Jeffrey Epstein


 

vosBghos

Lifer
May 7, 2022
1,500
3,334
Idaho
Just finished In Search Of Pipe Dreams by Rick Newcombe , a collection of Rick's published essays in various Pipe magazines with great pictures and in depth histories of Artisan pipes from all over , great read for a piper.

About half way through The Secret History of The World by Mark Booth , it's a pretty in depth study of the ancient mystery schools down through the ages it is very well sourced and covers a lot of ground about the occult and secret societies and whatnot...
 

brian64

Lifer
Jan 31, 2011
9,599
14,652
About half way through The Secret History of The World by Mark Booth , it's a pretty in depth study of the ancient mystery schools down through the ages it is very well sourced and covers a lot of ground about the occult and secret societies and whatnot...
Planning to order that one...was just looking up the author.
 

mawnansmiff

Lifer
Oct 14, 2015
7,355
7,228
Sunny Cornwall, UK.
Just started reading 'A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War 1846-1848' by Sergeant Daniel Tyler.

It's a 1964 facsimile reprint of the original work of 1881. I have many hundreds (thousands by now I suppose) of American Mormon 'cousins' as so many of my paternal ancestors settled in Illinois then Utah under the Mormon 'banner' so this should be an informative read.

I've already read (twice) the Mountain Meadows Massacre which was a vivid account of some terrible events of that period so I'm hoping this book will be just as interesting.

book 1.jpg

book 3.jpg
 
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Merton

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 8, 2020
934
2,488
Boston, Massachusetts
In the middle of Jon Meacham's new book on Lincoln "And There Was Light". Very good. The best book I read in the past year was " Secrets of The Savoy" about the famous London Hotel. Very interesting history and a sometimes touching story much of which involved the Doyly Carte family and Gilbert and Sullivan.
 

GatorElGato

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jun 29, 2021
182
2,733
Ohio
instagram.com
Just finished "Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster", fantastic read. After a book that intense my next literary Journey will be into the realm of fiction. "Sharpe's Tiger" by Bernard Cornwell, I'm a sucker for historical fiction.

On a separate note, if you are sick of Goodreads and just want an easy way to track what you read check out Storygraph, I've found its much easier to use and ad free, compared to amazons Goodreads.

StoryGraph
 

HawkeyeLinus

Lifer
Oct 16, 2020
5,544
40,658
Iowa
It's that time again! This is a terrific book - a 50 page intro with lots of historical info and hundreds of annotations about all sorts of aspects of the period, the meaning of words and phrases, etc. Sit down and read it every year - then I have to read the "regular" edition because it's impossible to just read the story and absorb all the other information. Picked it up the year after we were married for Christmas and been a treasured book in our household ever since. Will be starting it tonight sitting by the fire!DF3BAD80-D0A1-4B49-B619-A2B9FE29A762.jpeg9065AF17-F454-4BA1-96EC-A087933B6262.jpeg
 
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