The Donnellys: Powder Keg (Vol. 1) by John Little

In The Donnellys: Powder Keg, 1840-1880, Vol. 1 (ECW Press, 2021), author John Little delves into the history of the infamous Irish-Canadian family known as the ‘Black’ Donnellys. The notoriety of the Donnelly family has lived on within the popular imagination of many Canadians, their crimes and escapades often being recounted by academic historians and writers of popular history …

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Murder, Madness, and Mayhem by Mike Browne

In Murder, Madness and Mayhem: Twenty-Five Tales of True Crime and Dark History, Mike Browne, host of the popular Canadian Podcast, Dark Poutine, recounts some of his favourite true crime stories. His book, which features episodic, compelling writing that reminds the reader of a podcast, is a must-read for true crime lovers looking for a …

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Murder in Matera by Helene Stapinski

From the time she was a young girl growing up in urban New Jersey, Helene Stapinski heard family stories about her Italian forbearers, many in particular about her great-great-grandmother Vita Gallitelli who immigrated to America in 1892 after committing murder. In Murder in Matera: A True Story of Passion, Family, and Forgiveness in Southern Italy …

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Psychopathy: A Very Short Introduction by Essi Viding

Essi Viding’s Psychopathy: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2019), a part of Oxford’s A Very Short Introduction series, identifies the common misconceptions about psychopathy and instead explores the term medically, psychologically, and sociologically. There is no shortage of both popular and academic texts on psychopathy, especially as the term relates to serial killers, but Viding’s text distills that …

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Cultish by Amanda Montell

Amanda Montell’s Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism (Harper Wave 2021)is a deep-dive into the linguistics surrounding cults and other groups. Montell’s study covers various groups whose affiliations are based on adherence to a set of core values that are reinforced through the use of language. A compelling new book, Montell’s well-researched and humorous text tries …

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Children Under Fire by John Woodrow Cox

John Woodrow Cox’s Children Under Fire: An American Crisis (Ecco, 2021) is an unflinching look at gun violence in the United States. Cox, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his Washington Post series Children Under Fire presents a detailed account of two elementary school children—Ava from South Carolina and Tyshaun from Washington, D.C.—and explores how they have both been affected …

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