Slonim Woods 9 by Daniel Barban Levin

Daniel Barban Levin’s Slonim Woods 9: A Memoir (Penguin Random House, 2021) tells the story about his experience in the so-called “Sarah Lawrence Cult.” Levin’s experience in this cult began when he was attending Sarah Lawrence College his housemate’s father—Larry Ray, who had just gotten out of prison—moved in with Levin and the rest of his housemates. Ray proved …

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Rachel’s Top Five True Crime Texts of 2021

This week, we finish up our top five series with Rachel's top texts of 2021. Check them out below! 1) When She Was Bad by Patricia Pearson (Penguin Random House, 2021)  Pearson’s text, as a reprint of the same 1997 edition with a new chapter, is shockingly still relevant. I loved this book’s meditation on the way …

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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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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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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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The Violence Project by Jillian Peterson and James Densley

There are many books that discuss mass shootings and their causes, and I have read a few. What I have not seen in most of these books are solutions to prevent mass shootings. Jillian Peterson’s and James Densley’s The Violence Project: How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic (Abrams Press, 2021) is that book—it is the book …

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