My birthday gifts

For my birthday Michael got me a printer and an season pass to the TV show Elementary and dinner at a restaurant of my choosing. Dad got me a poster and also he paid for my new car last month. For the rest I got $280 worth of gift cards. And somehow, by accident, I managed to spend EXACTLY $280.00 and not one penny more or less. I got:

  1. A pair of slippers
  2. A Sprout watch
  3. The Book of Ruth: The Journey of a Kindertransport Teenager by Helen Kon
  4. Breach of Promise to Marry: A History of How Jilted Brides Settled Scores by Denise Bates
  5. Cheshire’s Execution Files by Derek Yarwood
  6. The Diary of an Old Lawyer: Or, Scenes Behind the Curtain by John Hallum
  7. Exploring an Alien Culture: What Can We Learn from the Vikings, Scandinavian Immigrants and Nordic People Today? by J.B. Hove
  8. Fortress of My Youth: Memoir of a Terezín Survivor by Jana Renee Friesova
  9. Goodnight Children Everywhere: Memories of Evacuation in World War II by Pam Schweitzer
  10. Gothic Grammar, With Selections for Reading and a Glossary by Wilhelm Braune
  11. A Grim Almanac of Birmingham by Karen Evans
  12. A Grim Almanac of Manchester by Michala Hume
  13. A Grim Almanac of York by Alan Sharp
  14. Hanged for Murder: Irish State Executions by Tim Carey
  15. The Hidden Life of Polish Prisons by Pawel Moczydlowski
  16. The Invention of Curried Sausage by Uwe Timm
  17. The Lapp King’s Daughter: A Family’s Journey Through Finland’s Wars by Stina Katchadourian
  18. The Leaves Have Lost Their Trees by Dorothy Marie Darke
  19. More Frontier Justice in the Wild West: Bungled, Bizarre, and Fascinating Executions by R. Michael Wilson
  20. Murder Most Moscow: True Stories of Russia’s Worst Serial Killers by Jon Lawson
  21. Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  22. A Pied Cloak: Memoirs of a Colonial Police (Special Branch) Officer by Derek Franklin
  23. The Private Letters of Countess Erzsébet Báthory by Erzsébet Báthory, edited and translated by Kimberly L. Craft
  24. Rations: A Very Peculiar History by David Arscott
  25. Reluctant Refuge: Unaccompanied Refugee and Evacuee Children in Australia, 1933-1945 by Glen Palmer
  26. Stronger than Iron: The Destruction of Vilna Jewry 1941-1945: An Eyewitness Account by Mendel Balberyszski
  27. The Yellow Duster Sisters: A Wartime Childhood by Susan Kennaway
  28. Yoko’s Diary: The Life of a Young Girl in Hiroshima During World War II by Yoko Moriwaki, edited by Paul Ham
  29. You Are Respectfully Invited to Attend My Execution: Untold Stories of Men Legally Executed in Wyoming Territory by Larry K. Brown

With the exception of the Kindle books and Mycroft Holmes, which is Christmas gift for my dad, the only book I plan to actually keep is The Invention of Curried Sausage. I got that out of the library a few years ago and loved it, and I look forward to reading it again. The rest of the books I plan to donate to the library when I’m done with them. Before I buy a book, I check and make sure that the local library and OhioLink don’t have it.

People who know me won’t be surprised by most of the stuff on this list. We’ve got the Holocaust and World War II, and some true crime and death penalty books, and not a whole lot else. The Bathory book arrived yesterday and I’ve been reading it. It has turned out to be a lot more interesting that I thought it would be.

7 thoughts on “My birthday gifts

  1. Dan October 11, 2015 / 12:43 am

    That’s a great reading list! Do you maintain an Amazon wish list for the books you’re looking for?

  2. M86 October 12, 2015 / 12:57 am

    I’ve been seeing a lot of Muk Luks on QVC lately. It looks so comfy! And this is my reminder to get back into reading!

    • Meaghan October 17, 2015 / 10:35 pm

      The slippers are indeed awesome, warm and cozy.

  3. D'Lil October 17, 2015 / 9:07 pm

    Happy belated birthday wishes Meaghan! Does this make you a Libra? I know you’re not much on fiction, but I can recommend a few library finds that when you have the time might enjoy about some American history.

    The Devil’s Right Hand- The Tragic Story of the Colt Family Curse by M. William Phelps
    Lyons Press c. 2012

    Non-Fiction- a book about the murder of NYC printer Samuel Adams, John Colt and his brother,
    Happy Belated Birthday Meaghan! I know you aren’t one to read fiction, but here are a few books I’ve read from my local library with American history you might enjoy when you have the time.

    The Devil’s Right Hand- The Tragic Story of the Colt Family Curse by M. William Phelps
    Lyons Press c. 2012

    Non-Fiction- a book about the murder of NYC printer Samuel Adams, John Colt and his brother, repeating-arms inventor Samuel Colt. It’s part historical true-crime, part family biography and cultural history. The true life crime inspired Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Oblong Box”.

    I found it pretty engrossing and learned things that I didn’t about the 19th Century, such as how crime-ridden New York was back in it’s early beginnings, the problems with gangs, murder was pretty rampant, and how bad the economy was.

    Things like how nitrous oxide “Exhilarating Gas” was used like a carnival side-show attraction- one of the brothers travelled around the US letting people get ‘hits’ for 50 cents a pop, an early version of a drug peddler-
    ‘it will make you laugh, sing, and dance!”

    The effect on the Colt family when a sister decides to poison herself over her lover’s marriage. Early forensics back in the 1800’s, where police cut floorboards and sections of walls where there had been blood spatter.

    About the author – he’s written numerous nonfiction books, and has appeared on TLC, the History,Biography, and Discovery Channels. “Dark Minds”.

    Another library find I read was Death By Petticoat: American History Myths Debunked by Mary Miley Theobald with The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation c. 2012

  4. D'Lil October 17, 2015 / 9:13 pm

    oops sorry for the double paragraph, it wasn’t showing all the text. A few more from the library if you have time – all non-fiction –

    Every American and school students need to read “Sergeant Stubby-How a stray dog and his best friend helped win World War I and stole the heart of a nation” by Ann Bausum.
    Published by the National Geographic Society, 2014.
    a must read.

    Another interesting library book – for any that have seen some of the busts done in UNID cases will learn that the guy the book is about is the man that did those busts, such as the young black female found in PA aka “The Girl in the Steamer Trunk”. It’s in-depth with his process of taking skulls and using clay to form the faces of the UNID’s, the difficulties encountered down in Mexico dealing with the the gov’t. in Mexico for the feminicidios of the hundreds of murdered women in Juarez. I learned that in Mexico is a larger canyon than the Grand Canyon, called Copper Canyon (4x larger than the Grand Canyon and 1 1/2 x deep). The author provides back history in the field of facial reconstruction over the years and from experts in other countries. Very detailed about the process of creating a sculpture, it’s interesting from an artistic point of view as well.

    The Girl With the Crooked Nose
    A Tale of Murder, Obsession, and Forensic Artistry

    by Ted Botha

    written about Frank Bender

    c. 2008, pb. 2012

  5. D'Lil October 17, 2015 / 9:37 pm

    and two more on historical American families that were library finds –

    McIlhenny’s Gold: How a Louisiana Family Built the Tabasco Empire
    by Jeffrey Rothfeder

    I learned how important salt was during the War of Northern Aggression, aka the Civil War, who tries to take the credit for introducing the hot pepper to the US. It’s chockful of interesting tidbits. Another great read. I visited Avery Island many years ago, it’s definitely worth a visit. Just be cautious of the alligators around the property. (I didn’t realize they eat bananas, but they do, had to get one away from the car, so the only thing I had at the time was a banana)

    The Robert E. Lee Family Cooking and Housekeeping Book
    by Anne Carter Zimmer
    University of North Carolina Press, 2002

    This book has letters to and from Lee and his wife, ‘receipts’, what life was like back then, how precious socks were for Lee and his soldiers. His wife had various health issues but kept up with knitting to send to her husband and the hardships so many had to endure.

    I love my library!

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