The Spider and The Fly by Claudia Rowe

The Spider and The Fly by Claudia Row is a true story about a reporter and her unique connection with a convicted serial killer.

the SPIDER and the FLY

I stumbled across this book whilst browsing the shelves at a local book store when I was travelling in San Francisco. It caught my eye when looking originally because of its cover, which generally is the case when looking in a book store, which is simple yet intriguing. Once I had read the blurb I felt I had to buy it.

I tend to read the same genre, crime fiction (which I am going to venture from) and although this is a crime novel it is nonfiction. For that reason I decided to give it a go, well that and it sounded really good.

When i started reading I realised I had made a good choice. It shows Claudia Rowes experiences and connection to this serial killer whom she talks with for over 4 years. How it shows the darkness inside, what motivates people, how people connect and how a serial killer and a reporter can forge this unusual connection.

The story of Kendall Francois is an interesting one and seeing this reporter show a different side to it is something I enjoyed. Kendall Francois was convicted of killing 8 women in 1998, and stashing their bodies in the house he shared with his mother, father and sister.

Claudia had many questions about this crime and set out to find answers. She may have found more about herself than she was expecting.

I really enjoyed this book and reading how the connection grew, and changed throughout their correspondence. I think the book was written in an engaging manner and kept you wanting to read on and felt almost poetic. Chapters varied in sizes but were generally fairly short which is something I like as it excited me to read on. I thought it was well written and although it is a true story had the feel of a fictional book. I would say at times it felt a bit all over the place but it didn’t necessarily bother me. I mean it would have enhanced the experience a little if it was structured in a more ordered way.

The book isn’t really a book of suspense (which the title may suggest) but more about the writers journey throughout, understanding more about herself and others. Even though it it isn’t your typical “true crime” book, I almost enjoyed it a little bit more as it gave a different perspective. The perspective of how another’s actions can affect your own (although maybe to the extreme, not everyone has years long connection to a serial killer)

Just thought I would mention where I picked this book up. This book I got when I was in San Francisco and popped into Green Apple Books on the Park. This was a great little bookshop with both new and used books. This one I got was used, yet it was almost as good as new!

Overall, I would recommend this book! Especially if your interested in psychology. I wouldn’t go into this book expecting it to be centred on the crimes committed as it is more about the reporters connection to the serial killer and how that takes her on her own journey.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(Ps feel free to like and comment, share your own opinion.)

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SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES by Caitlin Doughty

Smoke gets in your eyes: and other stories from the crematorium by Caitlin Doughty is a non-fiction work which looks at life working at a crematorium.

It is almost like a collection of non-fiction short stories surrounding Doughty work within the crematorium, all of which were interesting and curious. I have never really thought about what happened at a place like that and who would want to work there but this provides a great insight. It makes you think about the events of a funeral/cremation and how they have evolved and changed over time and between cultures.

Although this book has a lot to do with death it doesn’t really fell a heavy book to read and is an interesting read, this is likely due to Doughty humour throughout as well as her engaging writing style. It is full of facts about what happens in a crematorium and what has changed (and what Doughty feels should change) as well as practices in some other cultures surrounding the dead.

It is the mix between the facts and Doughty personal experience as a crematorium worker which was made this a great book, in my opinion. It made it feel more understandable and intriguing. I liked the fact the book was split up into different chapters or stories as it felt easier to read and more engaging.

This book is entertaining, morbid and factual allowing you to learn about something new while you read! I would recommend!

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS feel free to comment or like)

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Libraries

Libraries are places where I generally don’t go to but there isn’t really a specific reason as to why not. I think libraries are a great opportunity to let people read without paying the prices for individual books.

Wills Memorial Library

I remember being in primary school and taking a class trip to the local library. I was always to excited to choose a book and look at all the options. Even if someone in my class didn’t like to read they generally liked to go through the books and choose one. Whether that be a comic style book or a novel style book. I think at that age libraries are great as not only do the kids get out of class they also choose a book that they want to read and can start to see a style that suits them.

I think libraries should be used more often and I am someone who should use one more as well. I admit I should use them more! Not only is there a variety of books there is also staff there to help you. If you’re looking for a specific book and you can help it or you just want some advice on books there is someone there to help you and answer your questions. If you’re not sure how the library organised then just ask and the staff can explain everything you need to know.

However, they are not always up to date with new releases so if you’re looking for a newly published book then this might not be your best option. It also depends the size of the library whether they have as many books on offer. There is also the issue of the book your wanting already having been taken out by someone else.

I would say that overall libraries are a great service and should be used more to allow more people to enjoy reading. It provides books alongside a quiet place to enjoy them. So I hope that more people use them and I will be!

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment your opinion on libraries or any alternatives)

Travel Books – Lonely Planet

The amount of travel books available to read is huge however in this post I am going to talk about Lonely Planets releases.

I love to read and browse Lonely Planets travel books and see all the different destinations I would want to go to. I think most of these books give you the best photos and the idealistic travels however it does often provide inspiration for your travels.

There are also many different types of books that Lonely Planet has released such as; specific destinations, types of travel and round ups. These can all provide different information and depending what your after can help you whilst at your destination by giving you tips for your travels.

  On  Lonely Planets website you can get loads of information on destinations however nothing compares to having actual pages to flip through and write notes on or bookmark. I think for travel books it is fun to go through and mark your favourite destinations or activities and write notes next to articles. It allows you to be involved and plan your own journey with all you need in one book that’s right infront of you. It is also ideal when you are travelling to carry one with you as you won’t always have access to the internet ad can still get all the information you require.

Books such as ‘Packing List’ and ‘Travel tips’ are also very helpful. I always find that when I go on holiday I write constant lists of what I need to pack to ensure I don’t forget anything so having a specific book for that is great. To ensure you have all the necessities before you make a trip. Tips to help you travel also helps as sometimes you don’t know everything you need to before you travel (which is fine) however they can often make your trip goes smoother.

Due to the vast amount of different travel books I would highly recommend getting one for your chosen destination. Not only will it give you a bit on insight on what to expect but could give you ideas and hints for travelling there.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(Ps please comment if you use travel books at all!)

Yes Please

Yes Please is a non-fiction book written by American comedian and actress Amy Poehler which was released in 2014. In this book Amy shares stories from her life about how she became the well known comedian/actress she is today. It features personal, funny stories on everything from relationships, to working and parenthood. It is part-memoir, part self help where she offers her advice on things such as anxiety and self doubt.

As a fan of her work on SNL and Parks and Recreation as well as watching her comedy at UCB (on youtube!) I couldn’t wait to read this!

The book is very honest and open with Amy sharing a lot of her life. It follows her professional journey through her comedy in Chicago, her time on SNL and her experiences on Parks and Recreation. We hear about how she help found the Upright Citizens Brigade that is a vital part of many comedians career. It is inspirational as you see that she didn’t become famous overnight and she has worked hard throughout her life. She is incredibly talented but she also shares her personal stories of relationships and parenthood. She is honest and that is something I admire. I loved this book and I loved Amy Poehler even more after reading this!

I personally listened to the audio book where Amy herself narrated alongside guests such as Seth Myers, Mike Schur and her parents. I also have both the hardback and paperback versions (which is definitely overkill but I just couldn’t not have them!) I really liked listening to the audiobook for this as it adds more of her personality into the words she has written. There are even a few extra anecdotes you can enjoy! I found that I couldn’t stop listening to the audio book as it is not only a great book but full of personality. It is themed and easy to follow. It is well written and although throughout the book she declares that she hated writing it, I feel it paid off. She was honest about the difficulties of writing a book which I liked. It’s not always easy to write.

I loved this book and would highly recommend (especially to those who like Amy Poehlers work). She is honest and open whilst sharing this with humour intertwined. I love the book but I would highly recommend that you listen to the audio book. It is a perfect example of when the audio book may be better than the printed copy!

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment your opinion of this book!)

Twice a week to once

Not really a blog post but I though that I would let you all know that from now on I will be posting a blog once a week instead of twice.

I have made this decision as I am going to have a busy summer with a time difference to contend with. I also sometimes can struggle to find blog inspiration when I am posting two days apart

I will now be posting on a Friday only.

Many thanks, Caitlin X

(PS please comment how you feel about this change and if you are a blogger what your posting schedule is like)

Printable Bookmark

Link to print:

Link to print:

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment if you have used this bookmark or have one to share !

The importance of viewpoints

There are masses of viewpoints that authors can use especially if they have a lot of characters. This can be vital in making a story engaging and realistic.

If you are looking at a crime novel, viewpoints are important. You can look at the criminals view which can tell you why they are doing what they are doing, the police view to show how they are trying to solve the problem as well as the victims view. Those are just a few and you can look at many different people in the book to shed a new light on the events. A good example of looking at different viewpoints is All The Hidden Truths by Claire Askew. I found this book that shared a different point of view with a lot of the book being focused on the parents of both the victim and the criminal. To show how crime effects those that surround those individuals involved.

It is also important to ensure the correct viewpoint is chosen so that it suits the story. Whether the book is written in first, second or third person it need to be write for the story. Most books are written in third person, past tense but that doesn’t mean your book should be!

You also need to make sure that you stick to these viewpoints. To ensure you are staying in the characters head and the book stays in first, second or third person unless for a specific reason. Continuity is also incredibly important and key for viewpoints especially if you have multiple in one book. You need to ensure that if one character knows something but another doesn’t you need to ensure that these are stuck to.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment your opinion on viewpoints)

Pop-up Books

Pop-up books are an artistic way to share stories using 3-D illustrations.

These are typical for children’s books as they are more immersive and fun for a child to experience. Children often rely on the imagery to keep engaged in the book and making it 3-D just adds another layer to the excitement. It allows the story to be brought alive.

This may then help with improving reading skills as they are interactive and can generate more excitement to see what happens on the next page. They are also combined with the words of a story so children can link the words to the images and gain a better understanding of vocabulary and language. This way for reading provides them with the images that go with the story but as they begin to read books with less images and more words then they can understand about the visualization of the story.

Although pop-up books are predominantly for younger audiences there are some out there for adults to enjoy. These tend to show art and dsplay photos in a more exciting way in order to experience them in a different way. Having a 2-D picture can often lead to people being dinsengaged but if it then made into a 3-D shape within a book it adds excitemetn and allows you to have the ability to look at it from different angles. Many artists also decide to only work or focus on art in 3-D and this is a great way to display this art in a portable way.

Pop-up books have also been good for teaching including science. In order to learn about human anatomy in an effective way pop up books were used to help to understand.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please feel free to comment your opinion on pop-up books)

Seasonal Reading

When it comes to reading different genres often suit different seasons and some people will only read at certain times of the year.

For me, I read all year round however in summer I can often find myself reading that tiny but more. Something about sitting outside in the sun with your book is so very appealing. I read more when I go on a relaxing holiday for example, sitting by the pool all day reading. I know people who only read in summer or on holiday as well and I think this is very common. Reading is relaxing and you can read without worrying about it overheating or having glare unlike devices such as phone’s or tablet. I also think audiobooks are more popular in the hotter months. If you are sitting sunbathing you can listen to a story and go into your own little world.

In summer more romantic books are read or comedic books as they tend to be more light hearted and perfect for relaxing. Call me by your name is an ideal summer read! This is not always the case as I don’t tend to read romantic books but it is a generalisation.

In winter I find reading quite cosy. Sitting in a warm room whilst it’s cold or rainy outside reading a new book is satisfying. I would think that this is when more crime novels and horrors are read as you are sitting inside whilst it is dark outside. Often people receive books for Christmas as well and I’d you are anything like me you can wait to read them. More time in spent indoors during the colder months so people can use this opportunity to catch up with their reading and finally read that book they have been meaning to for months.

Overall, it doesn’t matter when you read or what you read at certain time of the year but there is often a pattern with reading and the seasons.

Many thanks, Caitlin x

(PS please comment your opinion on reading throughout the seasons or if you have any different habits)