Blogmas #5: Goodreads Choice Awards

Yesterday Goodreads released the results of the 10th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards.  It’s “the only major book awards decided by readers.”(Goodreads)  There were a total of 5,027,741 votes cast!

I was so excited to see Stephen King’s book, The Outsider, as one of the winners! I bought the book as soon as it came out and it has been on my list to read since. It is such a large book that it seems a bit overwhelming when I have a bunch of other books that I need to read before their publication dates.  I want to be able to sit down and enjoy reading it and not feel rushed.  So, for now, it will stay on my TBR list, but I can’t wait to read it!

Below you will find some of the winners.  If you would like to see the complete list of winners and all the nominees, stop on over to Goodreads (click here)

The Outsider by Stephen KingCategory: Best Mystery & Thriller

The Winner: The Outsider by Stephen King

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

(Summary & Image from Amazon)

The Great Alone by Kristin HannahCategory: Best Historical Fiction

The Winner: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter north where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Cora will do anything for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, has little choice but to go along, daring to hope this new land promises her family a better future.

In a wild, remote corner of Alaska, the Allbrights find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the newcomers’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own.

(Summary & Image from Amazon)

The Kiss Quotient by Helen HoangCategory: Romance

The Winner: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but crave all of the other things he’s making her feel. Their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

(Summary & Image from Amazon)

Elevation by Stephen KingCategory: Best Horror

The Winner: Elevation by Stephen King

The latest from legendary master storyteller Stephen King, a riveting, extraordinarily eerie, and moving story about a man whose mysterious affliction brings a small town together—a timely, upbeat tale about finding common ground despite deep-rooted differences. 

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

(Summary & Image from Amazon)

I'll Be Gone In the Dark by Michelle McNamaraCategory: Best Nonfiction

The Winner: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

The haunting true story of the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California during the 70s and 80s, and of the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case—which was solved in April 2018.

Introduction by Gillian Flynn • Afterword by Patton Oswalt

“A brilliant genre-buster…. Propulsive, can’t-stop-now reading.”   —Stephen King

For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called “the Golden State Killer.” Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle’s dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.

(Summary & Image from Amazon)

Educated, A Memoir by Tara WestoverCategory: Best Memoir & Autobiography

The Winner: Educated by Tara Westover

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

“Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Tara Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

(Summary & Image from Amazon)

Congratulations to all the winners!  

Did your favorites win? 

Book Review: The Case of the Golden State Killer by Michael Morford and Michael Ferguson

The Case of the Golden State KIller

Author: Michael Morford and Michael Ferguson

Print Length: 427 pages

Publisher: WildBlue Press (August 29, 2018)

Publication Date: August 29, 2018

ISBN: 9781947290549

Genre:  Mystery, Thriller, True Crime

Buy it Here: Amazon 

 

 

Source: I received a copy of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb

In 1976, a serial rapist terrorized Sacramento County in California. The masked predator made his way into the homes of his unsuspecting victims, leaving a trail of devastation and destruction behind him. He moved on to other areas in Northern California, and then onward to Southern California where he sank to an all new level of depravity, and his evil urges drove him to murder; again, and again.

In Northern California, he was known as the East Area Rapist. In Southern California, he was called the Original Night Stalker. When his crimes all over California were finally connected, he would become known as the Golden State Killer, and by 1986, he had racked up a staggering tally of over 100 home break-ins or burglaries, 50 or more rapes, and at least 12 murders.

On the heels of their wildly popular 2017 Season One podcast series on the Zodiac killer, veteran podcaster Mike Morford, and true crime research/blogger Mike Ferguson, the hosts of true crime podcast Criminology teamed again in Spring 2018 to unmask this killer in a story that spans more than 40 years. Joined by the investigators who hunted him, the witnesses who saw him, and the survivors who lived to tell their stories, Criminology Season Two: The Case of the Golden State Killerexamines the story of the most prolific serial rapist and murderer in American history.

Now, Criminology True Crime Podcast presents Season One: The Case of the Zodiac Killer based on the podcast with additional commentary, photographs and documents is available in digital and print book formats.

My Thoughts (*Details may be considered spoilers*)

The East Area Rapist.

Original Night Stalker.

The Golden State Killer.

However, you know this man, it is sheer terror that he brought upon a 400 mile stretch of California over a 10-year period. Over this timeframe, he escalated from breaking and entering to murder. This killer evaded capture for 40 years!

This book captures the killer’s routines, scripts, and planning that went into these chilling accounts. It also includes victims survival stories. It is heartbreaking, terrifying, tragic and horrific.

The book itself was well written, fast-moving. However a bit repetitive at times, but only because of the killers routine and covering different cases, the MO remained fairly consistent.  I could picture the events in my head, and knowing that this really happened to someone, was horrifying.

As I read this book, I couldn’t even fathom the fear that these people experienced. The way that the book explains that this perpetrator accessed these houses that were locked,  some guarded by dogs, others that had guns in their nightstands. Yet, he was able to get in without issue and commit his crime. That was terrifying to me and made me wonder how many monsters like this are out there? How many monsters are out there preying on innocent people, that no matter the preparation, the criminal will get access and will commit their crime?  It is a scary thought.

At the beginning of the book, the killer had yet to be caught. However, because of the advancement of technology and the use of DNA to identify perpetrators, he was arrested in April of 2018. His next court date is December 2018.

Riveting. Captivating.  Heartbreaking.
Dark. Creepy. Intense. TerrifyinG

Rating

4-stars

About the Author

You can hear more from Michael Morford and Michael Ferguson on their podcast  or on Twitter 

I would like to thank Michael Morford, Michael Ferguson,  WildBlue Press and NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this book.

 

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