Ripped from the Headlines: Stories Inspired by Real Events

mgr book news

Room, April’s book-of-the-month, and The Invention of Wings, February’s book-of-the-month were both inspired by real events. Not surprisingly, many fiction authors have crafted their bestsellers out of real world events. Crime stories, in particular, have been a reliable muse for fiction writers. If you liked Room and The Invention of Wings, and especially if you like true crime or mysteries, here are more stories inspired by actual events and real people.


What do the films Psycho and The Silence of Lambs have in common? Quite a bit, it turns out. Not only were both were based on successful novels, Psycho by Robert Block and The Silence of Lambs by Thomas HTitle: Psycho: A Novel, Author: Robert Blocharris, but both were also inspired by the crimes of convicted murderer Edward Theodore Gein.  Although those two novels and films might seem very different, some of the strange and gruesome aspects of those stories can in fact by found in the strange and gruesome facts surrounding the Gein’s case.

Title: The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter Series #2), Author: Thomas Harris

Amity Gaige’s Schroder tells the story of shockingly true tale of false identity. Clark Rockefeller successfully fooled peopleTitle: Schroder: A Novel, Author: Amity Gaige
for years into thinking he was a member of the storied Rockefeller family. It wasn’t until his wife sued him for divorce that she and others discovered that Clark Rockefeller was really a German immigrant name Clark Gerhartsreiter. In Schroder Gaige changes the names, with her character pretending to be a Kennedy.


MostTitle: Arthur and George, Author: Julian Barnes well-known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, in 1907 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did more than write about a detective, he became a detective. Earlier in 1903 George Edalji was convicted of various crimes related to animal mutilation. Doyle believed the nearsighted Edalji could not have possibly committed the crimes he was accused of and began campaigning for Edalji to be granted a pardon. In Arthur and George Julian Barnes reimagines Doyle’s investigation and campaign to prove Edalji’s innocence. Bonus – there is a wonderful film (based on the book) of this story as well.

And the Winner Is…

Last week we ran our second giveaway of 2016.  The “Favorites Giveaway Hop” was for one free paperback book from OUR LIBRARY of books we have read as a book club.
Congratulations goes out to…

Vivian T.

An email will be sent to you shortly.
If you didn’t win don’t worry we will be hosting a giveaway every month so please check back soon.

March Voting is Now Open

vote button  For the month of March we are going to read a a non-fiction book about an inspirational woman, since March is Women’s History Month.  As always there are some really great titles up for vote this time.

Here are the Rules for Voting.

1. You may vote for three (3) books.

2. All members get to vote only once.

3. Last day to vote will be February 21, 2016. (11:00pm Los Angeles time)

4. The book with the most votes wins.  But if there is a tie there will be a 48 hour death match. The two or three books will go into a head to head competition for only 48 hours. Whichever book is left standing (with the most votes) wins!

Below the poll you will find the title of the books linked to a brief description.  Now…may the best book win!

Celebrating Black Authors in Celebration of Black History Month

mgr book news

February is Black History Month. Let’s celebrate with books by African-American authors. Below are a few places on the web that promote the works of authors from all corners of the African diaspora.

QBR: The Black Book Review is a national book review “exclusively dedicated to books about the African experience.” Find reviews of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children’s books. Also look here for works by African writers and writers from the Caribbean.

The mission of the African American Literature Book Club, or AALBC, is “to promote the diverse spectrum of literature written by, or about, people of African descent by helping readers find the books and authors they will enjoy.” Not only will readers find book reviews and author profiles, they will also find film reviews and resources for writers.

Do you love genre fiction but sometimes struggle find a mystery, fantasy, or other genre story with a believable African-American as the main character? Don’t worry, help is here.

If you’re interested in fantasy or science fiction, check out Black Girl Magic, a new literary magazine “created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority voices and characters in speculative fiction, especially Black women’s voices.” The first issue is now available on a variety of eReader devices including Kindle, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices like Nook and Kobo.

Mocha Girl Jess recently introduced me to the podcast Girl, Have You Read… (Thanks, Jess.) Girl, Have You Read… is also a website that focuses on the romance genre and aims to “bring black authors to the forefront.” One of the great things about this site is that it highlights different types of romance novels. Whether you like contemporary romance, erotica, urban, suspense, historical or chick lit, you will likely something that will tickle your fancy on this website.

If you love mysteries like I do try Myst Noir: African-American Mysteries. Author and mystery writer Angela Henry celebrates mysteries written by African-Americans and/or featuring African-American sleuths. Discover new books and authors and find news from the mystery section of the book world.

COSTUME: About A Gingham History

A test pinafore of all-blue with gingham trim and off-white blouse

Ever wonder what happens to a costume after a story has been told or a movie has been made or decades have gone by? What makes people so fascinated that they want to dress like characters from movies? A movies history, careful costume development or it may simply be the imagination developed while watching.

For decades, the world believed Dorthy Gale embodied what dreams were made of and imaginations should aspire to; the Wizard of Oz is a story that will forever be told over and over – even in the spirit of Halloween.

A little history on the costume we all love…

[Read more…]