Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann #Review @DavidGrann @doubledaybooks

Killers of thr Flower Moon cover

Oil brought unimaginable riches to the Osage Nation in Oklahoma in the early years of the twentieth century, and made them the “richest people per capita in the world” by the 1920s. It also brought about the “Reign of Terror,” a period of time between 1921 – 1926  when racism and insatiable greed led to many of the Osage being murdered for their headrights, which were worth millions of dollars. When the newly-created FBI first investigated the case, they botched it. Once former Texas Ranger Tom White and his undercover team were put in charge, however, significant progress was made and the evil conspiracy that devastated so many families was finally exposed.

I don’t often read true crime, but I was drawn to this one because I’ve always been very interested to learn more about the cultures and histories of Native American people. I was further intrigued because it happened in my home state and I knew nothing about it.

As difficult as it was to read about the murder victims and how they died, it was nearly as upsetting to me to read about the way the Osage were generally treated and regarded. Bigotry was made worse by jealousy of their wealth, and they were regularly swindled out of their money by being charged exorbitant fees and forced to pay hugely inflated prices for everything. Many of the Osage were ruled incompetent to handle their own money, and had court-appointed guardians who decided how much money they would be allowed to access, and what it could be used for. These guardians often-times were in control of several people’s finances, whom they stole from ruthlessly and repeatedly. Once the murders and suspicious deaths began, the terrorized Osage  quickly lost hope of justice ever being served, thanks to shoddy investigations (if, indeed, an investigation took place at all) that wrapped up quickly and garnered no useful leads in finding the culprit.

What interested me as much as the case details was the portion at the end of the book, detailing visits and conversations the author had with descendants of murder victims. Grann was made privy to details known only to the families of the victims, leading to discoveries that are both shocking and heartbreaking.

Meticulously researched and written in an engaging, narrative style, Killers of the Flower Moon is simply excellent. Highly recommended for history buffs with a particular interest in Native Americans and true crime.

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Doubleday.


Author: David Grann

Title: Killers of the Flower Moon

Genre: True Crime

Published: April 18th, 2017 by Doubleday

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Purchase Links

Penguin Random House | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


About the Book

From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.

Then, one by one, they began to be killed off. One Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, watched as her family was murdered. Her older sister was shot. Her mother was then slowly poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more Osage began to die under mysterious circumstances.

In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes such as Al Spencer, “the Phantom Terror,” roamed – virtually anyone who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll surpassed more than twenty-four Osage, the newly created F.B.I. took up the case, in what became one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations. But the bureau was then notoriously corrupt and initially bungled the case. Eventually the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only Native American agents in the bureau. They infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest modern techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most sinister conspiracies in American history.

In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. The book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward Native Americans that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly riveting, but also emotionally devastating.


About the Author

Author David Grann
Author David Grann

David Grann is a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine. He has written about everything from New York City’s antiquated water tunnels to the hunt for the giant squid to the presidential campaign.

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, published by Doubleday, is Grann’s first book and is being developed into a movie by Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company and Paramount Pictures.

Grann’s stories have appeared in several anthologies, including What We Saw: The Events of September 11, 2001; The Best American Crime Writing, of both 2004 and 2005; and The Best American Sports Writing, of 2003 and 2006. A 2004 finalist for the Michael Kelly award for the “fearless pursuit and expression of truth,” Grann has also written for the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, and The New Republic.

Before joining The New Yorker in 2003, Grann was a senior editor at The New Republic, and, from 1995 until 1996, the executive editor of the newspaper The Hill. He holds master’s degrees in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy as well as in creative writing from Boston University. After graduating from Connecticut College in 1989, he received a Thomas Watson Fellowship and did research in Mexico, where he began his career in journalism. He currently lives in New York with his wife and two children.

Author photo and bio via Goodreads.



Review: Every Which Way Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman @edieeckman @StoreyPub

Every Which Way Crochet Borders cover

Step-by-step instructions and symbol charts put these 100 creative new border designs within reach for beginning and advanced crocheters alike. If you’re ready to chart your own crocheted course, Edie Eckman offers plenty of helpful design advice, including how to choose an appropriate border for each project and how to incorporate an element from the main stitch pattern into a new border design. She then explains, with the help of close-up photos, how the same pattern can have dramatically different results depending on the weight of the yarn. With each pattern diagramed to approach in both rounds and rows, Every Which Way Crochet Borders is an inventive and invaluable resource.


Author: Edie Eckman

Title: Every Which Way Crochet Borders: 138 Patterns for Customized Edgings

Genre: Nonfiction, Crafts & Hobbies

Publication Date: January 24, 2017 by Storey Publishing

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Storey Publishing.


Crocheting is something I love to do… there’s nothing like the feeling of taking a hook and a few skeins of yarn and transforming it into something beautiful. And what it is that enhances the beauty of crocheted creations? You guessed it… a pretty border!

I’m not creative (or knowledgeable enough) to dream up my own patterns, so books like this one are extremely useful to me. I have a small collection of crochet pattern books that I look to for inspiration for my next afghan, etc. but none of them had a dedicated section on borders, so I was excited to see what this book had to offer. It’s so much more than merely a book of patterns, however. The chapter about design concepts gives tons of useful information, from choosing borders that will either complement or contrast the main body of your project (and what that means) to the importance of border size, the colors you choose, and even the type of yarn you use. You’ll also find instruction on how to add a crocheted border onto a fleece blanket, for example—something I never even thought about doing!

With 138 patterns to choose from, shown in beautifully colorful photographs, you’re sure to find a border you’ll fall in love with. Each one is precisely detailed and illustrated, with notes on how to do specific stitches. The appendix includes information on how to read crochet patterns—which is useful for people like me who can’t always remember all the stitch symbols—as well as an illustrated glossary… which is perfect for deciphering things like “Dc2tog over 3 sts” for those of us who often forget the meaning of certain abbreviations.

This is definitely a book any crochet enthusiast would find beneficial, and would be a lovely addition in your crochet book collection.


Review: The Women’s Health Big Book of Abs by Adam Bornstein


Lots of great information in this book about the most efficient ways to get a good ab workout. Some of the exercises look pretty tough, including some that are marked as ‘easy’ exercises. I’m not certain all of them would be do-able in the beginning, but it’s a goal to work towards, I suppose.

It also contains information about food, giving tips on what you should and shouldn’t eat, and provides several meal suggestions and recipes for healthy, nutritious meals.

Definitely worth a read if you are looking to lose weight and improve your fitness level.



Author: Adam Bornstein

Title: The Women’s Health Big Book of Abs: Sculpt a Lean, Sexy Stomach in Just 4 Weeks!

Published: 5/8/2012 by Rodale

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


About the Book

The essential diet and workout guide for any woman looking for a sexy, sculpted stomach

The key to a flatter belly—and a hotter body—starts with your core. Designed for beginners and fitness buffs alike, this makeover manual is jam-packed with hundreds of useful tips, the latest findings in exercise and nutrition science, and cutting-edge workouts from the world’s top trainers. All designed to fight flab and whittle your waist the right way—for good!

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE: The World’s Greatest 4-Week Diet and Exercise Plan: Lose 10 pounds or more in 4 weeks! The No-Gym, No-Crunch Workout The Look-Hot-on-Top Workout: Blast fat in just 10 minutes! Last-Minute Beach Vacation Workout The Pre-Baby and Post-Baby Workouts: Special exercises for new moms Mouth-watering recipes that take fewer than 15 minutes to prepare! (Gluten-free? Lactose intolerant? No problem!) Including a step-by-step, 4-week eating and exercise plan, easy-to-prepare recipes, and hundreds of exercises, The Women’s Health Big Book of Abs is the ultimate guide to a leaner, fitter, sexier body—starting with your core.