June Book Club

July 2, 2012 at 11:51 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )


A few newer faces and a few older faces that haven’t made an appearance in a while all managed to make it out roughly two weeks ago for our monthly book club meeting.  We read The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, which is a 2003 non-fiction work that talks all about the 1893 World’s Fair that was held in Chicago.  The book weaves two totally different perspectives of the event – part of the story revolves around Daniel H. Burnham, the architect and developer who brought the city to life for the fair and the other part centers on Dr. H.H. Holmes, who was a pharmacist by day and serial killer by night.  Holmes built a large hotel to lure in young women who came to the city to find work during the fair but his creepy hotel also doubled as a killer’s dream castle, as he had torture rooms and a crematorium set up  without anyone being the wiser.  As freaky as it is, everything is based on historical fact.

Look for the movie involving Leonardo DiCaprio soon. No, really, he bought the rights.

I first read this book a few years ago, right after I moved to the city.  I thought it was really interesting and it gave me a totally different perspective on the city I now called home.  I also learned interesting little facts, such as how Morton Salt and Cracker Jack were first introduced in Chicago during that World’s Fair.  Did you know that?

I didn’t have a chance to re-read the whole book before our meeting but I refreshed myself on its Wikipedia page so I at least remembered the names of important characters.  Every other book club member seemed to enjoy the book too though we all agreed that the parts focusing on the murderer were a little more gripping than those focusing on the brick and mortar buildings.  Regardless, we enjoyed learning a little of the history of our city, however lurid it may be.

We met at Bad Apple, which is where we met back in January.  It was still as good as ever and my sandwich tasted like angel wings from heaven on two pieces of focaccia bread.  It’s always fun to have a night out with my literate lady friends – I knew being a bookworm for all those years would come in handy at some point!

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