Friday Reads: Crime Wave

Friday Read: People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry

I just finished reading People Who Eat Darkness – full title People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo–and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up – for this month’s book club. I highly recommend it to fans of true crime and also to people who want to read sentences like, “The summer brought out the fart smell of Tokyo’s shallow sewers, an unexpected stench of the Third World, which blended with the smoke of pizzas, grilled chicken, fish, and perfume.” Parry investigates the 2000 disappearance of Lucie Blackman, a British twenty-one year-old who worked as a hostess in a Tokyo club. The story is chilling and not what I expected at all (in a good way). I almost couldn’t put it down, but I was a very busy lady this week.

I have the true crime genre on the brain. My younger brother, who is home for the summer, didn’t exactly ask me to tell him what to read in his downtime, but he was looking for good books in our parents’ house and I felt very strongly about him not reading The Great Gatsby, which I hate, so I told him to pick up Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi. I can picture the yellowed paperback, the same copy I devoured while lifeguarding the summer after my freshman year of college, on my dad’s bookshelf. Even though I would count it among the best non-fiction books I’ve ever read, I’ve never really wanted to revisit Helter Skelter. Reading about the Manson Family murders and trial made me feel literally crazy. However, now it’s on my mind and I’m thinking maybe I’ll get my own copy to read this summer. If only the experience could be similar to the one I had the first time around, reading poolside at the country club where I worked and also at another country club where I was a member, where I spent all of my free time tanning on a lounge chair. But alas, those days are gone.

Otherwise, I have Mad Men on the brain. And not just because of that theory a few years ago about how Megan is actually Sharon Tate or whatever. The series finale airs on Sunday and I feel like everything I’ve read on the internet this week has been about the show. I haven’t been too interested in trying to figure out what’s going to happen in the finale. Rather, I’ve enjoyed reading TV writers and fans reminiscing about the experience of watching the show. (I’m enjoying privately reminiscing about my own Mad Men-watching experiece.) Today, I’ve been working my way through Kate Authur’s ranking of every Mad Men episode “from good to perfect” on BuzzFeed. I also liked Matt Zoller Seitz on How the Mad Men Pilot Predicted the Final Episodes of the Series.”

That’s all I’ve got for this Friday. Come back next week to read more about what I’ve been reading (or not reading).

I’ll leave you with a question: If you could be any Don Draper lady love, who would you be?

(I would be Dr. Faye Miller.)

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