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Killers of the Flower Moon : the Osage murders and the birth of the FBI
2017
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New York Times Review
STARTUP, by Doree Shafrir. (Back Bay/Little, Brown, $15.99.) In her debut novel, Shafrir takes aim at the excesses of New York's tech world. Among its chief characters: the wealthy young executive of a mindfulness app; the subordinate he's sleeping with; and a reporter on the hunt for a juicy scoop. When their paths ultimately collide, the app goes viral - leaving behind a cautionary tale centered on gender, power and wealth. THE EVOLUTION OF BEAUTY: How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - and Us, by Richard 0. Prum. (Anchor, $17.) Prum revisits Darwin's second theory about sexual selection: that the aesthetic preferences of females have directed evolution. The book, one of the Book Review's 10 best of 2017, crafts a subversive argument about the role of ornamentation and pleasure. THE NIGHT OCEAN, by Paul La Farge. (Penguin, $17.) A multivoiced story centers on the writer H.P. Lovecraft, the (dubious) diary of his love life and his relationship one summer with a teenage acolyte. As our reviewer, D.T. Max, put it, the novel "emerges as an inexhaustible shaggy monster, part literary parody, part case study of the slipperiness of narrative and the seduction of a good story." HOW THE OTHER HALF BANKS: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy, by Mehrsa Baradaran. (Harvard University, $19.95.) The American banking industry has left behind a large proportion of the United States, forcing people who earn low wages to rely on payday lenders, check-cashing vendors and other types of predators. Baradaran, a law professor at the University of Georgia, calls for restoring a public banking option that would be accessible to low-income workers and families, and relieving the exorbitant cost of financial transactions. EDGAR & LUCY, by Victor Lodato. (Picador, $18.) Edgar, this story's plucky and appealing young protagonist, lives with his mother and grandmother, and his father's accidental death looms. "What makes this disquieting exploration of love and mourning bearable is that Lodato works from a place of compassion," our reviewer, Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, wrote. "On every page, Lodato's prose sings with a robust, openhearted wit." THE RULES DO NOT APPLY, by Ariel Levy. (Random House, $16.) Loss - of motherhood, of marriage, of a planned life - is at the core of this haunting memoir. Building on her 2013 essay describing a miscarriage while on assignment in Mongolia, Levy, a writer for The New Yorker, revisits her expectations for her life: that she could drive her own plotline, and duck the cultural scripts for her gender.
Library Journal Review
Relating the little-known story of the murders of members of the Osage tribe in 1920s Oklahoma, Grann (The Lost City of Z) relates how the Native Americans became wealthy via mineral rights and how the new and untested FBI became involved when many Osage were murdered. The actual number of murders will never be known. The book is presented by three different narrators: Ann Marie Lee, Will Patton, and Danny Campbell, who reads the author's voice in the final segment. Grann provides a view of early 20th-century attitudes about Native Americans and sheds light on this heretofore obscure story. Verdict Recommended for those interested in Native American history, civil rights, and the history of forensic science in this county. ["A spellbinding book about the largest serial murder investigation you've never heard of": LJ 2/1/17 starred review of the Doubleday hc; an April 2017 LibraryReads Pick.]-Cheryl Youse, Norman Park, GA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Three voice actors divvy up the task of narrating the audio edition of Grann's saga of the mysterious murders of at least two dozen members of the wealthy Oklahoman Osage Indian nation. Actor Lee reads the first third of the book, entitled "The Marked Woman," which largely focuses on the story of Mollie Burkhart Lee, an Osage woman whose family was killed off one by one in the early 1920s. Unfortunately her pacing is so slow that the grammatical structure of sentences is often lost, and she uses the same tone whether the subject is serene scenery or vicious murders. Luckily Patton picks up the pace when reading the middle portion of the book, entitled "The Evidence Man," which chronicles FBI agent Tom White's struggles to investigate the case. Campbell ultimately steals the show in the third section, "The Reporter," which follows the man who uncovered the plot to steal the oil-rich Osage territory. He reads in a voice as gruff as the man the chapter is based on, while clearly communicating the complex plot twist that ends this fascinating chunk of American history. A Doubleday hardcover. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
In 1920s Oklahoma, many members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation were dying untimely and suspicious deaths. The widespread crimes against the Osage and the inability to identify those responsible led to the establishment of what is now known as the FBI. Grann, author of the best-selling The Lost City of Z, makes a complex web of violence and deception easy to follow by keeping the focus on one Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, whose family members were murdered one by one. This gripping title uncovers a baffling level of corruption. The author points his investigative lens at the perpetrators of the murders, reveals cover-ups by authorities all the way up to the national level, and illustrates that the deception continued almost a century later. There are plenty of curriculum connections: Native American and Osage tribal history, economics, law enforcement, and journalism. A varied selection of photographs help to set the scene for readers. End pages include comprehensive source notes, citations, and a bibliography. VERDICT This thoroughly researched, suspenseful exposé will appeal to followers of true crime programs such as the podcast Serial and the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, as well as to fans of Louise Erdrich's The Round House.-Tara Kehoe, formerly at New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center, Trenton © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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