Best Books Based in Boston & Beyond (Feat. Location Map!)

boston graphic

As you may have heard, infamous Boston gangster James J. “Whitey” Bulger was killed in a West Virginia maximum security Federal prison on Tuesday, October 30th.

As the head boss of the Winter Hill Gang, Bulger was active in the late 1960s – early 1990s before fleeing to California with Catherine Greig after corrupt FBI agent John Connolly tipped him off about the FBI’s plans to arrest him.

If you’re unfamiliar with the story of Whitey Bulger, I highly recommend watching Black Mass (2015) – it’s a good introduction to what happened (though not entirely accurate). I would also recommend reading Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice by Kevin Cullen.

The story of Whitey Bulger was one I grew up with. My family hails from Dorchester, Quincy, the South End, Southie and Quincy – the hotspots of the Winter Hill Gang during its heyday. My grandfather, a Boston Police Detective in the 1960s, loathed Bulger (by all accounts) and made it a mission to chase him down in his younger years. As a result, I’ve been reflecting on my city recently, and how different it’s become since the days of Irish Americans dominating the streets of Southie.

As tribute to the city, and a final “sayonara” to Boston’s most ruthless mob boss, here are a few Boston and Massachusetts-based books that I love, and a map of places that each book corresponds to (day trip anyone!?):

Continue reading “Best Books Based in Boston & Beyond (Feat. Location Map!)”

Advertisements

5 Historical Fiction Novels Worth Reading

blur book girl hands

Historical Fiction = my favorite literary genre. I love immersing myself into a story that’s set in the past. Here is a quick round up of five of my favorite Historical Fiction novels to check out this fall.

Continue reading “5 Historical Fiction Novels Worth Reading”

Rocking Chair Reads: My Favorite Summer Night Books

Can you smell it in the air? It’s the smell of sand castles, sparklers and cookouts. Yes, summer is nearly upon us, and I cannot wait for long days and cool nights.

161104-f-kq373-097

One of my absolute favorite things to do after a long day of hanging out in the sun is to come home, pour a glass of iced tea, and curl up with a good book while listening to the crickets chirping nearby. Nothing is more relaxing.

But there are so many choices of books to go with (it’s actually overwhelming) – and I’d like to offer you some of mine to narrow the field.

Here are my top rocking chair reads:

Continue reading “Rocking Chair Reads: My Favorite Summer Night Books”

Remembering William Peter Blatty: The Man Behind “The Exorcist”

Many of the included source links in this post feature images from the film that some may find scary or disturbing. Keep that in mind when clicking (As in, not at 3 AM when you can’t sleep).

There are a few things I was afraid of as a kid. The dark, spiders (okay, still afraid of that one), and the cover to my mom’s DVD copy of “The Exorcist” (1973).

exorcist
Still freaks me out. The Exorcist (1973). (c) Warner Bros

I’ll admit it. Just hearing the infamous “Tubular Bells” theme from the movie when she watched it around Halloween used to freak me out.

It wasn’t until I was older that I even watched this cinematic classic about a 12-year old girl possessed by a demon. And I have to admit, it still gives me chills whenever I see it.

But the film is second to the book in fear-factor. I read it on the beach two summers ago after coming across it on sale in the bookstore, and it stuck in my mind for a week after.

There was quite a lot of talent involved in writing a book filled with terrifying imagery, powerful symbolism, and possessive of an uncanny ability to send chills down your spine, making its author is one worth remembering.

But even people with great talent can’t live forever. William Peter Blatty, author of “The Exorcist,” passed away  on January 12th, 2017, at the age of 89.

Continue reading “Remembering William Peter Blatty: The Man Behind “The Exorcist””