I’ve got a couple of stacks of books that I read in 2017 but have yet to review on my blog, so I’m going to write a couple of round-up posts here at the end of the year.

First up, Chicago. We visited in the spring, so I took the occasion to read some books about Chicago or set there, including one that I purchased while we were there.

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

The story of World’s Fair architect , Daniel H. Burnham, and serial murderer, Dr. H.H. Holmes.

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. I don’t read much true crime but I enjoyed reading this in Chicago as much as I enjoyed reading Death in the City of Light while I was in Paris. For me, the fascination was more with the development of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago than with the serial murderer — but that was bizarre enough to be attention-grabbing, too.

This story has been an on-again, off-again planĀ for a film. Most recently, the names associated with the movie are Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese. According to IndieWire, they also plan to work on a film from Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. That’s the next book on my TBR because I’m leading the discussion of it for our book club meeting in January.

The Field Museum by Cheryl Bardoe. This is a slim volume from the gift store of The Field Museum, the natural history museum in Chicago. Speaking of the 1893 World’s Fair, the Field Museum began with the collection that was acquired for the Anthropology display at the fair. Marshall Field (of the department store chain) put up the initial money. The Field Museum’s first permanent home was the Palace of Fine Arts from the fair. That building now houses Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. The current Field Museum opened in 1921 and now anchors Chicago’s Museum Campus at the south end of Grant’s Park. We spent two full days there and would have enjoyed a couple more. Given the chance, I would read a more serious and longer book on The Field Museum (say along the lines of Devil in the White City but without the murders), but this gave some depth to our experience and the pictures are fun for a re-visit in my mind.

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

The first volume in the Dresden Files, a series that combines the supernatural with the hard-boiled detective novel.

Storm Front by Jim Butcher. The Dresden Files have been on my list for a while based on numerous recommendations from people I know online and in real life. Harry Dresden is a wizard and private investigator trying to earn an honest living in Chicago. This was a fun introduction to the character and the world — plus, a good mystery to boot.

We’re hoping for a return trip to Chicago, maybe in the spring. So, I’m looking for more Chicago books. What are your favorites?


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