Book Of The Month® Club – January 2016 Selection
Ghettoside: A True Story Of Murder In America by author, Jill Leovy, is a riveting novel taking a look at violence in Los Angeles County where both victim and perpetrator are African American. The majority of these murders among black men are never reported in a public forum such as a newspaper or on the news, because there are so many murders.
This book isn't simply about just the actual murders. It's about the feelings and reactions of the families of those killed, of those who commit the crimes, and of the police detectives tasked with solving these murders. I was surprised to learn that many police are very invested in solving each crime and that they view those involved in the cases as human, victim and murderers alike. That is not the perception that I have seen portrayed in the mainstream media.
While the book itself is non-fiction, the author does a fantastic job getting inside the main players – specifically John Skaggs, the L.A. homicide detective that will not let go of any case until it's cleared and solved as well as how some of the families of the victims felt and interacted with the police.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, USA TODAY, AND CHICAGO TRIBUNE • A masterly work of literary journalism about a senseless murder, a relentless detective, and the great plague of homicide in America
NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Economist • The Globe and Mail • BookPage • Kirkus Reviews
On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home, one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant runs down the street, jumps into an SUV, and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes.
But as soon as the case is assigned to Detective John Skaggs, the odds shift.
Here is the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential, but mostly ignored, American murder—a “ghettoside” killing, one young black man slaying another—and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs. Ghettoside is a fast-paced narrative of a devastating crime, an intimate portrait of detectives and a community bonded in tragedy, and a surprising new lens into the great subject of why murder happens in our cities—and how the epidemic of killings might yet be stopped.
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I chose this title from among five selections as a member of Book Of The Month® Club.
Book Of The Month® is a great way to get a new book to read every month, which fits not only into my love of reading, but also is great for expanding my horizon to books I might not otherwise hear about. Signing up is easy and hassle-free (more on that in a minute), you get to choose the book you receive from five hand-picked selections.
And the best part of all… there is no contract to sign! I can't tell you how many book clubs I've signed up for over the years that require a term-length contract and a certain number of purchases. Ugh, who wants to deal with keeping up with that?!
With Book Of The Month® you choose how long you want to remain a member and when it's time for membership renewal you will receive an email to remind you so that you can choose whether to remain a member or cancel. If you want to keep it, do nothing, membership is renewed automatically. Otherwise, just go to their website and cancel. I really like that! It takes all the guess work out of it for me.
On the first of each month, you will received an email from BOTM, letting you know that it is time to head to their website and check out the current month's book selections. You have until the 6th day of the month to make your selection, or you can do nothing and their randomly selected title will be shipped to you on the 7th day of the month.
All of their members selections ship out on the same day so that the books are received at the same time, allowing for members to be able to participate in the discussion rooms for their chosen book (completely optional).
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I just don't even know how to describe Ghettoside: A True Story Of Murder In America. It is an expertly crafted telling of a the statistics of the many victims of violence within the overall telling of a story of one victim. If you read one important book this year, please consider this title to be that reading experience.
You will never look at inner-city violence the same, not ever again. This book will be with me for a long time to come and has forever changed how I think about the issue. I would love to hear your thoughts on this book (if you've read it) , and how it has affected your perception about this issue.
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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary 3-month subscription to BOTM to facilitate review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.