Morbid Musings

Morbid Musings is a book blog about my varied reading interests.

The Mob and the City: The Hidden History of How the Mafia Captured New York

The Mob and the City: The Hidden History of How the Mafia Captured New York - C. Alexander Hortis, James B. Jacobs "The Mob and the City: The Hidden History of How the Mafia Captured New York" chronicles the New York Mafia from the 1920s, through the 1950s. Like others have mentioned. The research involved with writing this book was astounding. The last half of The Mob and The City" was literally taken over by the pages listing the extensive annotations and notes for those who wish to do further research. All in all this was a really good book. It starts out slow, but quickly gains steam and moves along nicely. Anyone who has a serious interest in the research of organized crime should read this book. After I was finished reading this book it kept me with wanting more. Needless to say I HIGHLY recommend that you read it if your into mafia related true crime books.

Off Color: The Violent History of Detroit's Notorious Purple Gang

Off Color: The Violent History of Detroit's Notorious Purple Gang - Daniel Waugh I'm about halfway through with reading "Off Color" Daniel Waugh's latest tome on the American Mafia in particular Detroit's Jewish Purple Gang. I'll give a more detailed review once I finish reading this riveting narrative on the Purple Gang. For starters let me express some of my thoughts while reading this book. "Off Color: The Violent History of Detroit's Notorious Purple Gang" chronicles The Purple Gang's inception as young thugs fresh off the boat from Russia stealing merchandise off pushcarts in Detroit's Little Jerusalem. The Purple Gang would eventually make their ascent to being Underworld bigshots. Bribing, murdering, and pretty much eliminating anyone who stood in their way or interfered with their illicit business dealings. Off Color, is a highly readable book that moves along quickly and stays to the topic point.

As a researcher one of my favorite things about Off Color is the annotated endnotes which list all the newspaper articles, and documents like birth & death records, and official government documents used in the research and writing of this book. What makes this book more enjoyable is the descriptive way the author would elaborate on what he was trying to explain.

Compared to other books on The Purple Gang. Off Color brings a fresh approach to the gang's history. The writing style, combined with the amount of research involved with writing this book. Will make it an enjoyable read for anyone who's interested in books on organized crime. Needless to say I recommend this book for anyone who has a serious interest in the history of organized crime.

Blood and Honor: Inside the Scarfo Mob, the Mafia's Most Violent Family

Blood and Honor: Inside the Scarfo Mob, the Mafia's Most Violent Family - George Anastasia Before reading this book. I wasn't totally knowledgeable about the inner sanctum of the Philly faction of Cosa Nostra. And I read a lot about the mafia, drug cartels, and other organized crime groups. So let me summarize this book by just saying a few words. If you liked the book Murder Machine by Gene Mustain, & Jerry Capeci. Your gonna like Blood and Honor. The nonstop action in this book is a highly riveting portrayal of mob life in South Philly. Highly recommended.

The Sixth Family: The Collapse of the New York Mafia and the Rise of Vito Rizzuto

The Sixth Family: The Collapse of the New York Mafia and the Rise of Vito Rizzuto - Lee Lamothe The Sixth Family is a fascinating narrative on the Montreal Mafia. I highly recommend the book to anyone who enjoys reading about organized crime. The only thing I didn't like about The Sixth Family was the fact that it jumps around A LOT. Once you get past that and the neverending who's who list of Montreal mobsters. You will no doubt enjoy the book.

Cleveland Cemeteries

Cleveland Cemeteries - Vicki Blum Vigil Since I've never been to the city of Cleveland, but always wanted to visit. I found this book extremely helpful in introducing me to some of the key movers and shakers in Cleveland's history. Within the 220+ pages are sixty-five cemeteries with concise historical overviews of the cemetery, and short biographical narratives of some of the personalities who rest eternally in that cemetery. While I didn't know much about Cleveland's history, this book helped put the pieces together to understand the city, who's cemeteries I'd really like to visit, in the foreseeable future.

Getting it Done: The Ultimate Production Assistnat Guide

Getting it Done: The Ultimate Production Assistnat Guide - Joshua Friedman This book chronicles what its like, and what it takes to get your foot in the door, as an entry level Production Assistant (P.A.) in the TV/film industry. Chronicled are chapters on positions on and off set, what its like to work on set, the paperwork involved w/examples, important things to know, and finally how to get a job (foot in the door). If your looking for a concise read on what P.A.s do, and how to obtain entry level jobs in the TV/film industry. This book should definitely be on your list to read.

Operation Family Secrets: How a Mobster's Son and the FBI Brought Down Chicago's Murderous Crime Family

Operation Family Secrets: How a Mobster's Son and the FBI Brought Down Chicago's Murderous Crime Family - Frank Calabrese Jr., Keith Zimmerman, Kent Zimmerman, Paul Pompian As an organized crime observer. I was aware but didn't know much about the Family Secrets trial. Which took place a few years ago in Chicago. This book helped me understand it a little better. Not only did this book help me understand the trial, but it also helped me understand the relationship and family life of Frank Calabrese Sr. with his children, and other relatives. Let me just say it was an interesting book. I think anyone who's interested in reading about the modern day organized crime families around the country should read this book.

Hollywood Game Plan: How to Land a Job in Film, TV and Digital Entertainment

Hollywood Game Plan: How to Land a Job in Film, TV and Digital Entertainment - Carole M. Kirschner Hollywood Game Plan gives you sound advice on how to get your start in the tv/film industry in Los Angeles. Some of the topics include how to find industry jobs, build your industry network, and pretty much anything in between. If your thinking of relocating to L.A. to pursue a career in the tv/film industry. You definitely should read this book to get a general idea of what lays ahead.

Stories in Stone New York: A Field Guide to New York City Area Cemeteries & Their Residents

Stories in Stone New York: A Field Guide to New York City Area Cemeteries & Their Residents - Douglas Keister In Stories in Stone New York, Keister offers cemetery aficionados, a fresh approach to the typical cemetery tome you’d normally find in the regional or local interest section of your nearby bookstore. This latest installment doesn’t hold back any punches. Coupled with beautiful graveside photographs, not to mention GPS coördinates, which will guide you along the way. As you visualize some of the most beautiful cemetery architecture, & artwork you’d find anywhere in the region. All the while strolling along the beautifully landscaped acres, admiring the gravesites of famous, and sometimes not so famous, movers and shakers of New York’s bygone eras.

In the book Keister pounds the pavement when it comes to the cemeteries highlighted in this handy pocket-size guide-book. The cemeteries, which you will no doubt be mesmerized by with the sights when you see them. Include but is not limited to: The Big Four (Green-Wood, Woodlawn, Kensico, & Sleepy Hollow). Historic Manhattan resting places, such as The Holy Trinity’s, St. Marks Church in-the-Bowery, & Ulysses S. Grant’s Presidential Tomb. Rounding off the cemeteries your also going to find Calvary, Cypress Hills, Ferncliff, Gate of Heaven, Moravian cemetery, and the old and new versions of St. Raymond’s, nicely represented as well.

The theme of Stories In Stone New York, is pretty much on par with Keisters other cemetery travel books. Especially when it comes to the sections on symbolism/iconography, and not to mention architecture. One of the things I enjoyed about this book, aside from the potpourri collection of famous personalities who have concise biographies, is the Stories In Stone section. This particular section includes a few heartwarming stories, which I’m sure you will enjoy. As I wrap things up let me just say this book will most definitely make a nice addition to your cemetery or grave hunting library. Even if you’ve never been to New York, like me or plan to visit the region in the future, I think you’d enjoy this book.

Forever Dixie: A Field Guide to Southern Cemeteries & Their Residents

Forever Dixie: A Field Guide to Southern Cemeteries & Their Residents - Douglas Keister I bought "Forever Dixie: A Field Guide to Southern Cemeteries & Their Residents" from Amazon in 2010. I didn't get around to reading it until May 2012, four months later I've finished this fascinating book. Forever Dixie chronicles thirteen of the most well known cemeteries south of the Mason-Dixon line, and their more well-known permanent residents. Beginning with Metairie Cemetery, in New Orleans, Louisiana and ending with Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard, in Tuscumbia, Alabama.

As you read Forever Dixie you will read concise biographical narratives on forty notable sons and daughters who called the south their forever home. Also included with each narrative, and cemetery data, are GPS coordinates, for easy tracking.

Forever Dixie, is an interesting book, and should be in the cemetery or grave hunting book collection of anyone who's into cemeteries, grave hunting, and things of that sort. One of the things I really enjoyed about the book were the beautiful full color photographs of various notable, obscure, or interesting gravesites. Needless to say I highly recommend it.

Hollywood Drive: What it Takes to Break in, Hang in & Make it in the Entertainment Industry

Hollywood Drive: What it Takes to Break in, Hang in & Make it in the Entertainment Industry - Eve Light Honthaner I just finished the Kindle version of "Hollywood Drive". This book is a highly informative must read book for anyone looking to start a career in the dog eat dog world of the media industry. Its packed with first hand practical knowldge, advice, and feed back on how to break into the media industry. Needles to say I highly recommend this book.

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany - William L. Shirer I started this book a long while back around the time I bought it from the now defunct Borders Books. I've thus decided to pick up where I left off. Anyway we all know from our history books, TV shows, and documentaries what Hitler was about, so I wont go there. But I will say this book is an in-depth look at the rise and fall of the Nazi regime. From what I gather it was an enormous undertaking to research, and one would have to be crazy to read this massive monstrosity of literary genius, only because its over 1,200 pages. I like big books, and I like a challenge, so with that said I'm really enjoying what I've read so far.

Getting it Done: The Ultimate Production Assistant Guide

Getting it Done: The Ultimate Production Assistant Guide - Joshua Friedman I'm reading the Kindle eBook version of this title. Its really interesting I'll give a full review once I'm done.

Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb

Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb - C-SPAN One of the books I have in my growing grave hunting/cemetery book library. Is an interesting approach to the typical cemetery/grave hunting related books you’d find in your local bookstore or on websites like Amazon. The literary work I’m talking about is “Who’s Buried In Grant’s Tomb: A Tour of Presidential Gravesites” by Brian Lamb.

“Who’s Buried In Grant’s Tomb: A Tour of Presidential Gravesites” chronicles the lives (and usually the death’s) of each of the forty-four United States Presidents starting with our nations first President George Washington, and ending with our current President Barack Obama. Each biographical sketch between the covers of this fabulous book is narrated with a concise life story of the President being discussed.

Each biographical narrative of the forty-four Presidents, highlights that Presidents life, during his time in the Oval Office. Each well written concise biography also chronicles their lives after leaving office. Some of the highlights you will be overwhelmed with fascination include some of the positive, and negative impacts each President had on the American public while in office.

Some of the features you will find nestled in this book includes the statistical data of each President when he was in office, their birth/death dates, age at death, cause of death, in most cases their final words, etc. Another tidbit I find really fascinating is an imprint of each Presidents signature which is off to the side at the beginning of their respective biographical narratives.

This book includes forty-eight pages of beautiful glossy photos of Presidential gravesites (for those who’ve died) in many cases their official libraries, and homes they grew up in. Also included in the book in Appendix A through F is even more statistical data which includes lists of cemeteries the Presidents are buried in, who died in office, length of retirement after leaving office, gravesites by state, and presidential libraries.

Finally to close. This book is a must have for your collection. If your into Presidential history, American history, grave hunting, and things of that sort. While politics is not really my forte, I was easily blown away by what I learned about our nations forty-four Presidents. Needless to say I HIGHLY recommend this book.

Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?: A Tour of Presidential Gravesites

Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?: A Tour of Presidential Gravesites - C-SPAN, C-SPAN One of the books I have in my growing grave hunting/cemetery book library. Is an interesting approach to the typical cemetery/grave hunting related books you’d find in your local bookstore or on websites like Amazon. The literary work I’m talking about is “Who’s Buried In Grant’s Tomb: A Tour of Presidential Gravesites” by Brian Lamb.

“Who’s Buried In Grant’s Tomb: A Tour of Presidential Gravesites” chronicles the lives (and usually the death’s) of each of the forty-four United States Presidents starting with our nations first President George Washington, and ending with our current President Barack Obama. Each biographical sketch between the covers of this fabulous book is narrated with a concise life story of the President being discussed.

Each biographical narrative of the forty-four Presidents, highlights that Presidents life, during his time in the Oval Office. Each well written concise biography also chronicles their lives after leaving office. Some of the highlights you will be overwhelmed with fascination include some of the positive, and negative impacts each President had on the American public while in office.

Some of the features you will find nestled in this book includes the statistical data of each President when he was in office, their birth/death dates, age at death, cause of death, in most cases their final words, etc. Another tidbit I find really fascinating is an imprint of each Presidents signature which is off to the side at the beginning of their respective biographical narratives.

This book includes forty-eight pages of beautiful glossy photos of Presidential gravesites (for those who’ve died) in many cases their official libraries, and homes they grew up in. Also included in the book in Appendix A through F is even more statistical data which includes lists of cemeteries the Presidents are buried in, who died in office, length of retirement after leaving office, gravesites by state, and presidential libraries.

Finally to close. This book is a must have for your collection. If your into Presidential history, American history, grave hunting, and things of that sort. While politics is not really my forte, I was easily blown away by what I learned about our nations forty-four Presidents. Needless to say I HIGHLY recommend this book.

Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy

Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy - Tod Benoit I read this version, and the original version of "Where Are They Buried How Did They Die" The book is really informative with the content, and includes over 500 concise biographies of military figures, celebs, athletes, etc. While there are some errors in the book when it comes to info given. The general overview info is pretty good. One of the things I find really helpful is that pretty much each biography includes detailed instructions on how to find your favorite celeb, or other personality in the cemetery they are buried in. On a personal note related to that I used the cemetery directions given for the Jack Ruby biography, to find Ruby's gravesite, as the cemetery will not disclose the location, but little did they know I had detailed instructions on how to find the gravesite in the cemetery.

Capone

Capone - John Kobler I read this several years ago. Its considered one of the definitive biographies on Capone. HIGHLY recommended.

Currently reading

This Will Kill You: A Guide to the Ways in Which We Go by H.P. Newquist, Rich Maloof, Bill McGuinness, Peter M. Fitzpatrick, Jim Shinnick, Peter M. Fitzpatrick, MD
Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses by Bess Lovejoy
Funerals to Die For: The Craziest, Creepiest, and Most Bizarre Funeral Traditions and Practices Ever by Kathy Benjamin
Here Is Where: Discovering America's Great Forgotten History by Andrew Carroll
The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis by Julie Holland
Off Color: The Violent History of Detroit's Notorious Purple Gang by Daniel Waugh
The Silent Don: The Criminal Underworld of Santo Trafficante Jr by Scott M. Deitche
David Busch's Mastering Digital Slr Photography, Fourth Edition by David D. Busch
American Spring: Lexington, Concord, and the Road to Revolution by Walter R. Borneman
The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron de Steuben and the Making of the American Army by Paul Lockhart