Synopsis: The year is 1869. A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae.
A memoir written by the accused makes it clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country’s finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciless acts of violence.
Was he mad? Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows.
Graeme Macrae Burnet tells an irresistible and original story about the provisional nature of truth, even when the facts seem clear. His Bloody Project is a mesmerising literary thriller set in an unforgiving landscape where the exercise of power is arbitrary.
From September 15 to October 15 it’s celebrated in the US the Hispanic Heritage Month, and in the bookish community we also have the Latinx Book Bingo if anyone would like to participate!
I normally don’t participate on those readathons because honestly I read a lot of Latinx books all year anyway (mostly Brazilian!) but since I wanted to read a few more non-Brazilian Latinx reads this year (I’ve been reading SO many Brazilian books, it’s been such a joy), I thought it would be a good opportunity to pick up Hispanic Latinx books (so, books from Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America). I will not be following any particular rules, these are just some books on my TBR that happened to be Latinx & Hispanic and I think it’s a great time to read them! These are all books in translation, by the way, and a mix of recently published translations and backlisted titles, plus one classic novel. No idea if I’ll be able to read all of them until October 15 but I can try!
Some links with reading recommendations if you’d like to pick something up but don’t know where to start:
My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress by Rachel DeLoache Williams
Categories: Non-Fiction, True Crime
First Publication Date: July 23rd 2019
Vanity Fair photo editor Rachel DeLoache Williams’s new friend Anna Delvey, a self-proclaimed German heiress, was worldly and ambitious. She was also generous. When Anna proposed an all-expenses-paid trip to Marrakech, Rachel jumped at the chance. But when Anna’s credit cards mysteriously stopped working, the dream vacation quickly took a dark turn. Anna asked Rachel to begin fronting costs—first for flights, then meals and shopping, and, finally, for their $7,500-per-night private villa. Before Rachel knew it, more than $62,000 had been charged to her credit cards. Anna swore she would reimburse Rachel the moment they returned to New York.
Back in Manhattan, the repayment never materialized, and a shocking pattern of deception emerged. Rachel learned that Anna had left a trail of deceit—and unpaid bills—wherever she’d been. Mortified, Rachel contacted the district attorney, and in a stunning turn of events, found herself helping to bring down one of the city’s most notorious con artists.
My Friend Anna was such a juicy story about Rachel and her friendship with Anna Delvey, and how she ended up getting scammed by her. I really wanted to enjoy this book, which was very entertaining at times, and I love a good gossip-y book, but at the same time, the narrator was so incredibly insufferable, I actually resented being in her head for such a long time. This read like such an indulgent, biased recounting with absolutely no introspection. Any “mistake” the author made is because she was “raised right” and is full of “trust and compassion” unlike of course Anna, who is pure evil. I guess this is because she must have gotten so much sh*t when the story blew up with people blaming her for getting scammed, and obviously that was not her fault at ALL, but this book tried way too hard to hammer this point into the reader’s head. And it was so, so indulgent. This was, seriously at least 30% only about Rachel’s work at Vanity Fair which I did NOT care for at all. Tell me only the relevant stuff! I don’t care who her boss was photographing or who was at that glamorous event, I really don’t. This could have been easily 100 pages shorter and that would have been a better read. I had initially given it 3 stars but every time I think about this book I can only remember how annoyed at the narrator I was, so I bumped it down to 2.
I would still recommend if you’re really into the story, I think it’s worth it for the juicy bits!
In two days we will finally find out the winner of the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction! I am less excited than I was a few months ago because honestly it’s been A While – the longlist was announced back in March, the shortlist in April and then after almost five months my enthusiasm has dampened a bit. But still I love seeing other people’s guesses on who the winner will be and as the day of the winner announcement approaches, I’m sure I will get more excited!
So, since it’s been so long, here a quick recap…
The longlist was an interesting mix of commercial titles, big names on the literary world and exciting debuts. Although I wished there had been a lot more diversity and challenging, unique titles, it was still a pretty solid list that actually had me excited to pick up most of the books. It was also fantastic to see a trans author get longlisted (with THE most vibrant, characters-coming-off-the-page novel in the whole bunch); even if they made the poor choice of also including Craig’s book, considering her very outspoken transphobic opinions. Here is the full list, with the shortlisted books marked in bold.