Happy Friday before a holiday!!! Wahoo! What is it about that extra day off that just makes life so great? I’m not going to analyze it, I’m going to TAKE it and run with it. Actually, I’ll probably be in bed, but who cares?
Anywho, let’s get into this week’s read: “Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins. Here’s the official description from Amazon.com:
A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.
With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.
Ohhhhh man! I was so excited to read this book. When it came out, I immediately put my name on the list for a reserve at the library. I did have to wait awhile, but either way – good deal.
I’m going to say right off the bat that I didn’t end up loving this book as much as I loved “The Girl on the Train”. And, you know, that’s ok. Not every book from an author is going to be the same – obviously.
Is it good? Yes. Chilling? Yes.
I have admitted many times that I don’t do well with lots of characters in a book – it’s just hard for me to concentrate and if they are alike, I get them confused. This was the case for this book. So, you very well may love it!
The reader reviews on the Amazon page for the book has mixed reviews as well. I know it’s easy to assume an author is going to pump out books that are similar and equally likable, but it’s just not that way. Plus, I don’t like it when books are advertised as, “If you liked ‘The Girl on The Train’…” because then you go into thinking it’s going to be just like that and you usually just end up disappointed.
So, there you have it. The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “Saints for All Occasions” by J. Courtney Sullivan. Read it with us!
Meanwhile, The Bitter Lemon Etsy Shop is having its first S A L E in honor of Labor Day! Enjoy 15% off (+ FREE shipping anywhere in the US) all of the items in the shop today through Monday!
I’ll be doing a little shopping of my own this weekend – some for myself and some for Hurricane Harvey victims. And hopefully I’ll be making some more jewelry! I’m really enjoying this hobby as it’s a good way to just zone out and have a finished, wearable piece of fun at the end.
So, happy weekend y’all! Do something for Harvey victims – anything. Texas needs your help & get used to see that here. We need to help each other, no matter where you live. Do good.
I’m taking Monday off from the blog, but I’ll be back on Tuesday with a fresh recap of “Siesta Key”! Bye y’all!
See? I told you I miiiight have a lot of TV posts this week – promise this will be the last one (until next week’s recap of “Southern Charm”). But, when I saw the previews for Investigation Discovery’s “Casey Anthony: An American Murder Mystery”, I could not look away.
I don’t like admitting that I LOVE true crime, because really I’m scared of basically everything. But, I get hooked on these sagas, and I know it sounds crazy because there are real people involved.
However, when this case hit the news, I know I wasn’t the only one that just couldn’t look away. I guiltily admit that I watched every minute of “Nancy Grace”, every chance I could get. Bad, I know.
What what it about the Anthony case that had Americans hooked? I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, of course it was the little girl, Caylee. She was so cute, and who would want her killed?
Secondly, it was the obvious (I mean BLATANT) evidence built up against Casey… there was no way she’d be a free woman. Or would she?
So yes, for the past three nights, I’ve sat a little too close to my TV and watched this creepy case unfold before my eyes yet again, and again, I’m shocked. Here’s a blow by blow of the 3-part documentary.
“Lies, Betrayal, and Murder”
Episode one kicks off with a 911 call Cindy Anthony (Casey’s mom) makes to Florida police, saying her daughter has stolen their car, and should be arrested. When police arrive, they quickly find out that Casey’s daughter, Caylee, has been missing for 31 days.
That’s right, 31 days, and Casey hasn’t told anyone because she was afraid. She simply tells police she dropped Caylee off with her nanny, Zanny, and hasn’t seen her since.
Casey takes police to Zanny’s apartment, where police discover she has been lying. Not only is Zanny’s apartment empty, but according to the leasing office, no one has lived in that apartment for 6 months, and no one in the complex goes by that name.
Casey tells police she works at Universal Studios, which also turns out to be false – she even pretends to go to work every day… but she has no job.
Meanwhile, police uncover yet another 911 tape from Cindy Anthony, where she is frantically saying that her daughter’s car smells like a “dead body”. Police recover the vehicle, and find a stained trunk with the stench of body decomposition. They send a piece of the trunk liner, along with two hairs, to the lab for testing.
The results are enough to arrest Casey for murder… and then, thanks to Florida law, we were blessed with those jailhouse tapes. Remember those? Of George and Cindy Anthony visiting their daughter, where she shows no signs of being worried about WHERE Caylee could be? Hmm…
“A Shallow Grave”
Without a body, it would be impossible to prove Casey murdered Caylee. So, it was considered a huge break in the case when an electrical worker came across a small human skull in the woods near the Anthony’s home.
It was Caylee’s, and there was a plastic garbage bag, a laundry bag, and duct tape, also recovered at the scene.
While there was no remaining tissue on the skull or bones, the laundry bag was matched to a bag at the Anthony home, and the duct tape contacted DNA evidence, and would serve as proof that the child was murdered, and did not die from an accidental drowning, as was suggested.
And then… the TRIAL. America was shocked when Casey’s attorney, Jose Baez, opened his defense stating that Caylee drowned in the Anthony pool, that George Anthony actually buried her, and that he had sexually abused his daughter.
“Ten Hours, Forty Minutes”
There was a ton of scientific evidence presented to the jury – including chemical proof that chloroform was used – and it was time for Jose Baez to present his side.
From his perspective, there was no body in the trunk. Instead, it was just old pizza boxes sitting in the sun’s heat. Basically, Baez takes all of the facts from the prosecution, and turns them into alternative facts before that was even a thing.
You probably already know this, but the jury finds Casey Anthony not guilty on all murder charges. She is charged on 4 counts of neglect, but since she had already been in jail for more than three years, she serves 10 more days, and is then a free woman.
The remainder of the documentary talks about what happened after – how she had to file bankruptcy after being sued from so many people, and that she was caught running naked from Jose Baez’s office, and later admitted to paying him with blow jobs instead of cash.
There was a little bit of new information offered, including an interview with George Anthony, where he says what he thinks happened – basically that Casey did kill Caylee, and that he is no longer on speaking terms with his daughter. He is still married to Cindy, who still claims that Caylee drowned in the family pool.
There are only two people who know the truth… and we may never really know.
Happy Thursday, y’all! With all of the podcasts I had loaded up on my phone (see them here, and here), it took me quite awhile to listen to them all – I go all the way back and start from episode 1. But, eventually I ran out of things to listen to and have discovered a good little set of things that can get me through the day.
Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People – To be honest, I’m not sure HOW I found out about this one. Once I was really desperate to find things to listen to, I looked through my trusty little notebook for possible ideas. And, sure enough, I found a list of podcast titles I was apparently saving for a rainy day. One of them was this one, and I am so freaking happy I listened to it!
Here’s the official description of the podcast from its website: “1 phone call. 1 hour. No names. No holds barred. That’s the premise behind Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, hosted by comedian Chris Gethard (the Chris Gethard Show, Broad City, This American Life, and one of Time Out’s “10 best comedians of 2015”). Every week, Chris opens the phone line to one anonymous caller, and he can’t hang up first, no matter what. From shocking confessions and family secrets to philosophical discussions and shameless self-promotion, anything can and will happen!”
From what I understand, Gethard puts the phone number on his Twitter feed, and just starts taking anonymous calls. Of course, I love hearing all of the random stories from these people – but I think the show has been such a success because, it’s not often we hear real things anymore. Think about it; pretty much everything is scripted or staged – even the things we think won’t be like documentaries or Instagram. I think the fact that it’s anonymous allows the callers to be honest about things that have happened to them; it’s really relatable and inspiring. I listened to the first 15 episodes (which are a little more than an hour each) in about a week, and as I write this, I’m seeing there are two new episodes, so guess what I’ll be doing later?
Slumber Party With Alie & Georgia – This podcast was recommended to me by a coworker; we are both constantly looking for new material, so we are always swapping podcasts to fill our ears. Here is the official description from the website, “Alie & Georgia (Cooking Channel, HelloGiggles.com) are two best friends with a knack for entertaining. The notorious creators of the “McNuggetini” now invite you to their slumber party for some quick witted and intimate podcasting from a real life pillow fort!”
Of course, the schtick is that these are grown women hosting a slumber party, complete with wine coolers and candy. They have uncensored conversations with each other, but usually they will feature a guest on each episode and interview them. For the most part, the tone is upbeat, and it’s not too serious, so it’s a good one to work to (doesn’t require much concentration).
My Favorite Murder – Sounds sick, doesn’t it? This one was also recommended to me by the same coworker, but I have a feeling I would have eventually come across it, given that one of the hosts for this podcast is also one of the hosts for “Slumber Party”.
But, here’s what the website says about it, “Ready yourself for a murder adventure hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, two lifelong fans of true crime stories. Each episode the girls tell each other their favorite tales of murder, and hear hometown crime stories from friends and fans. Check your anxiety at the door, ’cause Karen & Georgia are dying to discuss death.”
I will admit, some of the episodes are kind of creepy, but if you’re into true crime, you’d probably like this. It’s two women and they are basically talking about the cases we’ve all heard about, and how we/they felt about them. It’s not newsy, but it’s still based around facts. It’s interesting!
Got a podcast you think I should hear? Tell me! Leave a comment, email me at Holly@thebitterlemon.com, or Tweet me @OrangeJulius7 – Happy listening!