The Book Club

Welcome to the beginning of another wonderous year at Lawrence! The September weather is as confusing as ever, campus is absolutely buzzing with students and The Book Club is back and ready to share some new book recommendations with you all! For those that are new, the goal of The Book Club is to recommend some new books from either my own personal library or from those of other Lawrentians to get you out of that reading slump. If you have any books you would like to recommend, feel free to reach out and we can set up an interview! 

Over the summer I had plenty of time to read, or at least whatever time my attention span and work schedule would allow, and I’m back and ready with a few new titles in mind. One of the titles I was super excited about picking up is Caleb Carr’s The Alienist. The novel is set in New York in the year 1896, where a string of murders draws the attention of a psychologist, journalist and Theodore Roosevelt, of all people. However, the police and media refuse to give the murders the attention they deserve, prompting our trio to take matters into their own hands. To do so, they decide to attempt a ridiculed method in order to hunt the killer, and the case becomes the first to harness the idea of psychologically profiling a criminal based on their crimes. However, unlike in Criminal Minds where characters can perfectly profile a serial killer and catch them within 60 minutes thanks to the power of technology and Spencer Reid, the characters of The Alienist must spend months researching theories and ideas just to create basic groundwork for their case. The entire book follows their adventures and research as they inch closer and closer towards catching whoever is responsible for the heinous crimes. 

Overall, I found the book to be a fascinating read, as it provides a look at rudimentary crime-solving methods from the past and allows readers to realize how far technology has brought us into the world of forensic science and forensic psychology. I would say that this book is perfect for any readers who appreciate crime shows and podcasts as much as I do, especially those that mainly use psychological profiles in their programs. Criminal Minds, Hannibal and Law and Order: Criminal Intent are a few prime examples. If you end up taking my recommendation and giving it a try, there also happens to be a show with the same title that is based on the book, as well as a sequel novel titled The Angel of Darkness, which I haven’t read quite yet. Rumor has it that Caleb Carr has two more books planned, but we’ll see if anything pans out in the next few years.    

That’s all I have for this week’s edition of The Book Club! In the upcoming weeks I hope to recommend a few new horror and thriller novels in time for Halloween, as well as interview some fellow Lawrentians to see what they’ve been reading recently. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you’d like to share some titles you’ve loved, and we’ll make sure to get your voice heard! Until next time, good luck on your studies, and happy reading!