It’s Wednesday — historically my toughest day. It’s possible I’m alone in this, or at least in the minority. I think many people struggle with Mondays, but not me. I feel good most Mondays. In fact, I feel downright optimistic as I’m catching the train first thing in the morning, headphones in place, coffee and book in hand. By Wednesday, however, the optimism and vitality have begun to fade. They’ve given way to anxiousness, a feeling that I’m not being productive enough outside of work. This is why I’m a big proponent of the two-day work week.
But… this blog is dedicated to positive expression. Something we all need, and something I need today especially. So, in the spirit of lifting spirits (my own, and hopefully yours), I will have a weekly Wednesday post featuring new books or soon-to-be-released books that I can’t wait to read.
Today on that bright horizon is a book released just yesterday: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara. The subtitle of this book is: “One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer.” Michelle was a journalist whose life’s work was investigating an elusive serial killer who raped and killed women in California for over a decade. He was never caught.
I’ve been a fan of murder mysteries, thrillers, and horror novels for most of my life. But somehow I never read much true crime until recently. There’s something fascinating about the genre, and admirable about those who write it. McNamara’s book has been described as a masterpiece. It’s also been described as a glimpse into the mind of a woman obsessed. I can never resist learning about the kinds of people who found their true calling in life and followed it wholeheartedly, even if it meant going to a dark and difficult place on a daily basis.
There is tragedy behind this book, and its author, if you don’t already know the story. Michelle McNamara died suddenly in 2016, before she was able to finish her book. It was finished by a friend and fellow researcher, and her loving husband. (If you haven’t seen it, and you’re a comedy fan, I highly recommend Patton Oswalt’s stand up special on Netflix: Annihilation. It’s one of the best stand-ups I’ve ever seen, and he tells some beautiful, if heartbreaking, stories about his late wife.)
I think the wonderful thing about true crime researchers and writers is that, when it’s done well, they help give answers and closure to victims’ families. I hope that the book’s success will also give Michelle’s family comfort in knowing that her life’s work will not go unnoticed, or unappreciated.
Patton Oswalt will be touring to discuss his wife’s book next week (today through the eighth) in: Brookline MA, Naperville IL, Beverly Hills CA, Portland OR, Seattle WA, and San Francisco, CA. For those of you who are close, and are planning to go, I’m so jealous!
Are you a reader of true crime books, and if so, what’s your favorite? What book releases are you looking forward to today?
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
By: Michelle McNamara
With and introduction by Gillian Flynn, and afterword by Patton Oswalt
Published: Published February 27th 2018 by Harper
ISBN 0062319809 (ISBN13: 9780062319807)