3.5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Archeology · biography · Book Reviews · history · science · sociology

New Release | The Curse of Oak Island: The Story of the World’s Longest Treasure Hunt by Randall Sullivan

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The Curse of Oak Island: The Story of the World’s Longest Treasure Hunt by Randall Sullivan 

Published: December 11, 2018

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

Pages: 396

Genres: non fiction, history, archeology, biography 

Rating: 3.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: history mysteries that are unsolved, conspiracy theories and legends

Foodie Vibes: fish and coconuts 

 

Synopsis: 

In 1795, a teenager discovered a mysterious circular depression in the ground on Oak Island, in Nova Scotia, Canada, and ignited rumors of buried treasure. Early excavators uncovered a clay-lined shaft containing layers of soil interspersed with wooden platforms, but when they reached a depth of ninety feet, water poured into the shaft and made further digging impossible.

Since then the mystery of Oak Island’s “Money Pit” has enthralled generations of treasure hunters, including a Boston insurance salesman whose obsession ruined him; young Franklin Delano Roosevelt; and film star Errol Flynn. Perplexing discoveries have ignited explorers’ imaginations: a flat stone inscribed in code; a flood tunnel draining from a man-made beach; a torn scrap of parchment; stone markers forming a huge cross. Swaths of the island were bulldozed looking for answers; excavation attempts have claimed two lives. Theories abound as to what’s hidden on Oak Island—pirates’ treasure, Marie Antoinette’s lost jewels, the Holy Grail, proof that Sir Francis Bacon was the true author of Shakespeare’s plays—yet to this day, the Money Pit remains an enigma.

The Curse of Oak Island is a fascinating account of the strange, rich history of the island and the intrepid treasure hunters who have driven themselves to financial ruin, psychotic breakdowns, and even death in pursuit of answers. And as Michigan brothers Marty and Rick Lagina become the latest to attempt to solve the mystery, as documented on the History Channel’s television show The Curse of Oak Island, Sullivan takes readers along to follow their quest firsthand.

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Atlantic Monthly Press and Randall Sullivan for an ARC ebook copy to review. Sorry for the bit of a late review. I was out of power for 3 days due to a winter storm and am a little late on my book reviews. As always, an honest review from me. 

The intrigue is definitely there for a lot of people. The book made me see why so many people get caught up in searching for a treasure they’re not even sure exists. The book goes into great detail about the history of the island and people throughout the ages. You will definitely learn a lot. It’s very detail oriented. I was more interested in the brief overview of the more exciting aspects, so it was a bit much for me. I absolutely loved learning about the conspiracy theories and different cultures that could possibly tie into it. A unique way to learn about atypical parts of history such as the Acadians, Templar Knights and U.S. Presidential ties to the Money Pit. Also the creepy factor was fun to read, but would freak me out in real life. Also the book is a companion to the tv show. 

There weren’t too many downsides to the book. It is jam packed with names, dates, and events so there’s a lot to remember. I read maybe 30-50 pages per day, because any more was too much information at once. So, not a quick read. 

Overall, The Curse of Oak Island is filled with all sorts of information about the legend and history surrounding the Money Pit. Informative, incredibly intriguing, and creepy. I definitely recommend if you’re looking for an all encompassing read about the topic. 

 

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Do you believe some, none or all of the conspiracy theories that you’ve heard about?

 

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4.5 Star Books · biography · Book Reviews · True Crime

The Crate: A Story of War, Murder and Justice by Deborah Vadas Levison

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The Crate: A Story of War, Murder and Justice by Deborah Vadas Levison

Published: May 11, 2018

Publisher: WildBlue Press

Pages: 358

Genres: true crime, biography

Rating: 4.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: true crime, books that honor and tell the stories of Holocaust survivors, justice being done, anyone with a conscience 

Read with food: a homemade Hungarian dish to appreciate the author’s roots . . . which I recently found out that the author has listed on her website! So cool! Hungarian Recipes

 

Synopsis:

After surviving the horrors of the Holocaust – in ghettos, on death marches, and in concentration camps – a young couple seeks refuge in Canada. They settle into a new life, certain that the terrors of their past are behind them. They build themselves a cozy little cottage on a lake in Muskoka, a cottage that becomes emblematic of their victory over the Nazis. The charming retreat is a safe haven, a refuge from haunted memories.

That is, until a single act of unspeakable violence defiles their sanctuary. Poking around the dark crawl space beneath their cottage, they discover a wooden crate, nailed tightly shut and almost hidden from view. Nothing could have prepared them for the horror of the crate’s contents – or how the peace and tranquility of their lives would be shattered.

Now, their daughter, Deborah Vadas Levison, an award-winning journalist, tells the extraordinary account of her parents’ ordeals, both in one of the darkest times in world history and their present-day lives. Written in searing, lyrical prose, THE CRATE: A Story Of War, A Murder, And Justice examines man’s seemingly limitless capacity for evil… but also, his capacity for good.

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for a copy of the book. As always an honest review.

I cannot say enough wonderful things about the book. I’ve already recommended it to people, even before I had finished reading it. I will try my best to do the book and the people the justice it deserves in my review.

From the beginning I was blown away by the gorgeous poetic writing. I was captivated from beginning to end, as the author tells the story of her parents’ survival of the Holocaust, move to Canada, and eventual discovery of a woman murdered on their cottage property. The Crate is more than just the telling of crimes across history and their impact on people. It’s so impactful it’s almost intangible.

The author shares with us the stories of her childhood growing up in Canada with Jewish Hungarian parents who had survived the Holocaust. Through their stories we get a first hand look at the atrocities committed during the war, the strength of survivors, and effects these experiences had on their lives and their children’s lives. Her appreciation of her parents and their experiences is wonderful. She’s doing them a great justice by putting their stories down on paper. It is absolutely important that these stories, these individual human experiences are shared with the world before they are lost forever.

The book also tells the story of Samantha, the woman who was murdered and body was found hidden under the family’s cottage. The author related Samantha’s life experiences to some of the atrocities her parents experienced. After all, they’re all just human beings. The book honors Samantha’s memory. The chapters about Samantha didn’t pull me in as much as the rest. Possible because while they’re well researched, some aspects are not the author’s personal life experiences.

The book is incredibly insightful and does a great justice by telling the stories of her parents, the other Jewish people in the Holocaust, Samantha, and her family.
It shows humanity at its best and at its worst.
The Crate by Deborah Vadas Levison is on my unofficial must read book list of the year.

 

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