The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson is historical non-fiction and is the best of two of my favorite subjects: history and serial killers. (I blame Dateline for this!) I first heard of this book while on an architecture cruise in Chicago with two of my favorite people (Shout out to Ashley and Audra for being the VERY BEST travel partners).
In addition to learning so much about the Chicago skyline and history we also got some pretty impressive sunburns! Anyways, our cruise guide mentioned this book which makes complete sense now because it’s basically the story of the most prolific architects in the late 1800s and Chicago’s quest to get the bid for the World’s Fair. Between chapters about the planning and execution of the fair, we learn about H.H. Holmes, who was a “doctor” and the man responsible for anywhere from 30-200 deaths in and around Chicago during the fair’s run.
I know this book isn’t for everyone, but history buffs will enjoy the trials and tribulations of creating a successful event to rival and surpass The Exposition Universelle in Paris which brought the world the Eiffel tower. (“Out Eiffel-ing Eiffel” was a frequent refrain) It was fascinating to read about the items created specifically for the fair and how many of those are still around today! Those who love true crime will find the saga of Holmes fascinating. Learning how crime was solved before DNA and profiling was used was so interesting to me!
Definitely check this one out if history or true crime is your thing!
Our first Chicago trip in 2015
Chicago 2019 - Strolling along lake Michigan
The Palmer House Hotel Lobby. The Palmer's were a very prominent Chicago family during the world's Fair and this hotel was a gift from Mr. PAlmer to his wife, Bertha.
The Bertha Palmer Brownie. Mrs. Palmer invented a new dessert to debut at the World's Fair. Cracker JAcks were also created for the World's Fair. It was probably the best brownie I have ever had!
Chicago ARCHITECTURE Cruise - This was well worth the cost to me! Learned so much about the city and the iconic buildings. As you can see it was super windy, but the "windy city" nickname came from its full-of-hot-air politicians.