Nonfiction Mini Review: The Burning & Last Call



THE BURNING by Tim Madigan:

On the morning of June 1, 1921, a white mob numbering in the thousands marched across the railroad tracks dividing black from white Tulsa, Oklahoma, and obliterated a black community then celebrated as one of America’s most prosperous. 34 square blocks of Tulsa’s Greenwood community, known then as the Negro Wall Street of America, were reduced to smoldering rubble.

Like many Americans, I was not taught about the Tulsa Race Riot in school and didn’t learn about this massacre until recent years. Tim Madigan has put together a collection of historical information and interviews within THE BURNING that brings to life what happened on that June day in 1921. This is a subject that should be taught in all schools. If you’re looking to learn more about the history of hate and inequality through this tragic event, I believe THE BURNING is a good place to start. The information is accessible and will leave a lasting reminder about tragedy and racism in our country. 4 ⭐️!

LAST CALL by Elon Green:

The Last Call Killer preyed upon gay men in New York City in the 1980’s and 1990’s and has all of the hallmarks of a notorious serial killer, yet the name is likely unknown to you. The sexuality of his victims, skyhigh murder rates, and the AIDS epidemic have left these murders and the victims nearly forgotten. 

I always appreciate when true crime stories take the time to honor the victims over glorifying the killer, which is exactly what Elon Green does within the pages of LAST CALL. Backstories of the victims are discussed, as well as life for queer people living in New York City at this time. I felt every bit of the investigation unfolding while reading this book and while at times it did get a bit dry, I was fully invested in the ending. 4 ⭐️!

THE BURNING: Amazon Book Depository

LAST CALL: Amazon Book Depository

Disclosure: A huge thank you to Celadon Books for sending me a free copy of LAST CALL in exchange for my honest review.

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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