5. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote. This has been on my want-to-read list for a couple of years now. We see novelized nonfiction on a fairly regular basis now, but from what I understand this book was groundbreaking for its time. Capote's narration of the murder of the prominent Clutter family, and the arrest, trial and execution are meticulously told. What comes out is a chilling portrait of two men - Dick Hickock and Perry Smith - who planned the murder of the family for money. The reason is chilling enough, but the cold calculation and utter lack of remorse, especially from Hickock, will make your skin crawl. The book also captures the scene of the town- the day of the murders, and the comparative aftermath, when once neighbors started casting suspicious eyes at each other before the culprits were caught. What was striking to me is just how different 1959 was, compared to today. Capote's book is not just a story about a brutal murder, but a time capsule. For example, this was a widely publicized case back then- but it was not national news. Today, something like this would probably be international news. It was much easier to disappear back then; indeed, half of the reason why Hickock and Smith were caught was because they were stupid and overconfident. Also have to give credit to the dogged police work as well; they had little to work with initially, and nothing like the internet or any easy means to get word out nation-wide.
Currently reading: Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris.