JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

My favorite non-sports books …

Was recently asked by someone to list my all-time favorite non-sports books. This is completely off the top of my head, because it’s impossible to remember all this stuff from 30-plus years of reading. But …

1. The Autobiography of Malcom X: I’m currently reading Manning Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, which is fantastic and calls much of Autobiography’s content into question. But I read the original when I was 18, young, naive, sheltered. It blew my mind—and still does.

2. The Things They Carried: Tom O’Brien’s classic Nam text. Just beautiful, 1,000 times over.

3. Confederates in the Attic: Tony Horwitz’s look at Civil War reenactors is so engrossing, so well-written, so … everything. Bliss.

4. Sons of Mississippi: I discovered this one while researching Sweetness, and I couldn’t put it down. Paul Hendrickson takes a photo of a bunch of racist law enforcement officials, tracks them down four decades later, finds out who they were, what makes them tick, etc.

5. In Cold Blood: I mean, what’s to say? Perfect in all ways. Reporting. Writing. Voice. Timing. Perfect.