To celebrate the holidays we asked some of our favorite people in publishing what their favorite book was. Let us know in the comments what your favorite book is and be sure to check back throughout the week for more “favorites”.
Bethany Heitman is an Associate Editor at Cosmopolitan Magazine.
I first read Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood about ten years ago. I’ve since reread it about a half dozen times. The true story of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith and how they brutally murdered a family in Kansas is chilling enough on its own. But it’s the brilliant and revolutionary way in which Capote pens this tale that makes it my favorite. It’s a non-fiction book written in the style of literature. Capote spent so much time befriending Hickock and Smith when they were on trial, that he’s able to give the reader a look inside the minds of killers. By the time you close the book you’re left with a million questions— from how these men could have killed for no reason to how you could actually be sympathizing with them to whether or not it was ethical of Capote, as a journalist, to befriend the very subjects he was writing about. I’ve never been able to fully answer these questions and still think about them all the time, which I think is exactly what Capote wanted. Because as long as there are questions, his book will stick in the readers mind.