1. Columbine by David Cullen- The winter is a time for hunkering down and biting into something hearty. If there is a thing called the “beach novel,” then there should be a corresponding “cabin fever tome.” 2666 comes to mind. As does Infinite Jest. Those are long books, but for me the tome can just be called nonfiction, in general, because rarely can I get through a nonfiction book (Collapse, I’m looking at you).
After being harangued by friends for a solid two years who loved it, I decided to dive into a nonfiction book that took the author nine years to write: Columbine.
It was amazing.I couldn’t put it down. I usually delegate nonfiction to my nighttime reading list (it’s better than tylenol pm and nyquil combined). I took it everywhere for a solid month. On the metro, I would only read it when I was sitting down because I didn’t want people to see the title, fearing the judgment of strangers for reading a book about a decade-ago tragedy. Alone, I would reread sentences to see where Cullen’s voice turned into the killers. He weaves their voice in seamlessly and subtlety to give you the effect of reading their journals.
If I were one to frequent cocktail parties, I would have been the toast of the town. Luckily, my banter about the book was easily avoided by my friends. In noisy bars, they could simply respond, “what I can’t hear you?” after I’d said “I know, it’s crazy, this Maurkice Pouncey being out for the Super Bowl is a great What-if…like in Columbine, you know, when the bombs malfunctioned.”
Anyways, now I’m converted, so this is me saying please read it. Columbine leaves no stone unturned.
2. Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology– If you copy and paste this article into Word, it is 28 pages. That should not stop you. If you ever wanted to know about the underbelly of Scientology, this is done in such a great way and edited superbly going back and forth from Haggis’ experience to the history of Scientology and a bunch of other avenues. The sad and scary part is the end. But I won’t spoil it!