The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
By Erik Larson
Why this book?
Any book by Larson would be a fit for this list, but I’ll stick with the one that brought me to the ball in the first place. When I first read Devil in the White City, I was blown away by how Larson is capable of taking an absolute mountain of dry research and shaping it into a page-turner that reads like the best fictive thriller. Larson so deftly recreates the past, you’ll begin to feel like you’re experiencing the sights and sounds of turn-of-the-century Chicago all around you. Even if only a fraction of the literary lessons rub off on you, your work will be better for it.
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