Welcome to the first Soda City Reads book selection announcement. I’m finally getting around to debuting this, so I apologize I didn’t get to it at the very beginning of the summer the way I’d planned. I’d still like to choose a book for each season to make this a quarterly feature of the community. Unfortunately, because I’m prone to over-analyzing myself into paralysis, you now have only a month-and-a-half for this selection, which I decided would be Truman Capote’s true crime reconstruction of a murder investigation in 1950s Kansas.
Why a book about a murder investigation for Soda City Reads’ first community reading selection, you ask?
First thing’s first: I am not a light reader. I’m the kind of person who chooses Gertrude Stein’s non-autobiographical biography as my beach read to keep me entertained on vacation. I realize my reading taste probably isn’t conducive to a city-wide community “book club.” However. As the person with the idea and inclination to see it through, I’m going to allow myself to take some liberties.
The greater truth is that I’m going through a true crime phase. Since some friends of mine turned me on to the LA-based podcast, My Favorite Murder, I have been more and more interested in the genre of true crime, so I thought it would be appropriate (if only for me) to go that route.
A couple of weeks ago, I set about scanning my bookshelves for SCR’s debut selection. There was Gone Girl, but literally everyone has read that. So I moved on. There was Katie Crouch’s Abroad—Gone Girl in texture but also conveying supernatural elements with an international twist. Except I wondered that it wasn’t very widely known if that would skew interest levels. And then my eyes flicked over Emma Cline’s 2016 blockbuster debut, The Girls, when I realized all of my nominations were targeting a very specific audience and I wanted to go a little broader. Not to mention, I kept landing on books that had been big hits too recently. I needed a book with a little more literary stamina.
And then my eyes landed on the stalwart spine of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, and I knew I’d found exactly what I was looking for. It was seasoned without being overstated; it was hefty but not so thick it would require the patience of a Game of Thrones loyalist; and it was dark, poetic, historical. It had all of these really great hallmark-ers that could either push this idea in the way of success or completely, irrevocably destroy it.
I decided to take a chance. Am I 100% certain this is the book that could bring Columbia to its knees in literary ecstasy? No…no, I’m not. Though, I do dream of wielding that kind of curative power. Alas, I simply decided to follow the trails of my own genuine interest to see if anyone else found it interesting, too. So if you like true crime, if you like historical works of non-fiction that read like fiction, and if you like me and want to stay friends, then this book is 100% for you, girl. Boy. Whoever you are.
PS: I’ve created a Facebook Group where you can discuss book selections and would LOVE for you to join. It’s a closed group for now, but if more people become interested, I may open it up to the public. Don’t forget, you can also follow on Twitter, Facebook, and of course, Instagram, where it all started. There is also a group on Goodreads where you can keep up with the group’s latest selections, meet other members, and discuss the books if you’re not keen on FB. Don’t worry, I got you. Pretty much everywhere.