12 perfect nonfiction stories, coming to an airport near you

David Grann writes about real people whose stories are almost too weird to be true. His first book, The Lost City of Z, was an absurdly compelling best-seller (and early VSL pick); Brad Pitt’s production company optioned it while the ink was still wet. But the follow-up, The Devil & Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession (just out in paperback), is just as hard to put down.

You’ll meet a French con artist who passes himself off as a missing American teenager; a Sherlock Holmes fanatic the circumstances of whose death resemble nothing so much as an Arthur Conan Doyle story; and a marine biologist whose life becomes an Ahab-like quest for the elusive giant squid. There are a dozen such stories: Most appeared in The New Yorker, where Grann is a staff writer, and all of them are nail-biters.

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.

12 perfect nonfiction stories, coming to an airport near you