Caroline Leavitt, JONATHAN DURBIN, and FRANCINE PROSE
October 23, 2006 12:00 PM

Nonfiction

John Grisham shares titles of books on real-life dramas that he devoured while crafting his latest; we supply the plotlines.

A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr Harr chronicles the ’82 trial in which families of small-town leukemia victims take on corporations for polluting their water with carcinogens.

Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides Kit Carson is the fulcrum of this grand-scale history of the American West, which examines the brutalizing of the Navajos.

Seaworthy by T.R. Pearson William Willis sails across the Pacific with only a cat and a parrot, and Pearson tells the (true) tale.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote This classic about the grisly murders of a Kansas family in 1959 has inspired at least three movies.

My Losing Season by Pat Conroy Conroy captures jock culture in his memoir about his 1966-67 stint on The Citadel’s basketball squad.

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