H.A. Kerr, on 07 February 2013 - 09:28 PM, said:
Back in HS/college, I loooooved stuff like Band of Brothers and anything else WW2. I plowed through lots of serials like Stephen King and Cussler and Ludlam but started to feel like I was just reading movies.
I then tried a decent bit of auto/biography, but it's all is such non-truths (I even read "It's Not About the Bike"!), that i came to prefer mostly just straight fiction.
Chuck Palahniuk. More raw than cheese-grating your hamburger dinner off the side of a live cow. Read 'em all. Everything. The guy can't lose. I don't care if you saw Fight Club. READ Fight Club. And Beautiful Monster. And Rant.
As Jeff said, Chuck Klosterman is a master class in pop culture. I've read everything. ("Invisible Man" was a great foray into fiction for him. Really tight.)
David Foster Wallace = my favorite author of all time. He's like the Crossfit of reading. I feel stupid as I slog through reading him, and smart afterward for feeling like I actually plucked meanings out of one sentence longer than most authors would craft five paragraphs. I agree with the poster above that his essay books ("'Lobster") are probably the easiest to get into, and damn fine, but the legendary "Infinite Jest" is just ... well ... totally worth the incredible effort. "Broom of the System" is a great easier-to-digest novel. Halfway through "Pale King" now.
Since DFW is gone, I'd anoint George Saunders as one of the finest American fiction writers going. No peers. "In Persuasion Nation" is one of the best essay comps I've ever read.
I subscribe to McSweeny's Quarterly Concern (as well as The Believer), and have piles of short fiction and essays and random stuff just waiting to read at all times.
"Truck, a Love Story" by Michael Perry is one of my favorite one-offs (never read anything else by him). A rich story built around the singular task of restoring a truck.
For non-fiction, I veer less toward history and more toward documentary.
Studs Terkel might have most closely achieved putting the American experience—within a certain time frame—on paper. Not really culturally relevant to today, but still relevant as stories about human beings.
"Please Kill Me" and a whole host of other Ramones/Lou Reed/various other NY music scene books line a good portion of my shelves. Always good to wish I was a teen in the late 70s.
A good dose of graphic novels by folks like Chris Ware, Harvey Pekar, Lars Martenson, etc thrown in (plus, I have all the Tin Tin comics ever published).
And finally, I'd just say David Eggers is flat-out incredible. "Zeitoun", a true story about a family caught in the midst of Katrina, should be required reading for ... well, everybody. So good.
Reading everyone else's lists is really awesome. There are certainly different types of readers, and it's fun to see a few things you have in common and then look into the other stuff those folks have listed.
The Broom of the System is amazing!!! Love Vlad the Impaler!!! You and I have similar tastes. I love Klosterman's Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. There is a story in there about a Guns N Roses tribute band that killed me.
I love anything by Vonnegut, Bukowski, Larry McMurtry, Jonathan Ames and John Niven.
Wake up, sir! by Jonathan Ames is incredible.
Kill Your Friends by John Niven is great. He also has a golf book called the Amateurs that is pretty good too.
You can't go wrong with Vonnegut, but my favorites are Breakfast of Champions and Hocus Pocus.
Any of the semi autobiographical Bukowski books (Ham on Rye, Women, Factotum, and Post Office) are amazing.
Larry McMurtry's All My friends are going to be strangers is awesome. My favorite by him is Leaving Cheyenne.
If you are into sports you should read A Fan's Notes by Frederick Exley and North Dallas Forty by Peter Gent.
I am currently reading Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer by Chris Salewicz.
Usually the only non fiction I read is about sports or music.
Edited by billyhandsomeface, 21 March 2013 - 10:07 PM.