I’m a huge fan of stories within stories, especially those with a surrealistic twist. Centuries of June deliver this and more. Jack, our unreliable narrator, hits his head in his bathroom and begins what seems like an elaborate series of hallucinations involving an ever-evolving character of an old man and either women, each with a fantastic tale to tell. Their stories are richly-imagined historical narratives whose distinctive voices are woven into the larger story arc. Ultimately, it dawns on us that whatever is truly happening to Jack is much bigger than a mere brain shakeup.
This book is part travel memoir, part graphic novel, part photo collection and all fascinating. Knisley chronicles her six-week vacation in Paris with her mother, who is about to turn fifty. Her account is at once amusing, quirky and profound. This is an utterly charming read for any variety of reasons. Just pick it up and flip through it. You'll be immediately captivated.
What can you say about Chuck Klosterman? The man's grasp of American pop culture in every area is second to none and his accountings in anything from music to sports are well written, engaging and side-splitting. While I usually pick Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs as the gateway to Klosterman's deliciously delightful brain, KILLING YOURSELF TO LIVE is so ridiculously ambitious (a fact he both knows and revels in) that you'll find yourself unable to put the book down as you follow him from New York City to North Dakota and back again, where he visits the sites of various musicians' deaths, painting a brilliant portrait of the people of middle America and the music they love.