Tom Holt: The Portable Door
A good introduction to a writer who also wrote a wonderful book about Snow White and the Seven Samurai. Not quite as wonderful as Terry Pratchett, but in the same class and almost as prolific. Bet you can't read just one.
Jane and Michael Stern: Two for the Road
I still have my first edition, much stained and dog-eared, of the Sterns' 1975 classic Roadfood but now I'm happy to share my affection for my heroes with their growing audience of readers and fellow travelers at www.roadfood.com. This memoir with recipes is great fun and inspirational too, as in the classic chapter What Would Jesus Eat?
Joe Jackson: a cure for gravity
Joe Jackson is smart, a great writer, and insightful about his life leading up to success in music. Growing up in Portsmouth, going to musical college, playing for drunks, traveling in grotty vans; Jackson paid his dues and here's the proof.
The Vesuvius Club
A naughty pleasure, a James Bond movie written by Oscar Wilde, a shocking example of loose morals in Edwardian England. Lucifer Box is a painter/secret agent whose service to the Crown takes him on wild, pulse-quickening adventures. More please!
Tony Hawks: Round Ireland with a Fridge
It's about just what the title says. A very funny man made a very drunk bet and found himself having to hitch-hike around Ireland with a (small) refrigerator. Mayhem ensues. All Ireland rallies to his cause, well, not all Ireland...
This great novel is, in part, about one of my favorite subjects, crabs. It's also about a search for identity in the 1970s, and it's written by my cousin, OK? Buy this book and find out something you didn't know about Alaska.
Norman Lindsay: The Magic Pudding
Noman Lindsay was a great Australian artist, writer and free thinker. His children's classic is virtually unknown in the U.S. Fun fact: The movie Sirens with Elle McPherson is about Lindsay, and for a fleeting second a toy Puddin' appears on screen. I'm surely the only man in America who went to see that movie to catch a glimpse of a stuffed toy.
Kinky Friedman: A Case of Lone Star
In his first career, Kinky Friedman led a band called the Texas Jewboys and recorded classics like "They don't make Jews like Jesus anymore." Much sex, drugs and rock and roll later, Kinky started writing comic detective novels starring himself and populated with real people and events. I'm stealing his formula for my novel, Murder in the Propaganda Factory, but my hat's off to the Kinkster. News Flash: Kinky's hat is finally in the ring --he's a candidate for Texas Governor. More at www.kinkyfriedman.com!!
Jasper Fforde: The Eyre Affair: A Novel
In another 1985, in the London suburb of Croydon, lliterary detective Thursday Next is after arch-villain Archeron Hades, who's been kidnapping characters like Jane Eyre and threatening to undo great fiction. Are the (five so far) Thursday Next novels the funniest, most interesting and intelligent series of books now being written? With all apologies to Terry Pratchett (a close #2), I'd have to say yes.