Books and Bars producer and emcee Jeff Kamin has been our partner in reading for nearly 10 years. We asked Jeff to recommend a few of his favorite reads--it was a cruel request to limit him to a few--which are now on display in the store. Jeff's picks are smart, funny, and colorful, just like the man himself. And if your spidey-sense is tingling, that's because Jeff also tapped into his love for comics and graphic novels as part of his recommendations.
Spider Man: Blue, by Jeph Loeb (Author) and Tim Sale (Illustrator). These are two of the best Spidey stories. Once you start the JMS series, see it through to the end of his run as writer and JR JR as artist. It's a darker, more grounded Spider-Man and a wiser older Peter Parker. He's married to MJ, and a high school teacher, just a an all around very rewarding read for any long time fan of the heroic myth of the greatest Marvel.
Moon Palace by Paul Auster
This is the one that made me read everything I could by Auster. Ironically enough, I think Charles Moondance of Moondance Books in Los Angeles first recommended it to me.
The Cider House Rules by John Irving
Toss up between this one and Owen Meany, but again, solidified an author's standing in my mind.. I saw a two night, 6 hour play version of the book. Not only is the book better than the movie, but the play is better than the movie, too.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
You can tell I like comics, right? Chabon's masterpiece tribute to the form.
The Brothers K by David James Duncan
Baseball, brothers, the letter K. A big American novel about baseball, Vietnam, faith and family, with a side of Russian dressing.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Hilarious high point of an amazing career. Don't fuck with the Rooster. The only thing better than reading Sedaris is listening to him read it to you. Get the audio book.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
The queen of comedy.
Birds of America by Lorrie Moore
Nick Hornby's biggest inspiration.
In the Woods by Tana French
I don't read enough mysteries. French makes me want to read more.
The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
Why did I wait so long to read our local treasue? I loved The Round House and immediately read this one and will read more.
Jeff Kamin is the Senior Producer of Performance Programs at Minnesota Public Radio and an emcee and trivia host. Jeff has also been doing Books & Bars for 9 years, prior to that he was an improvisational comedian in Los Angeles and worked for Jersey Films and Danny DeVito. @jefe23: Twitter