Cocktail Chatter: LA Times Critic Chooses the Best Books You Should be Reading

Susan Sermoneta

Los Angeles Times book critic David L. Ulin knows a few things about books–which is why we loved this article in The Week magazine, where Ulin chose some of his favorites.

Stop-Time by Frank Conroy: “Published in 1967, Conroy’s coming-of-age narrative predates the modern memoir mania by 30 years, and remains essentially unsurpassed. Moving between adult reflections and recollections of childhood, it is, in many ways, an inquiry into memory, identity, and the fragility of our constructed selves.”

Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion: “Reporting from the front lines of the 1960s, Didion highlights fragmentation and the loss of the narrative, which 40 years later, remain our prevailing cultural dislocation. Cogent, piercing, ruthless, the essays in this book are models of the form.”

Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson: “Johnson may be the best American writer now working, a pilgrim of consciousness in a world of distraction, and this collection of linked short stories is his masterpiece.”

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