Chuck Klosterman Picks Five Favorite Books

Novelist and writer Chuck Klosterman picks out five books that have made it to his all-time-great list—from Janet Malcolm’s evisceration of a murder case to the Spin guide to records. Klosterman’s new novel The Visible Man is out now.

The Journalist and the MurdererBy Janet Malcolm

In the span of just 176 pages, Malcolm raises and obliterates almost every question I’ve ever had about the meaning (and reality) of interviewing. Incredibly efficient writing—not one sentence is wasted.

Preston FallsBy David Gates

I’d loved Gates’s brilliant first novel (Jernigan) because it was so grim. Then I read this one, which makes his first book seem like Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. The author’s darkness has no bottom.

MVPBy James Boice

This is a roman à clef about Kobe Bryant. In 50 years, somebody is going to stumble across this novel and be blown away—and not just by the writing (which is excellent), but by the fact that it was published in 2007.

Them: Adventures With ExtremistsBy Jon Ronson

Every time someone asks me to list books I like, I always end up mentioning Them. If you like weird people, read this. In fact, read everything Jon Ronson has ever written, and also watch his documentaries (most notably Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes).

Spin Alternative Record Guide

I fear this might be out of print, but it’s probably my favorite music book of all time. Since its 1995 publication, I doubt a year has passed when I didn’t reread at least part of it.