David Ferrell is a Pulitzer Prizewinning staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. His first novel, Screwball (William Morrow & Co., $24), a black comedy about baseball, is out this month.
Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow (Warner Books, $8). No suspense thriller is better than this one. A prosecutor finds himself suspected of murdering his former mistress and colleague. Wonderful writing and this chilling moment: When he examines a picture of the deceased, he feels a rising bubble of satisfaction.
One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey (New American Library, $7). Keseys genius is not only knowing the rules but how to break them. His prose in this classic reaches levels of sophistication that few writers can touch. That its told from the point of view of a mute, insane, hulking American Indian is the literary coup de grace.
The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn (HarperCollins, $15). With more than a few lines on the transpontine madness, Kahn lyrically celebrates the old Brooklyn Dodgers and his own coming of age as a young sportswriter.
The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav (Bantam Books, $8). Inspired by discussions at Esalen, in Big Sur, Calif., this nonfiction look at the nature of reality is an intellectual feast. It fuses New Age philosophy with cutting-edge physics to show us that the universe is far more complex than we imagine.
The Sporting World of Jim Murray by Jim Murray (out of print). I read this hilarious collection of columns at least 11 times while growing up, long before Murrays Pulitzer Prize. One-liners are scorched into my memory. On the Indy 500, for example, he groused that drivers go 200 mph on a straightaway so they can go 15 mph in a hearse.
House of Leaves