8. 'Don't Suck, Don't Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt' by Kristin Hersh
The music made by the late Vic Chesnutt was evocative, haunting and often heartbreaking. Kristin Hersh's book about the singer-songwriter shares all of these qualities. It isn't a traditional biography: Hersh and Chesnutt were frequent tourmates, and the book serves as a document of their lengthy, sometimes fractious friendship. "Warts and all" doesn't really do justice to how Chesnutt is rendered: The version encountered here is unpredictable, occasionally offensive, capable of making stunning art and often infuriating to those around him. It's a book that gives a tremendous sense of what friendship with such a person was like, for good and for bad, and leaves the reader feeling his absence even more once the book has ended. T.C.