American Gods, Neil Gaiman

Need a literary page-turner this summer? Try Gaiman's 2001 book, now slated to be turned into an HBO series. A man just released from prison falls in with a pack of gods intent on destroying one another; there are coin tricks, road trips, and a woman who rises from the dead. I devoured the book, about 500 pages, in a single day. 

There are many brilliant little turns in American Gods , but one of my favorites was about the art of telling stories itself:

Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.
A life, which is, like any other, unlike any other.