Book: Pour Me by A. A. Gill
Why it's a must-read: It's probably not surprising that A. A. Gill is one of my heroes. I devoured his newspaper columns when he was alive and can't get enough of his anthologies of travel writing, often reading them when on the road myself - I don't think anyone describes things quite like he does. I've been meaning to read this exquisitely painful and laceratingly witty memoir for a while - memoir being the operative word, as it's a tale of alcoholism in which many memories have been lost in the abyss of addiction. Beginning in a rehabilitation dormitory with six strangers dying in a last-chance saloon, Gill paints vividly perceptive pictures of the people, places and things he experienced en route - via some hell-raising parties - to recovery in an effervescent portrayal of human strength and fragility.