Tom Robbins’ Jitterbug Perfume takes the reader on a fantastical journey through time and space. Just in case the object of your affections isn’t getting the hint, though, try highlighting, dog-earing and memorizing this line: “The highest function of love is that it makes the loved one a unique and irreplaceable being.” Still not coming through? Spell it out in magnetic poetry.
THE MUSIC LOVER
Steer clear of the admittedly fantastic Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil—it’s old news to music fanatics—and tuck a copy of Clinton Heylin’s From The Velvets to the Voidoids, which covers similar territory, under your arm. In case you need a crash course on all things cool and unknown, read Lester Bang’s Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, which is both a great way to find out about some fantastic overlooked music and the potential instigation for a heated argument about punk rock vs. garage rock. Be prepared for fireworks.
Clockwise from top: No Cheering In The Press Box, Please Kill Me and The Secret of Evil
You know the type: scruffy face, vintage clothes, rides a fixie. Yeah, that dude. Never apologize, never explain, as they say: Just get him to talk to you with Roberto Bolaño’s The Secret of Evil, which collects the various short pieces this passionate Latin American writer was working on before his death in 2003. Be prepared for your amante to argue that The Savage Detectives was Bolaño’s best work; discuss over cheap rioja.
THE SPORTS GUY
Pick up No Cheering In The Press Box, edited by Jerome Holtzman—it’s the holy grail of sports journalism. You don’t even have to read the thing—its mere presence in your bag, back pocket, or virtually anywhere else should be enough to score you box seats for two for the next big game—at which point we suggest throwing out the rulebook.