A little out-of-the-ordinary for book recommendations on this site, but nonetheless ... This is fiction, of course, being about a genius bear that talks and thinks and plays Coltrane. It won the Pen-Faulkner award in 1997. Don't be put off by the subject -- there's some serious jazz talk in here, and some great descriptive scenes of jams that just can't be beat. But at its heart, this is the story of a great musician who looks at the world straight through his heart. It's got a heavy lesson for any of us who try to recreate parts of ourselves through the bars of songs. Be prepared to have your world shaken.