A Drinking Life, by Pete Hamil: If I were teaching this month, I’d be holding up this memoir to the class and saying This is what it’s all about- look no further for the kind and grace and beauty every memoirist strives for. The book is wonderfully detailed, evocative and searingly honest. I’ve also never read such a sophisticated examination of the addict’s life. He really looks at the drinking life of his generation and scrutinizes alcohol’s gifts and curses, and how a hard drinker is made, not born. The making is day by day, event by event; it does not happen overnight. It’s like the whole apple of addiction’s course, not just a slice. Fascinating. And did I mention the writing is a dream?