American Gods – Neil Gaiman (the author’s preferred text). This is a fascinating book about America, an imaginative fantasy with old gods and new gods and their conflict. How can you not love a book with a central character named Shadow? Gaiman’s writing reminded me of Stephen King’s The Stand (this is meant to be a compliment). Gaiman readily acknowledges that reaction to this book has been mixed: some readers love the book and some hate it! Mark me down in the “loved the book” camp.