These are the best books I read this year. The Shadow of the Sun is non-fiction written by Poland's only foreign correspondent during the cold war. This book is a collection of his best stories about Africa from the 1960s all the way through the late 1980s. This man saw a lot in Africa and he writes beautifully.
Absurdistan is a novel about the obese son of a Russian oligarch who is waylaid in the fictional Central Asian republic of Absurdistan as it falls into civil war. If you've been to Iraq or Afghanistan and have a hard time expressing to yourself and others the absurdity of what you witnessed, this book is like a love letter. It's Catch-22 for the last decade. (I love you Gary Shteyngart)
The Dirt is about Motley Crue. I didn't like them until I read this. It turns out that Nikki Six is kind of an American hero. This book is not written by the band members so it is legible but it's filthy enough to make you think they wrote it themselves.