10. Astral Weeks
This book is set in an unconventional place: namely, Boston in 1968, where Van Morrison is hanging out, gearing up to record his masterpiece, Astral Weeks. Elsewhere in Boston, James Brown has quelled a riot following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and a variety of other performers, artists and charlatans circle the zeitgeist. It adds up to an interesting picture of a time and place, and while I’m not sure I’m sold on Boston serving as some spiritual force on Morrison’s album, I am convinced this is an amazing way to tell a slab of history: focus on one year, and one city, and you’re sure to shake out some amazing stories.