U & I by Nicholson BakerRead about another book on the list.
The "U" in the title is John Updike, whose talent obsesses Baker: How does his own stack up in comparison? A grandiloquent goofball, Baker can't stop fretting about his literary reputation, his psoriasis (an affliction he's proud to share with Updike), and why Updike invited writer Tim O'Brien to go golfing instead of him. His ambitions, insecurities, and pettiness are cringe-making, but also, in a weird way, magnificent.
U and I is one of Rebecca Mead's top 10 books about reading.