As readers and booksellers, we're always delighted when a book affects us in one overarching way, but when it does so in three or four ways it's something to behold. Life, on the Line (Gotham, Mar.) pinned me to my chair. Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas's book is intense, what I can only think of as the literary equivalent of Grant's food—surprising and unique. First, there's his journey to becoming the world-class chef he is, in its many fascinating ways, along with his love affair with flavor. Then there's the rich, enveloping friendship between Grant and his business partner, Nick, a friendship which he notes saves his life. Last is his cancer journey, as harrowing an experience as one could scarcely imagine, particularly as it's tongue cancer that afflicts this young chef, with cruel irony. Ultimately, the book is a candid testament to a phenomenal creative drive joined with a phenomenal will to live. This Life is stunning.