The Great Gatsby
By F. Scott Fitzgerald (Scribner Classics)
Everyone's favorite, and for good reason. Itâ€™s as close to the perfect novel — and to the Great American Novel — as anyone has ever written.
Eleven Kinds of Loneliness
By Richard Yates (Vintage Books)
The situations in these stories might seem a bit dated, but there's no diminution in their emotional impact. Yates remains the master of the humiliating moment. True squirmies.
The Stories of John Cheever
By John Cheever (Vintage Books)
I think reading this book made me want to write short stories. They're lyrical, majestic, ironic, and even when cloaked in satire, they sing with the small joys of living.