I know I said I wasn’t going to rank these but this may well be my favorite book of all time. My copy is a battered, dog-earred, notes in the margins, coffee stained wreck… and I adore every single page, line, and syllable of it.
Charles Baxter writes about the interconnected lives of a handful of modern Midwesterners and their experiences in all the various permutations of love. He paints a vivid picture with a simple but beautiful prose style that pulls my heart and mind every time I read it.
Now, some of you may be tempted to cheat by going out to rent the movie based in this novel. DON’T. Hollywood has stripped all if the magic out of it. Be a good book loved and READ it. Now.
Bonus: This book is actually one of only two books on this list that I was inspired to pick up after seeing the cover. I love the cover on this one as much as the contents!