I got a lot of good book tips the last time we had a thread on what we're reading. I'll start it off:
Beloved. Shame on me for never reading this before now. It's blowing me away. I know little about Toni Morrison, but she is so good she's scary. Clearly read a lot of Faulkner (and actually gained from it). How old will I be when I stop discovering stunningly talented writers? Dead, I think.
Love in the Time of Cholera. My fourth attempt, and this time I'm going to make it. Realizing that with Garcia Marquez, practically every paragraph is a story. He's one of the few that I can actually feel trying to influence me when I work on my own book. Back, Gabe, back!
Notable American Women. I can only handle a few pages at a time, but I always come back for more. Surreal and funny and dense.
Uncle Tom's Cabin. Second read-thru (novel research). It does not succeed as art. It's more like propaganda. There are plenty of reasons it's not in the "canon": It's simplistic, preachy, overwrought, not near ugly enough, too authorial, and it really, really needed an editor. And it was the bestselling novel of the 19th Century and ended up changing the country. Is it the last time a novel did that? Hence the research.