That Absolute Must-Read Book

My most popular, most viewed, and most commented post is Unwanted Reading Recommendations: Borrowing, Returning, and Remembering Books.  It is my complaint about people recommending books to me or giving me books to read that I’m not interested in or that I know I won’t like.  Since I started this blog, I tend to get more of these recommendations—from strangers!  I’ve learned to say “no” in a nice way.  It is usually something like: “That book sounds interesting, but it just isn’t my thing.  Sorry!”

But today, I want to encourage you to recommend books, to me and to everybody else who may see or comment on this post.  We are all readers, and I suspect that we all want to know about other good books.

My purpose in this is selfish: I want to know about those classics or page-turners that must not be missed but that I have somehow been unaware of.  I want to know the ONE book you think everybody should read and the reason why.  Please post it below.

And since we are giving recommendations, I will share with you the ONE book that I believe is a must-read.  It is the book I often toss out as a good recommendation when friends approach me and ask.  Sometimes they take me up on it and read it.  Other times, they don’t even try.  And still other times they do try and abandon it.  Perhaps it isn’t for everybody, but in my opinion it is an American masterpiece and should not be missed.  It is beautifully written, perfectly plotted, and often not a familiar title.  It also explores family, marriage, culture, youth, age, and that truly American theme of settling the west.

Angle of repose cover
It is Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose.

What ONE book do you think everybody should read and why?