My Five Most Important Books
1. "Labyrinths" by Jorge Luis Borges. Intelligence and imagination have never been so ecstatically merged.
2. "Collected Stories" by Anton Chekhov. No one writes with as much generosity or understanding of human nature.
3. "Mrs. Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf. Her language and powers of observation are second to none.
4. "Autobiography of Red" by Anne Carson. This epic poem will carve room in your soul for unlikely creatures.
5. "The Emigrants" by W. G. Sebald. It questions what we think we know and how history gets made.
A book you always return to: Juan Rulfo's "Pedro Paramo" grows more mysterious and miraculous with each reading, and reminds me the dead continue to live among us.
A book you hope parents will read to their kids: Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer's "The Phantom Tollbooth." I missed this as a kid but read it to my daughter some years ago. We were both hooked.