Life in Books: Antonya Nelson

My Five Most Essential Books
1. "Nine Stories" by J. D. Salinger. The first collection of stories I fell in love with, by an author whose influence still feels present.

2. "Collected Stories of Eudora Welty." She's far weirder and more mysterious than many people think.

3. "Collected Stories of William Trevor." Our finest living short-story artist.

4. "A Passage to India" by E. M. Forster. Given a chance to speak with the dead, he'd be my choice. His heart is large and always vividly present in his work.

5. "The Millstone" by Margaret Drabble. A perfect small book. Its simple premise and charming humor always revive my optimism.

A Book to which you always return: "The Member of the Wedding" by Carson McCullers. A deeply felt descent into adolescence. Timeless and painfully beautiful.

A classic you revisited with disappointment: "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë. What I thought was naughty and necessary romance and drama turns out to be more like melodrama.