By John Updike
No author captures the feeling of this country the way Updike does. These four novels—my all-time favorite books—follow one man, Rabbit (born Harry Angstrom), from his post-high school years in a blue-collar Pennsylvania city until his death. The result is an amazing history of America, especially what it was like to be an average Joe from the 1950s through the 1980s. If I have any understanding of the 1960s—the years when I was a baby—it's mostly from Rabbit.