By J.D. Salinger
I love short stories because you get to know the characters in them really fast and really intimately. It's like riding the subway—you've got just a moment with these people, but you see a little bit of their lives. Seven of the stories in this collection were first published in The New Yorker. Though very different in their plots, they share an underlying subject: love. My favorite is "The Laughing Man." Salinger does an amazing job of building a children's story within a story of an adult's heartache.