Ann Patchett's Bookshelf
By Thomas Mann
Hefty German literature that is well worth your time. Hans Castorp goes to visit his cousin in a sanatorium and winds up staying for years. If the story seems a little slow at first, believe me, it is, but therein lies the beauty. The Magic Mountain is the perfect cure for too much television and a life that is pulled in a million directions. It will teach you the pleasures of staying still and concentrating deeply on the smallest moments of life, as those turn out to be the moments that yield the greatest revelations. I so wish I had written this book.