Laura Linney's Bookshelf
I wasn't a big reader growing up, but something clicked with The Iliad. It's a war story told in 24 chapters of poetry. Some people are intimidated by the book's reputation, but its language cues you emotionally and intellectually. The rhythm of it helps you absorb the material—the alliteration, the onomatopoeia, the way certain words are set against each other. I remember the way daybreak is described: "Now as the Dawn flung out her golden robe across the earth." Gorgeous.