Mary Gordon's Bookshelf
By Louisa May Alcott
Of course I loved it as a girl, because there was Jo, who had a bad temper and loved to write (I could identify). Later I was touched by its serious look at the conflicts between duty and desire. Jo finds both love and work—her beloved professor declares himself to her under an umbrella—a scene that resulted in my spending far too many years venturing out into rainstorms. Reading it again, aloud, with my daughter when she turned 10 was one of the great joys.