In the Salt Lake City airport I ran into someone I went to high school with, reading The Things the Carried, by Tim O'Brien. It was loaned to him by a high school English teacher who had six copies. This book was highly recommended by the reader in the 10/17 post who said that, although he never reads books twice, it was one to read again.

Next on his list is Hemmingway's The Sun Also Rises, in preparation for a trip to Pamplona. He's determined to go to the Running of the Bulls this year. He's tried in the past, but life gets in the way--his travel partners keep getting married.

His favorite book of all time is The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. He can't forget the scene at the end of chapter 1 (or 2), where Gatsby is reaching out towards an imaginary something (someone, you later learn), as if that's all that he wants. Gatsby has shaped his whole life around a dream and that is so intense.

A few years ago he and his girlfriend at the time had traded their favorite books. She gave him Bulgakov's Master and Margarita and he gave her The Great Gatsby. It confirmed to him that she was loopy and confirmed to her that he was idealistic. They later broke up and, long afterwards, while he was living in the Bay Area and she was living in New York, she text messaged him in the middle of the night and ensued a text-message argument about what was so great about The Great Gatsby.