I love some of Gwyneth Paltrow's literary picks (or rather, the picks of her friends) http://goop.com/newsletter/18 . . .
Anna Karenina . . . I read this so many years ago . . . maybe 30. It has been my favorite, or maybe second favorite, book of all time. It is an unbelievably beautiful tragedy, love story, emotional journey. Really a fabulous book. Leo Tolstoy was, clearly, a gifted writer. I wonder at how fragile his mind must have been to have been able to release the powerful thoughts and words it did. Wow.
Love In The Time of Cholera . . . I read this book about 10 years ago. It knocked my socks off. If you haven't read this one you really need to treat yourself. Very, very powerful. I couldn't put it down.
Pride and Punishment; Jane Eyre . . . both of the same genre but so totally different. Both are excellent and if you haven't read them you should!!
Crime and Punishment . . . I'm struck that the reviewer here "first" read it back in high school. My experience was the same . . . and I have read it several times since. My take on the book, though, is that the story and feelings I got from the story changed each time I read it . . . more or less mirroring my stage in life. Wow, how profound is a book that it changes with the reader? This is my FAVORITE book of all time. It's an easy read and so, so powerful!!
So, there, Gwyneth Paltrow. These are Mary's recommendations.