3) A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving
4) Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
I didn't think I gave a shit about mountain climbing, and the fact is, I don't. But I sure did while I was reading this book. A first hand account of an attempt to reach the summit of Mt. Everest that goes terribly wrong, this book grabs you by the shirt in the and doesn't let go. Krakauer's writing is top notch and even the technicalities of mountain climbing are become not only interesting but also important in understanding the story. It topped his Under The Banner of Heaven which I expected to like more than I did and even Into The Wild. The man was truly humbled by his experience on the mountain.
Heidi cited The Adventures of Kavalier & Klay in her list, and I enjoyed that book tremendously as well. But for me, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh has the edge. I think that the fact that I am male and she is female made all the difference here. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh is really a book about guys. It's about how they relate to each other and how women affect that. It's about unrequited love and lust and the crazy things that you can only do in your youth. I expected it to make me a bit sad for missed opportunities, but really it didn't. It sometimes tries a little too hard to be literary (a trap Kavalier & Klay avoids), but I somehow managed to forgive that. Six months after reading it, I have a hard time remembering what actually happened, but I can remember how it made me feel. And that's a sign of a good book.