Read The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. Cormac McCarthy is one of the greatest living writers, and probably my favorite modern writer. Some have called him a modern-day Faulkner, but I believe his work is substantial enough to stand alone without comparison. Even if you are not familiar with McCarthy’s writing, you are probably tangentially aware of his work due to various film adaptations, such as All the Pretty Horses (from his “Border Trilogy” – also highly recommended) and No Country For Old Men, which recently won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The Road was also adapted to film in 2009, though I have very purposely chosen not to see the movie, because I am afraid it will not compare favorably to the book.