Main-Travelled Roads: Six Enduring Stories of the Midlands of Americaby Hamlin Garland (originally published 1891)
Main-Travelled Roads is the kind of book an English teacher might have assigned me, though none did. In my school days I would have probably hated it; now I merely find it depressing. It's well-written; I can't deny that. And the stories of unrelenting poverty, toil, and hopelessness in farm life probably provide a good balance to a santitized, Little House on the Praire-style perspective. But neither view tells the whole story, and if stories of deprivation and misery have been popular among English teachers for decades, that only explains why I didn't learn to like literature and writing until after I left school.
But it gets me one book closer to reaching my 95 by 65 Goal #63: Read 26 existing but as yet unread books from my bookshelves. This puts me at 21.