One book on his list:
Edith Wharton: The House of Mirth.Read about all ten books on McCrum's list.
This classic comedy of manners is also a brilliant portrait of an oddly contemporary woman. Lily Bart lives for pleasure and material rewards, and can only find fulfilment through conspicuous consumption. This strain runs deeper in the US than Democrats might like to admit.
The House of Mirth appears among Kate Christensen's six books that she rereads all the time.