I love outsider stories, especially outsider-in-America stories -- the stories of characters that show up in places central casting would never expect them to be. Same for the stories of characters that have every right to be someplace.
Reading a beloved book twice, thrice, or more is a craving that can't be denied. It's pleasurable, comforting, and relaxing -- partly because you don't have to figure out what the author is doing from scratch.
My list includes the authors' names, the number of novels I've read by each of them, and my three favorite novels (in rank order) by each of them. If you have different favorites by those authors, I'd like to hear about that.
They were unplanned "Five-Year Plans" for the ages: the amazing proliferation of classic novels published from 1846 to 1851 and from 1922 to 1927. And, believe it or not, one author had a book in both those periods!
There are plenty of cases where an author's masterpiece deserves the top billing it gets in the author's canon. But then there are the cases where a writer's most famous book is not the writer's best book.