Middlemarch, George Eliot
"This novel about the inhabitants of a provincial English town seems quiet on the surface, but it contains some of the most penetrating psychological portraits found in fiction. It's a book that will cause you to know yourself better, whether you want to or not. And the story of Dr. Lydgate's marriage is a cautionary tale for any man considering whether or not the one he’s with is the one. It's also worth reading twice — the first time for the story, the second time to appreciate all the sly observations that you missed when you were eager to find out what was going to happen next."
-Suggested by Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.