Of Mice and Men (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century), by John Steinbeck
Can you believe I'd never read this before? I love Steinbeck's prose... I love his imagery of California and his dialogue and how he captures a certain segment of society.
Where my favorites are still Cannery Row and East of Eden this short bitter story of Lennie and George is one of Steinbeck's best. I came into knowing the basic plot, mainly the refrain of "Can I tend the rabbits George?" and the end. I also knew the bit about ketchup, as it was a scene used in my high school acting class, but it still moved me when told in Steinbeck's words and grace.
There is a feeling I get with Steinbeck, after not having read any for a long time, that diving back into his prose is like coming home to an old friend, or putting on your favorite pair of jeans.