When we lived in Paris we had a little B&W TV that spoke only French, and the interwebs were just a gleam in Tim Berners-Lee's eye, so we would take the metro to the American Library and load up on books and, y'know, read them. One thing I did was try to fill in some canonical gaps by catching up on authors I'd never quite gotten around to reading. Graham Greene and Mario Vargas Llosa were two of those I enjoyed. Another was Jane Austen, who really could tell a story. The social attitudes seem outdated, except when they don't, but a lot of the tales feel surprisingly modern (I thought the same thing when rereading the first chapter of Anna Karenina at lunch last week). Also, the way her heroines measure the economic value of prospective mates by annual income instead of net worth is pretty astute.