Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade - Kurt Vonnegut I really loved Slaughterhouse Five -- not surprising because I'm already a fan of Kurt Vonnegut. His books always touch on a variety of things, this one specifically emphasizing the horrors that man inflicts on man (& everything) in war. (The providence of being in an underground bunker during carpet bombing by US forces plays an important role here, just as it did in "The Book Thief".) I find Vonnegut an amazing writer because his work is almost surprisingly simple to read, so succinct -- a master of ironic understatment. Yet his observations are profound, his satire razor sharp. I think he's one of America's great contemporary writers and someone that everyone should read at least once (even if he's not your normal cup of tea).