Last Night by James Salter
Sometimes there is nothing quite as liberating as a really good short story collection. The story devoured in one sitting. The new engagement every time you open the cover. Salter's Last Night is an excellent collection. The stories are easy, casual, yet transporting. The writing is so simple and traditional, you'd think it was written in the sixties. References to cell phones and the like were a little jarring.
I also love stumbling on a story I've read before in a collection, especially a story like "Last Night" that is particularly memorable. It is definitely one of those that deserve to be anthologized and studied.
I'd read Salter's A Sport and A Pastime awhile ago and quite enjoyed it. Upon completion I promptly went to the bookstore to see what else I could find by him. I found this collection in the bargain section and picked it up without a moment's contemplation. It took me this long to get around to reading it, but I will be back to the book store looking for more Salter shortly.