Some literature is simply so wonderful, it's an offering of food to the soul. Here are a few of them.
Alice Munro, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, is often referred to as 'our Chekhov.' All of her stories are wonderful, but as a starter, I love Lives of Girls and Women and Runaway.
Anton Chekhov's "Lady with the Pet Dog" is one of those luminous stories which highlights the fact that we can say so much with small details and thus illumine the entire human condition. This one can probably be found online along with many of his other stories, or in virtually any anthology.
The novels of Faulkner are extolled but I love his short stories best. Every one of them can be read and re-read over a lifetime; virtually every time I enter those stories I receive something new.
Like Faulkner, Hemingway is so often considered a master of the novel, and of course his work is always wonderful, but I am a real fan of the short fiction he wrote as he was honing his craft. I often get frustrated with the man, but the writer makes gorgeous art. Like all masters, his work deserves continued rereads.
Possibly no contemporary novels have had the impact on me that the Marilynne Robinson novels have had. Both Gilead and Lila seriously challenged my Christianity, especially as it applies to my politics, tho Robinson seems to have no overt agenda in that regard. Each of these books is a wonderful book for a deeper level of discussion between friends.
As a devotee of highly compressed plots, one of my contemporary heroes is Lydia Davis. Her Collected Stories and Can't and Won't are often hilarious and always thought-provoking.