the one I read a couple of days ago (although the one I read yesterday will likely stick with me a while), but I get a delightful little chill thinking about the hours I spent lying on the sofa, in my pajamas, in the middle of the day, zooming through its mass-market pages before a roaring fire. (Can you tell classes haven't started yet?) I also recall the intense pleasure of hiding in our bedroom at our rental house at the Jersey shore one August, reading Black Dahlia Avenger.
Most of the books whose contents have stuck with me have become unmoored form the circumstances in which I read them. Not all--Rhian pointed out that she has rather unpleasant memories of reading Anna Karenina: she was temping at the Teamsters' Union and reading at her desk. I, on the other hand, read Anna K while sipping liquor in our friend's friend's log cabin (insofar as a four-bedroom rustic quasi-mansion with satellite dish and wet bar can be called a cabin) on the Madison River in southern Montana. But I couldn't tell you what it was like reading, say, any Alice Munro story--the intensity of the fiction, I suppose, has overridden the real-world circumstances of my reading it.
I guess a book has to reach a certain threshold of quality before it can generate a memorable reading experience--one has to be into it, after all. But in most circumstances, at least for me, it can't be too good, so good as to make the world around it disappear. Aside from Anna K, I most strongly remember reading books that I read without much effort...the ones that seemed to flow into me. Like, I suppose, sipping liquor in a log mansion.