What, you've never heard of Lorrie Moore? Damn shame, really. She's so clever, her writing is so pretty and her books so skinny that I think everybody should know who she is and read her regularly.
LIKE LIFE is a collection of her short stories, published long ago (like, 1990, or something), and full of fun, perky descriptions. The stories are almost fairy tales, they feel so lively and radiant, but the majority of them are underscored with a certain sorrow, a pervasive feeling of something missing.
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?, her novel, is also very good. You could read either of these (or both, if you're extra-speedy) in a weekend, and they're excellent for bribing yourself through a long, difficult book that you're determined to read (haven't you figured it out? That's how I got through Sophie's World--"if you finish this chapter, you can read a Tobias Wolff story, and if you finish the one after that, you can read a Lorrie Moore! Good girl!").