Invisible Cities is a great introduction to Calvino - short, but wide in scope; intelligent, yet accessible; dazzling, yet profound. I love this book, but I can't really explain why. It defies easy categorization or synopsis. Invisible Cities exists for no other reason than Calvino wrote it. It exists, like sunlight, without question. And like sunlight, it illuminates something inexpressible and mysterious. It provokes the same feelings I have when I return home after traveling outside the country - subtle shifts in perception and value that texture my home city with new light, adding deeper layers of understanding and meaning to my quotidian life.
I want to live in the cities Calvino describes, and it turns out that I already do - I just don't always see the remarkable, or hold the perspective necessary to observe beauty in the commonplace. Ask me to describe the city I live in, and I will describe my own life. Invisible Cities is kind of like that.