I was reading Jon Paul's blog yesterday, about famous author's favorite books, and started to post an essay in response to his question: What are your favorite books?
As I told him, I have a list of favorite colors, and I keep adding to it--so there's no way that I could choose just one favorite book!!! No way! But the question has come up before, and there are a few I remember, off the top of my head, that I almost always think of, when I think of favorites. Some are best categorized by author, some are not. But here are some of my faves.
"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee--I don't know what it is about this book, but I think it has me in its spell, even though it's been years since I read it. I loved it then, and without remembering why, I love it now.
"Harry Potter" series, by J.K. Rowling--I've loved Harry Potter for a long time. I think sometimes that she has given me inspiration, actually.
"Stardust," by Neil Gaiman, and incidentally, "The Graveyard Book" ... oh, and let's just toss in "Anansi Boys." Probably my very favorite ones of his many books, though I enjoy and love everything he's written. Talk about inspiration!
Agatha Christie--she is pretty much the only mystery writer I read. She's so prolific, too! I have loved everything of hers that I've read. Especially the stand-alones--those are really my favorites, of hers.
O. Henry--the first story I read of his was "The Gift of the Magi," and as much as I like that one, I think it gets overdone. He is a really fun writer, though, and I love all of his short story collections.
Isaac Asimov--let me clarify this by saying, not everything! But I do enjoy his short stories--and have you read the Norby the Robot series? *Love* that!
"Mary Poppins" by P.L. Travers, and "Mr. Popper's Penguins" by Richard and Florence Atwater, are books that my dad used to read to me at night, and have always been really special to me. On the same note, he also read all three of the original trilogy of Star Wars books (based on the movies, of course, with pictures from the movie). While I can't claim them as favorites, they were also special.
"Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh" by Robert C. O'Brien. OK--have you read this book? Seriously. Read it. It won a newberry award in the 70s. I should preface this with a statement that I was in love with mice when I was little. But even if you aren't, this is absolutely fantastic.
"Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad--So, I like a wide variety of books. Have you ever seen Apocalypse Now? I haven't, but from what I understand, this is what it was based on. Most of my classmates hated reading this book, and I can't say I blame them...but the symbolism was so exciting, and the ideas so dark and twisted, that I spent a lot of time enjoying it. Go figure.
"The Most Dangerous Game," by Richard Connell. What a twisted concept! But I love these off the wall ideas that make it in literature. This deserves its spot here.
Which leads me into works by Shirley Jackson. (The Lottery among them.) My aunt thought these were twisted, as well--and they are. But such strange ideas! At least they're only words, here.
There are more--ones I'm not remembering off hand--but these are the first ones that pop into my head when trying to make that "favorite" determination.
So, what about you? What are your favorite stories/authors/books?