The Book Meme: Day 4

The problem with using writing prompts is that every so often you get one that can't be answered:

Day 04 - Your favorite book or series ever

I'm sorry, anonymous meme maker, but this prompt is not merely unanswerable, but in my opinion actively stupid.

I've been reading for a little over half a century now, and even with all the re-reading I do, the number of books I've completed is somewhere in the thousands. Each book I complete is one more straw in an enormous, teetering haystack, and here I am, being asked to look through that haystack and find not a needle, but the Very Bestest Straw of All.

"Mr. McCartney, you've been a musician for more than fifty years. Of all the notes you've played and sung, which would you say is your favorite?"

It's not happening. Why not? Because I AM AN ENGLISH MAJOR, dammit, and my job is to celebrate the book. I analyze what I read, sure, trying to find what worked well and what didn't, but that's not so I can weigh each book against every one of the individual books I've read before and see which comes out on top. I analyze what I read so that I can understand more about myself, and about what writers do, and about the world they examine. Each book is a complicated and discrete thing, yes, but what is important to me is my interaction with that thing.

And let's face it, my interactions with a thing will not be constant, any more than a sailor's interactions with the sea will be constant. Some days the weather is rough, some days it's fine; sometimes you want to get quickly over the water in order to reach a destination, sometimes you want to take a slow cruise; maybe you want to fish, maybe you don't. The sea is permanent, but the waves are not, and I for one cannot pick a favorite wave.

But to satisfy the demands of this prompt, here: it's a list of 26 books I love, arranged alphabetically by author. Please note that I love these books, but that I am not in any way suggesting that they are my favorites, or even that any given book is my favorite written by an author whose last name begins with that letter. Just read them and enjoy them; don't worry about ranking them.

Adams, Richard/ Watership Down
Bechdel, Alison/ Fun Home
Coates, Ta-Nehisi/ Between the World and Me
Darwin, Charles/ The Origin of Species
Edwards, G.B./ The Book of Ebenezer Le Page
Fitzgerald, F. Scott/ The Great Gatsby
Gould, Stephen Jay/ Wonderful Life
Helprin, Mark/ Winter's Tale
Ishiguro, Kazuo/ The Remains of the Day
Juster, Norton/ The Phantom Tollbooth
Keats, Ezra Jack/ The Snowy Day
Le Guin, Ursula K./ Very Far Away from Anywhere Else
Moore, Alan, with David Lloyd/ V for Vendetta 
Nabokov, Vladimir/ Pale Fire
Okorafor, Nnedi/ Lagoon
Pratchett, Terry/ Nation
Quammen, David/ The Song of the Dodo
Rushdie, Salman/ Midnight's Children
Stoppard, Tom/ Arcadia
Tolkien, J.R.R./ The Lord of the Rings
Ursu, Anne/ Breadcrumbs
Varley, John/ The Gaea Trilogy
Wharton, Edith/ The Age of Innocence
X, Malcolm, with Alex Haley/ The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Yeats, W.B./ Collected Poems
Zelazny, Roger/ Lord of Light

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on July 7, 2018 8:29 AM.

The Book Meme: Day 3 was the previous entry in this blog.

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