I got tagged for a new (to me) meme by Stevyn. When I first got it, I thought, ‘Cool! I get to list my favorite books!’ Then, when I tried to do it, I thought, ‘Shit-oh-dear! How can I possibly?!’ And I promptly had a mini-aneurysm. Oh, and to boot, I’m supposed to describe why the 4 books I chose (4 books, people… 4 out of the 11,856 on my shelves!) are “essential reads” in 30 words or less. I can’t say ‘good morning’ in 30 words or less. Shit. Oh. Dear. But I’m going to try.
Fiction: This was tough, as I read mostly fiction… and a lot of it. There are a million and one authors I love - JD Salinger, Russell Banks, Peter Robinson, Douglas Adams, Andrew Greeley, Neil Gaiman, Gregory Maguire, Alice Sebold to name a very few. And I’ve read a bunch of great books lately by people who are rapidly becoming favorite authors. So, after much debate, I’m going with:
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver – Three separate and equally engrossing stories are connected by nearly invisible, beautifully crafted threads. I identified in some way with each protagonist and I was so sad when autumn came.
Autobiography: Again, tough. I’ve read a few great ones lately including Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy. But I’m going with one of my all-time favorites:
The Color of Water by James McBride – McBride details the social and personal obstacles he overcame as a bi-racial man in America on a quest for identity and success. I read it in one captivated, emotional sitting.
Non-fiction: Crap. I’ve read loads in the past few months, mostly by Bill Bryson and David Sedaris (love them both!), and a really likable one by Anna Quindlen about my favorite city (Imagined London). But I’m choosing another book I’ve loved for a long while and have read more than once:
Underwater to Get Out of the Rain – A Love Affair With the Sea by Trevor Norton – Norton, a marine biologist, played to my long-time interest in the sea. Like Bryson in A Walk in the Woods, he beautifully blends fact with humor to explain his passion.
Any genre: Ryan and I still read together and there are dozens of amazing books on our collective list. I can’t even begin to name them all. But one of my favorites ever was the first in a fantastic trilogy (and I challenge anyone who reads the first book not to run out and buy the other two!):
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson – A prequel to the Peter Pan story, it’s full of adventure, magic, friendship, pirates and even a little romance. I would get so excited reading it, I’d forget to breathe!
I’m tagging Heinous, Mel, Protégé, Heather, Joshlos, and DistributorCapNY. Have fun guys (but if you don't want to do it, I won't be offended)!!