I love reading.
Actually, it’s a necessity for me.
I am a class A introvert, and a stellar nerd, avoid people’s company as much as I can and don’t watch TV. at all.
But that’s like saying I read books because I get bored, which is not the case.
I read because I love the sense of escapism. of flipping the page and immersing in the story, the lives of the heroines, and the plot.
So this week I read a book where Ann Patchett wrote what her favorite books were, and I thought immediately of myself and wondered what my 10 favorite books would be.
I am not about to start the list with a lengthy apology about it not covering all the books (because how could it?) or about possibly forgetting a few favorites (of course I forgot ), the list consists of 6 of the all-time favorites (the first 6) and of the 4 current loved ones.
I warn you though- it won’t be the conventional “classic lit list”. I mean- come on people. lists that put “Mobi dick” or “Ulysses” as their first choice are lists I will not keep on reading. because I did read Mobi dick but struggled hard to finish, and as for Ulysses- well- I couldn’t get past the first chapter.
I find it very hard to relate to people who take themselves too seriously. and that includes writers who believe in writing long and tedious self-absorbed existential books. but that’s just me. (by the way- it was told that Joyce said he “set out to write the greatest book of all times” when writing Ulysses. say no more.
Also -I noticed many lists put “little women” and “pride and prejudice” in the top 10- and since I read both, I wonder about this choice- especially when made by women. I really liked both books, but the reality described in them is a bit difficult to fathom in my opinion- women not working, not going to school, designated to wait for a groom to take them away from the house they do almost nothing in: they don’t clean, or cook, or garden, just read or stroll in the garden- basically waiting for the next ball where they can meet a suitable husband. or engage in endless gossip.
Even the heroines- Elizabeth Bennet and Jo March- free spirits as they were didn’t end up alone. not that being alone is necessarily a sign of freedom but I felt a need to get girls -in both books- settled with a husband- as the book’s highlight. or maybe it’s just me.
#1: Winnie the poo: A.A. Milne.
Oh, this book- what a treasure in my opinion. I love it so much I’m afraid if I happen to stumble upon a bear somewhere -I will just run to it and hug it fiercely.
#2: 3 men in a boat: Jerome k. Jerome.
19th-century English humor at its best- in my opinion. every time I pick it up I can’t stop laughing.
#3:Love in the time of cholera: Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
One of the most beautiful love stories.
#4: The day lasts more than a hundred years: Chingiz Aitmatov.
Heartwarming- in spite of the cold.
#5: The corrections- Jonathan Franzen.
wow, he keeps everything so real.
#6: Zorba the greek: Nikos Kazantzakis.
Just listen to Zorba.
#7: Calypso- David sedaris.
Funny, sad, heartwarming. real. intelligent.
#8: Anything is possible: Elizabeth Strout.
Fell in love with Strout’s writing in “Olive Kitteridge” and have been a devoted fan since. “My name is Lucy Barton” is a trilogy- and anything is possible is #2. loved lucy barton too.
#9: A state of wonder- Ann Patchett.
Reminded me of Josef Conrad’s “Heart of darkness”. but with a female heroine.
#10: The Thursday murder club: Richard Osman.
Witty, entertaining, wonderful caricatures.
Of course, there are more- July Otsuka ( “the swimmers”, “when the emperor was divine” ), Ruth Ozeki, Ami Tan, Chekov, Kafka, and Frederic Backman (“anxious people” and “A man called Ove”).
You can see this is an eclectic list- that s probably an understatement-but this is me. a good book in my opinion is a book I find hard to let go of- I truly want to know what happens next, I care about the characters, and forget where I am.
Enjoy- the cooliflower.