Three weeks ago, the lovely author Darlene Foster tagged me to receive The Booker Award. The rules of this award say I’m to list five of my favorite books and then pass the award on to five other people. At first I read that as my five favorite books, which seemed an impossible job, but then I saw that little word “of”. I can do that.
Since then, I’ve paused at my book shelves many times trying to make choices. My reading tastes have changed many times through the years, and I don’t own a copy of every book I’ve read, so it’s possible I’m forgetting books I would have chosen. I found myself looking at some books and realizing I didn’t remember reading them at all, though I know I did. I considered choosing books to impress the literati, but I hate snobbery. So here are five OF my favorite books—and even more, five writers I admire.
For many years, I read everything Stephen King wrote, except the Dark Tower Series. I’ve read some of his novels more than once, but The Stand is my favorite. I’ve read it four times, including the uncut version.
When I read the description of this book, chosen for my discussion group, I doubted I would care much for it. War stories? Nah. Silly me. Tim O’Brien’s writing amazed me, and The Things They Carried has been on my best books list ever since.
I’ve read all of Anne Tyler’s books, even the one she wrote for children, and I’ve read many more than once. The first time I read Breathing Lessons, the main character annoyed me. But she also haunted me. So I read it again, and then I realized that I’d been annoyed by her because she was a bit like me.
For many years, I also read Maeve Binchy’s novels. I drifted away a time or two and then came back and caught up. Now, she’s gone, and I feel I should catch up again. I believe Circle of Friends was the first of her books I read. I became an instant fan of her talent for drawing the reader into her rich fictional world.
I’m a late-comer to Sherman Alexie’s work. I’d heard the name for many years, but I knew him only for his screenplay for Smoke Signals. I can’t remember how I ended up with a copy of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, but it sat in my to-read list for some time before I got around to reading it. Boy, was I sorry it took me so long. Alexie’s writing is magical. The voice in this book is one of the purest examples I’ve read. I’m now reading Blasphemy, his latest collection of short stories, and so far each one has blown me away.
I guess that’s an eclectic group of five, but that probably tells you something about me. Now I’m supposed to choose five people to pass the award to, but I rarely do that because often those I pick don’t care to play along. So if you’d like to share five of your favorite books on your blog, take the award and say I chose you. Or share on this page in the comments. I’d like to see your choices.