Sunday, October 12, 2008

Books I Love

I look at the statistics on my blog as they start to grow and I wonder about notion of "favorite books". What are my truly favorite books and why do I categorize them that way? Well, I certainly have fond memories of reading each of them, but for different reasons: for some it is the story, others the beauty of the prose, and many it is the ideas demonstrated by the book. One special group of favorites is the books that I have read more than once, in some cases many times. This is a select group that includes much of Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Notes from Underground and The Brothers Karamazov); but also single books by certain authors including War & Peace, Atlas Shrugged, The Sound and the Fury, The Man Without Qualities and Middlemarch. Actually I should include Ayn Rand in the multiple book group as The Fountainhead is another of hers that makes this list.
Finally there is a select group of books that I have read and reread my whole life and expect to read again. This group includes
Jane Eyre, Alice in Wonderland, Great Expectations and Of Human Bondage. While there are many other books that I have read once and consider favorites, the books mentioned here are among my "favorite books". Perhaps I will discuss their special qualities and appeal for me in a future commentary.


French Fancy said...

Isn't it hard to sum up what makes a favourite book? I've begun to alter my selected favourites; I re-read what I thought was a favourite and find that my view on it has changed. Maybe as I mature I look for different things from literature - as do we all, I'm sure.

James said...

You make an astute observation regarding the changes in our view of literature, especially as we mature. I have noted a change in my views some books, gaining an appreciation for some authors' works and setting others aside.