Monday, October 26, 2009

Favourite Books - Reappraisal

I recently coerced G into joining Facebook - though it's a secret and will be short-lived. While helping him set up his profile - and by 'helping' I mean 'doing it for him' - I was asked about what sort of information he should include in his profile. I mentioned he could include work and school history or a list of favourite books, whatever he wanted. Though he declined to flesh out these details, it got me thinking about what I include in my online profiles. I should probably be thinking about personal information, public vs private content or copyright issues. But I'm not. I'm thinking about my book list. My Facebook 'Favourite Books' information is actually just a list of my favourite authors, as follows:
Julian Barnes, Jane Austen, Ann Patchett, Miriam Toews, Jasper Fforde, Sandra Gulland, Jack Whyte . . . but I'll read just about anything

That last bit is a lie, of course. I will not read 'just about anything', even when desperate. I recognize that I don't necessarily have the greatest taste in books - but I'm still a bit of a snob. As I studied this list, I couldn't help wondering if these authors and their writing continue to represent my 'favourites' - the best of the best that I've ever read. It's been years since I've read any Julian Barnes, especially something I would include in a 'favourites' list, and the same goes for most of the authors on that list. As you've likely already gathered, I intend to reappraise my list of favourite books. These are the books that I tell people are my favourites and that I tend to revisit:
  • The History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters, by Julian Barnes
  • England, England, by Julian Barnes
  • Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
  • The Magicians Assisstant, by Ann Patchett
  • Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
  • Guns, Germs and Steel, by Jared Diamond
  • A Complicated Kindness, by Miriam Toews
  • Josephine B. trilogy, by Sandra Gulland
  • Dream of Eagles saga by Jack Whyte
I haven't included books that I love that I've already reread a number of times, such as Pride and Prejudice and Harry Potter.

This is a fairly substantial list, and I'm really not a very fast reader. I'll keep you posted as I work my way through the list, but recognize that it will take some time.

Let's see what happens.

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