Like Kristen, I also find this prompt somewhat difficult to answer as narrowing down my overwhelming love for books to just a few in incredibly hard. That said and at the risk of sounding like a bit of a cliché, if forced pick just one, I’d have to go with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. To me, P&P has it all: the wonderful opening sentence, wit, a heroine whose attraction lies as much (if not more) in her smarts than her looks, a hero to swoon for, and a humorous cast of supporting characters. I reread it at least once a year and always find something new. My other Austen fave is Emma — again for the heroine, who is as charming as Lizzie Bennet if in an entirely different way.
Other favorite literary authors are George Eliot (Middlemarch, Daniel Deronda, and The Mill on the Floss topping the list), the Brontës, Colette, Simone de Beauvoir, Ingeborg Bachmann, Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, Orhan Pamuk, and of course Elfriede Jelinek (aka the obsession of my life).
Lest you think I read only “high” literature, I’ll add that my most-loved chick lit novel is Bridget Jone’s Diary (which makes sense given that Fielding shamelessly stole the plot from Austen); other fave chick lit authors are Anna Maxted, Jennifer Weiner, and Marian Keyes.
Finally, I have recently been on a detective fiction kick, having read Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy twice in the last year, several of Henning Mankel’s Kurt Wallender novels, and four Raymond Chandler novels (Lady in the Lake being my favorite so far). Speaking of detective fiction, I am also a huge fan of the chick lit detective series featuring New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, as well as the Sophie Katz novels.
This post was written in response to Blog Prompt Monday, a weekly feature of the Student Affairs Women Talk Tech blog. This week’s prompt is: “What are your favorite books and why? Or, alternatively, what kinds of books do you like to read (if you like reading)? What books have you read lately?”