So what are my favorite books? They change - month to month, sometimes even week to week - but there are some books or authors that never change. I love:
- Jane Austen - I like them all but I love Persuasion - maybe because it's about reunited lovers.
- Michael Ondaatje - everything he's ever written, poetry, novels, memoirs - but my favorite is In the Skin of a Lion.
- Gene Stratton-Porter - books I learned to read at my grandmother's house, written in the early part of the 20th century, about places I hope to go. Keeper of the Bees is my favorite.
- Margaret Laurence's The Diviners, as astonishingly beautiful, insightful, perfect book.
- Bronwen Wallace - both her poetry and her single book of wonderful short stories. Even her poems are stories in disguise.
- Anything by Neil Gaiman and William Gibson - both amazing writers.
- Harry Potter - I'm counting down the days to July 21.
- Anything by Alice Hoffman - although my favorite is Turtle Moon.
- Barbara Kingsolver, I love all of her books, but probably The Bean Trees is my favorite.
- Al Purdy and Patrick Lane - great poets and both of whom have written fiction - Pat Lane's book of stories, Purdy's novel, A Splinter in the Heart.
- Suzanne Brockmann is one of my heroes - especially the SEAL team books. I read them when I'm racing for a deadline.
- Christine Feehan, though only the Game series; Marjorie M. Liu; Judith McNaught, but mostly the romantic suspense; Linnea Sinclair - fabulous.
- Barbara Hambly's fantasy series; Mercedes Lackey's Victorian magic series; Mary Jo Putney's Guardian series.
- Because I'm obsessed with the First World War, I love Timothy Findley's book The Wars, Pat Barker's Ghost Road Trilogy, poets of that war - Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke, John McRae.
- Dick Francis, P.D. James - my favorite mystery writers.
- Carl Hiaasen who always, always, always makes me laugh.
- Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance, one of my favorite books ever.
- Short story writers Mavis Gallant, Raymond Carver, Alice Munro.
- Non-fiction writers - Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point), Margaret McMillan (Paris 1919.
- Art books of all and every kind.
- Margaret Atwood - I like them all but my favorites (this month) are Oryx & Crake and The Handmaid's Tale.
- Robertson Davies - he writes amazing complex perfect books.
- Stephen King (who wouldn't love someone who can write perfect sentences?), Dean Koontz, Clive Barker - though not all of any of them.
- Jim Butcher - I love Harry Dresden.
- Charles Dickens - I want to be able to write that omniscient narrator like he does.
- E.M. Forster's A Passage to India - I read it when I want to understand how to write a setting that is one of the best characters in the book and A Room with a View when I want to understand true love.
That's probably enough because I could go on forever and I know I've missed a whole bunch of writers I love. But if you saw my apartment - floor to ceiling books, books in drawers, books in closets, books everywhere - you'd know that I can't tell you how many different books I do love. All of them, really. Every single one of them.