Thursday, May 3, 2007

Kate's favorite books

This is one of the toughest questions any reader (or writer, for that matter) gets asked. Those of you who've checked out my website will know that I read an average of a book a day and have done so for almost forty years. Ouch. Didn't really mean to tell you how old I was - but there you go.

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.


1 comment:

deseng said...

Hi Kate!

Oh I am so much like you! I love so many different books also! My list is very similar to yours.

Here are some authors that are my favorites that you didn't list.

Your first on the list Kate!
Vicki Lewis Thompson
Jennifer Crusie
Janet Evanovich
Carly Phillips
Robyn Sisman
Susan Isaacs
Barbara Bretton
Margaret Truman
James Patterson
Sophie Kinsella
Valerie Frankel
and so many others!
One of my favs is Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling