My “Favorite” Conundrum

How does one determine their favorite book or author? It’s a common question around lit-loving communities, and I never know how to answer.

If it’s the author by whom I’ve read the most books, then my favorite author would be Mike Resnick, Dean Koontz, J.K. Rowling, Katherine Neville, Jodi Picoult, Piers Anthony, Robert Asprin, Douglas Adams, Orson Scott Card, or Jennifer Weiner. But I’m not sure I’d count any of them as my favorite author (though I’ve referred to Mike Resnick as such many times just because I’m pretty much guaranteed to enjoy his stories). Aside from Resnick, Rowling, and Neville, I don’t see myself going out of my way to pick up anything else by these people. I’m currently on hiatus from Picoult and Koontz, and Anthony and I broke up years ago.

If it’s the book I’ve read the most times, then it would be The Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy “trilogy” by Douglas Adams, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, or Santiago: a Myth of the Far Future by Mike Resnick. Sure, I’m guaranteed to laugh out loud every single time I read Gallery of Regrettable Food, but I’d like to think my favorite book would be something with a little more depth. So my problem there may be self-delusion more than anything else.

If it’s a book that really stuck with me for a long time, then it would be The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan, Flatland by Edwin Abbott, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, or – most embarrassingly – the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. I refuse to consider any of the Twilight books a favorite because they are awful and I will never read them again. I wouldn’t mind claiming The Demon-Haunted World or The Time Machine, I suppose, but if they were truly my favorite, wouldn’t I have read them multiple times?

So tell me: what’s your favorite book or author? How can you tell?

  1. I don’t know that I have a single favorite book or author. I sometimes talk about “favorite authors”, who are generally those I consistently enjoy and would actually seek out more books from. Those would include LeGuin, Asimov, Pohl, and Janssen. LeGuin might come in at the top just because her stuff is a little deeper, but it seems weird to act like there is a single top.

    Books would probably be a whole additional post that I don’t want to take the time for right now…

  2. By the way, I’m enjoying these non-review posts!

    • Thanks! It’s fun to mix it up from time to time – I just have trouble coming up with ideas.

      • Yeah, I’m going to have to stockpile ideas for Blogtoberfest (since doing it at least twice in the 1001 days is one of my 101s). Daily posting is a lot!

        • And what did I think two seconds before I started writing that reply? That I was going to mention the possible theft of Judy’s 30 Days of Music meme. Depending on how much I like the questions. Though I might feel like that was cheating when I didn’t really have much to say about the question of the day.

          • I don’t think I could do that. I just don’t listen to music much these days.

            It’s kind of silly that I of all people should bemoan a lack of ideas for blog topics, since I have an entire freaking list of prompt websites on this very homepage. But I still have trouble sometimes, because I’d rather not make this a diary. I have LJ for that.

            • Yeah, although the ones that are actually fiction prompts could be useful. Flash fiction!

              For me, on the other hand, it’s the more diary-appropriate prompts that are of interest, since I’m not much of a fiction writer. Though I suppose I could devote a day to weird haiku.

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