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“What’s your favorite book?”

February 19, 2013

As a kid, I always had my nose in a book. Adults would ask things like, “You really like to read, don’t you?” (Bet you can’t guess what my answer was!) Then they’d ask the inevitable question, “So, what’s your favorite book?”

I used to kind of dread that question. On the one hand, I liked it because it gave me a chance to talk about my favorite subject, books. But on the other hand, I never knew what the answer was. I would agonize over the choices. There were books I really loved reading for the story, books that I learned from, and books that made a lasting impression ON MY SOUL (as I would have put it as a dramatic eight year old). These were all different kinds of favorites, and I didn’t know what kind of favorite book people wanted to know about.

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Little me, probably contemplating a serious, stressful question like, “What’s your favorite book?”

(Spoiler: I was overthinking it.)

Now when people ask me what my favorite book is, I usually name off a couple titles and move on. I was thinking the other day that I really can’t say what my very favorite book is, but I have a list of favorites that has stayed pretty steady over several years.

My (tentative) list of current favorite books (in no particular order, because I just can’t do that):

1. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

5. Harry Potter series (I know-it’s seven books, not one, but I’m listing it as one anyway).

6. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

7. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

8. The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti

9. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

10. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

11. We Were The Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

12. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

13. Cosmos by Carl Sagan

14. The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

15. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

16. Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D. and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A.

17. Body Wars by Margo Maine, Ph.D.

18. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

19. What You Really, Really Want by Jaclyn Friedman

20. Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

21. The Visible Man by Chuck Klosterman

22. The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker

23. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

24. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

25. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

26. Blueprints for Building Better Girls by Elissa Schappell

27. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

picking favorite books

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