Mighty Red Pen

July 11, 2007

Parlor games

Filed under: At home with MRP,Lit review,Overseen — mighty red pen @ 6:09 pm

Over lunch today, we talked about our favorite books. Moondog waxed rhapsodically about Wilder’s The Bridge of San Luis Rey which, unwaveringly, is his favorite book (although every time he describes it to me, I have to say it comes as a big surprise that it takes place in Peru).

Speck said a current fave is The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski, and Krodamai apparently doesn’t read books.

Normally, MRP eschews this sort of game because I can never remember what my favorite book actually is. Once I started, I thought of a lot of books I really, really like, though.

MRP is not committed to any one favorite book, but one I really do love (after Anne of Green Gables, natch) is Travels with Charley by Steinbeck. I wasn’t crazy about Steinbeck after required high school reads Of Mice and Men or Grapes of Wrath, but I was so touched by the simplicity of the story and the joy of seeing America through his eyes.

Another favorite is One Man’s Meat by White (yes, of Charlotte’s Web fame) for its beautiful writing, and The Waves by Woolf for its interesting narrative technique. Also:

  • Short stories by Capote
  • Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Garcia Marquez
  • Plays by Chekhov
  • Many things by Wharton
  • Also, Jane Austen

But as you can see, we’re straying from the “favorite book” category.

For those of you who like lists, here’s one of the top 100 novels, 1923-present (which, I’m happy to report, does not include the overrated A Confederacy of Dunces).

In any case, what’s your favorite book and why?



  1. You surprised me, I really thought I would have seen Dune listed.

    Favorite book is tough, I have lots of favorite books though.

    Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
    Storm of Swords by George RR Martin (3rd book in a multi-series)
    Phantoms by Dean Koontz, It was the first book that I could not put down.

    Comment by Molie — July 11, 2007 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

  2. Ha! I almost wrote “Molie you don’t need to respond cause I know Terry Pratchett will be one of your faves, and also, no Dune jokes.”

    Comment by mightyredpen — July 12, 2007 @ 8:01 am | Reply

  3. Why is it so hard to pick ONE favorite, yes there are endless really really good books, but doesn’t one for you rise to the top overwhelmingly? A good criteria is one that you would re-read multiple times.
    Oh, and how sweet that good old Thornton made the top 100 best novels ever by Time! I agree with their site that his legacy is fairly forgotten. And MRP, he has something in common with you…his nickname was “the Library.”
    Don’t get me started on the letters between him and Gertrude Stein.
    OK, I am done dorking it up.

    Comment by Moondog — July 12, 2007 @ 8:23 am | Reply

  4. lol. I never saw the movie but when I think “Dune” I think of Sting with his Synchronicity hair.

    Comment by Molie — July 12, 2007 @ 10:06 am | Reply

  5. “Eats, Roots, and Visions”

    Comment by HelensDad — July 19, 2007 @ 10:59 am | Reply

  6. I can understand why Travels With Charlie made an impression on you. I was privy to a description of preparations you made for a trip from Wellesley to New Haven in the early 90’s. It was quite amusing to your midwestern friends who are life long coast to coast travelers.

    Comment by Lenore — August 1, 2007 @ 7:11 pm | Reply

  7. Hey, it’s a long trip from metrowest Boston to New Haven. You need to be prepared with plenty of snacks!

    Comment by mightyredpen — August 2, 2007 @ 10:45 am | Reply

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