How can I possibly name all the ones I’ve loved? Or the ones that imprinted on my life? I see those Ladykillers who came before me only picked three or so. A good idea or madness might follow.
Haven’t we all read thousands of books?
How does one judge? Or pick? Does it mean books that I come back to over and over? I don’t really do that, but I do it with favorite films.
The favorite books I glance at once in a while with fondness and there are those I no longer own. I must feel that if I went back to these choices, they will no longer affect me the way they once did.
Some books affected me because they arrived at a certain age. And I responded to them because I was that age. Perhaps if they came at a different time, they might have left me cold. My prerequisites for these books would have these characteristics. I couldn’t bear it when they ended and wished they had gone on and on.
When Marjorie Morningstar, written by Herman Wouk came out I devoured that book. It spoke to me. It could have my story. Or I wished it had been. I went to the mountains in the summers as did Marjorie. I met that world of people. I no longer remember the plot points, but I do remember the emotion.
Little Women. by Louisa May Alcott And I assume that book was beloved of many women. Again identification. I was Jo. Of course I was Jo.
Somewhere along the line, in my teens I found a series of books from way back in the 1930s. It was the Ruth Fielding series for girls. Author Alice B. Emerson. She had adventures and always saved somebody. And a number of them were mysteries as well. I think there were about twenty of them. One of them perhaps planted the seed of what my career would someday become. Ruth Fielding in Moving Pictures!
John Steinbeck’s East of Eden was another important book for me. I don’t know why. It just was.
In order that I won’t ramble on forever, I’ll just add this: At some point I discovered English women writers. Started with Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters and others in that period. Which kept on growing with the mystery writers, starting with Margery Allingham and Dorothy L Sayers and naturally the queen, Agatha Christie, P. D. James and Ruth Rendell and I still read and enjoy all the Brits.
Looking forward to everyone else’s choices.