I recently came across a great, old blog post written about John Irving—one of my very favorite writers. This blog post listed his 10 favorite books. (If you want to know his favorite books, I invite you to click on the link.)
In a nutshell, John Irving liked 19th century novels—especially Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens. He idolized that style of novel, and his books have reflected that influence.
I think it is very revealing to know what someone’s—especially an author’s—favorite books are. It could tell you how they write, or how they think, or how they want to write or think.
Or, it could tell you nothing at all—it’s all very subjective and judgmental to presume that one can draw so much from a list.
What I do believe that you can tell from a list of favorite books, however, is what somebody likes. I think that readers are—and should be—very particular about their tastes. Much like a wine, cheese, or even fast food (whatever), you’ve got to go with what feels right. And I’m curious to see what sorts of stuff people like.
I don’t think it’s fair to judge anyone based on their particular taste in books; if you’re an elitist book snob, you might as well click that “x” in the top right corner because fuck you, I don’t want anything to do with you.
I hope that people will feel safe sharing their favorite books. I’ll begin by sharing my 10 favorites:
1. The World According to Garp — John Irving
2. The Aeneid — Virgil (Robert Fagles translation)
3. Youth in Revolt — C.D. Payne
4. The Iliad — Homer (Robert Fagles translation)
5. Slaughterhouse Five— Kurt Vonnegut
6. Women— Charles Bukowski
7. A Confederacy of Dunces — John Kennedy Toole
8. Life of Pi — Yann Martel
9. The Kite Runner —Khaled Hosseini
10. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas — Hunter S. Thompson
What are your favorite books? I would love to know!