AED’s status on gmail just read as follows:
[AED] is putting together a summer reading list. What are your top 2 favorite novels of all time?
Hmmmm. Two favorite novels of all time? That is a tough one. I didn’t want to rush to respond, but I went with my two favorite reads as an adult – both of which were recommended by ALJ in law school and I read back-to-back – Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, and Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
(P.S. Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you liked Middlesex, you’d like Virgin Suicides. Because you probably won’t. Not that it’s anywhere close to a fair comparison. I mean, Middlesex made me want to go to Detroit. In the late 1960s. That’s a powerful book.)
AED has already read Middlesex, so I got another vote. “Fun or brainy,” I asked. Fun was the response. So I went with Heat by Bill Buford.
But, surely, these are not my favorite novels of all-time. I mean, all-time is like all-time. That’s huge. So let’s think this through a little.
Book that most changed me: I was in an interview a year or so ago and the tool interviewing me asked what book most changed my life and/or had the greatest impact on me. I wanted to say, “You know, it’s tool-ish questions like that one that make me know that I simply won’t work for a d-bag like you.” Instead, I went with I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. Because it was an honest answer ,and I am a terrible liar.
Favorite high school reads: I (was forced to) read many really good books in high school. To Kill a Mockingbird, Red Badge of Courage, A Separate Peace, A Man For All Seasons. But my favorite high school reads were Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton and Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. Apparently, I’ve always liked the dark stuff.
Least favorite high school read: I also (was forced to) read some horrendously bad stuff in high school. But the book I hated most – seriously, most – was Cantebury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. WTF?! That was the fucking worst.
Favorite legal book: HC believes that a book is the perfect gift for all occasions. When he turned 35 – 35! – just a few short months ago, I asked him what he wanted. I mean, this is a big birthday so I should get you something. Even if it’s just dinner. His response? “A book.” Whatever, I did not give him a book. But a book given as a gift can be a good one. It was through a gift book from HC that I found my favorite legal book – The Buffalo Creek Disaster by Gerald Stern.
Favorite food book: I like food books. I can’t help it. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain? Good. I Like You by Amy Sedaris? Good. Mostly because of all the amazing – AMAZING – pictures, but good nonetheless. The one that most made me want to cook and grow stuff and move to Italy? Kitchen Confidential by Bill Buford.
Book that made me want to blog: C’mon – this is an easy one. Julia and Julie by Julie Powell.
So what are your favorites? Send them along. This is making me think I should read more. If for no other reason – to get new material.