I always wonder if my personality reflects my choice in books, and last August, if you were following the DGLM blog, you’ll remember that everyone in the office put together their list of great books and made you—our readers—guess who had created them. Before working at DGLM, I actually read this series of Great Books posts and loved a lot of selections.
It’s difficult to say why I love a certain book and why I can’t get into another. I fell in love with reading Steinbeck novels when I was living in California, so I used to put my love for his writing down to geographical familiarity—Cannery Row and Salinas were places I knew about and so they came alive in his writing—but then I fell in love with Dostoevsky while living in the Midwest, and when I began reading his work there wasn’t anything familiar about his world, yet I couldn’t stop reading.
Anyway, seeing as I’m now part of the team here at DGLM, I think it’s time to give you my best books list. Scrutinize it as you will. I’m up for friendly banter on why you think my choices are terrible, mediocre or just plain brilliant.
John Steinbeck’s East of Eden
Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood
Kate Chopin’s The Awakening
William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying
Katharine Susannah Prichard’s Coonardoo
J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace
Albert Camus’ The Stranger
Luke Davies’ Candy
Rawi Hage’s De Niro’s Game
Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray
Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov
Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway
Milan Kundera’s Identity
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs
Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451
After reviewing my list, it makes me wonder why I enjoy certain books. I still don’t know what it is that draws me to a particular author, or why I get into one story and not another. Years ago I certainly didn’t think John Steinbeck would be my number one writer—reading about farming and migrant laborers? Are you kidding me? I’m still trying to find out why I love his work so much.
Do you feel at all surprised by your favorite author, or love certain books you never thought you would?