genre love;

{true story: i moved to boston with two books. as of june 2012 i had over 100. whoops.}

probably the first question i get asked when people find out i am a writing+literature+ publishing major is “oh, what’s your favorite book?!” and each time it makes me a different kind of clammy. my palms start to sweat and i start to mentally picture all of my bookshelves in hopes that one little novel will have a heavenly glow around it and that’ll be my answer.

people usually assume my favorite book is the great gatsby because of my blog name.
i can assure you now that it’s not.  that has a longish story from a high school inside joke attached to it.
people usually assume my favorite book is one of the harry potter books because i have a tattoo of the dewey decimal number for the seventh book on the left hand side of my ribcage.
i can assure you it’s not. but i can say that the date of the seventh book’s release in 2007 was a pretty important date for me.

instead, i usually respond with another question that arguably puts me in the category of “d-bag lit majors you should avoid”: “hmm, depends. what genre?”

what it boils down to is that i can pick a favorite book as easily as you can pick a favorite song or a favorite sentence of a favorite letter sent by your great-grandmother or a favorite moment in a movie or a favorite pet.
and maybe you can do these things. and be able to sleep at night knowing all of the non-favorites are staring at you out of distaste of your choice. or something like that.
but i can’t.

…which is why i am about to be a d-bag lit major and break up my favorite books by genre.

historical fiction (or takes place during ww2, i am an addict):
helen of troy by margaret george
the kitchen boy by robert alexander
the madonnas of leningrad by debra dean
suite française by irene nemirovsky

plain good non-fiction (most likely linguistics-related):
the mother tongue by bill bryson
talk talk talk by jay ingram
word myths by david wilton
live from new york: an uncensored history of saturday night live by tom shales
battle hymn of the tiger mother by amy chua (take with grain of salt)
bonk: the curious coupling of science and sex by mary roach (bought this one when i was in nyc, and even then it got me some stares)
stiff: the curious lives of human cadavers by mary roach

science fiction/fantasy:
stardust by neil gaiman
the salmon of doubt by douglas adams
the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy series by douglas adams
the silent gondoliers by william goldman
the gates by john connolly

she walks in beauty compiled by caroline kennedy
the collected poetry of frank o’hara
100 selected poems by ee cummings
the book of love: poems of ecstasy and longing by rumi
selected poems by anna akhmatova

the new york regional mormon singles halloween dance by elna baker
a heartbreaking work of staggering genius by dave eggers
my boyfriend wrote a book about me by hilary winston
born standing up: a comic’s life by steve martin
naked by david sedaris

love in the time of cholera by gabriel garcia marquez
anna karenina by leo tolstoy
zorba the greek by nikos kazantzakis
lolita by vladimir nabokov
pygmalion by george bernard shaw
mayor of casterbridge by thomas hardy

the seven silly eaters
the velveteen rabbit
the invention of hugo cabaret by brian selznick
i want my hat back by jon klassen
grandpa green by lane smith
from the mixed-up files of mrs. basil e. frankweiler
matilda by roald dahl
when hitler stole pink rabbit
hatchet by gary paulsen

the entire princess diaries series by meg cabot (just do it. you won’t regret it)
the entire georgia nicolson series by louise rennison
the book thief by marcus zusak
why we broke up by daniel handler and maira kalman
vegan virgin valentine by carolyn mackler
the future of us by jay asher and carolyn mackler

mindless summertime reads:
memoirs of a geisha by arthur golding
practical magic by alice hoffman
juliet, naked by nick hornby
starter for ten by david nicholls
big fish by daniel handler
the art of racing in the rain by garth stein

a history of love by nicole krauss
the time-traveler’s wife by audrey niffenegger
the paris wife by paula mclain
one day by david nicholls
the romance of tristan and iseult by joseph bedier
the princess bride by william goldman

neither here nor there: travels in europe by bill bryson
the geography of bliss by eric weiner
la bella figura: a field guide to the italian mind by beppe severgnini

eye-opening (non-fiction + fiction):
the girl’s guide to hunting and fishing by melissa bank
a room of one’s own by virginia woolf
the awakening by kate chopin
the dud avocado by elaine dungy
breakfast at tiffany’s by truman capote
the good body by eve ensler
blue like jazz: nonreligious thoughts on christian spirituality by donald miller

what are your favorites?


9 thoughts on “genre love;

  1. Crescent, by Diana Abu-Jaber. The Horse and His Boy, by C.S. Lewis. The Perelandria trilogy, by C.S. Lewis. Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Hienlen. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte. Possession, by A.S. Byatt. Blue Morpho, by A.S. Byatt (technically a novela). Second Nature, by Alice Hoffman. The BFG, by Roald Dahl.

  2. bookmarking this and probably going to screen shot part of it on my phone so that next time I’m at the library I won’t have to text you last minute like I usually do with MACKENZIE, WHAT SHOULD I GET.


  3. Matilda is one of my all-time favorite books.

    Is “Vegan Virgin Valentine” really about a vegan? I try to stay abreast of vegans in film and literature. It’s pretty rare, in movies, anyway.

    I’m bookmarking this post for further reference. I’m envious of your well-read-ness!

  4. I can NEVER answer what my favorite book is either. I have a new list every year!
    I have only one bookshelf of space in my apartment and people gawk at me when I say that I clear it out and sell/donate almost all of my books twice a year. I only keep my faves, and pass on the rest. The bookshelf holds about 45 books.

  5. Awesome list! I will definitely have to look into those that caught my fancy when I’m next on my book prowl. I’m reading “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott, and loving that shit. You could ask them what their favourite genre is instead, and then you can just run through the list that’s most suitable for them. Chances are, they won’t be able to choose a favourite genre, but that’s what you get for asking broad questions!

  6. Historical fiction: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

    Children’s: anything Roald Dahl
    The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

    Oh, these book posts make me giddy. There are so many more!

  7. I don’t believe in favorite books. Different books are good for different moods, and I just rate them in various degrees of awesomeness (or horridness, although thankfully that’s less often).

  8. This post is fabulous. I’m always looking for great new reads. PS just putting it out there, Divergent is INCREDIBLE: super easy read and good content. For a reference point, it has a futuristic vibe like that of the Hunger Games

    xox Elizabeth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: