It’s getting close to that time of year when those obnoxious “best of” lists start appearing. While I am nothing if not a sucker for a numbered list, I always hate these lists because they always manage to leave off the things I think belong there. As such, I don’t want to go in that direction with today’s post. Instead, I’d like to do something that I hope will be both more democratic and interesting. A long time ago, Levi wrote a two-parter about favorite poems (part one and part two), which first asked what everyone’s favorite poem was, and concluded with a discussion of his favorite poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (which, by the way, is my favorite poem, too). This was one of my favorite LitKicks moments, so I thought I’d do something similar, though not entirely the same, because I like doing my own thing.
We write about books a lot here, because that’s the point of the litblog, I suppose, but while we often focus on what’s happening in the world of contemporary literature (or, if you’re me, totally not contemporary literature), sometimes it’s good to get all gushy and starry-eyed writing about that one book we love above all others. The one book that, when you think about books, is the best one you’ve ever read. I’m thinking of my favorite book right now (and I’ll tell you what it is later, in a reply to this post, since I have other things to write about next week), and it’s my favorite for the following reasons: the writing fascinates me, the construction of the pieces of story into the whole of the novel is incredible, and after I finished reading it the first time, I sat and reread the last sentence 10 more times because I didn’t want it to be over yet and I was amazed at how perfectly it had all come together in that last, lovely line.
So, instead of trying to compile one of those dreadful “Best of 2006” lists that everyone will disagree with anyway, I propose that we create our own list of The Best Books Ever. If you’d like to play along, and of course you should, you have to pick one book, your favorite book, without resorting to that pansy-ass “I love the following 25 books equally as if they were my own children.” Pick the one book, the book you’d be perfectly happy to read forever if somehow it were the only book left on earth. You can do it, and I’m looking forward to knowing what you choose.