Friday, July 9, 2010

Oh, Harper Lee

It's easy to say, when asked, that my favorite author is Harper Lee because my favorite book ever is To Kill a Mockingbird. But is she really my favorite author? Can I really pick one author out of thousands based on one single novel?

Probably not. It's not fair to all my other favorite authors, like John Steinbeck, John Irving, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Anne Tyler, Barbara Kingsolver, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Charlotte Brontë, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Robert Penn Warren, Richard Llewellyn, Willa Cather, and about 50 others. Or more. I didn't even include any really contemporary authors, like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie or Khaled Hosseini or Ian McEwan. Or favorites from childhood like C.S. Lewis, Laura Ingalls Wilder, or Roald Dahl.

Perhaps I wouldn't like any of these people in real life, over a cup of coffee in a "clean, well-lighted place" (although it's hard to imagine not liking Lewis and Wilder). Perhaps they'd all seem like pretentious snobs, like one Pulitzer-Prize winning author I once had to drive to her office when her leg was broken.

But really, in spite of their fame and oftentimes their burden of addiction or emotional distress, aren't they, or weren't they, all just writers at heart? Surely we'd have something to talk about. Or perhaps it would be easier to sit across the table and write notes to one another on tiny scraps of paper.

Linked up at the Book Blogger Hop at Crazy for Books


Hoopla said...

There are so many books I love that I am incapable of definitively saying any one book is my favorite. I might be able to choose a favorite from each genre, but it is unlikely.

To Kill a Mockingbird is on my favorites list along with Jude the Obscure, Life of Pi, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Bridge of Birds, Atlas Shrugged, The Scarlett Letter, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall...

I'll stop there as it is a rather lengthy list.

Suzanne said...

I agree that it's difficult to pick a favorite author or a favorite book.

I definitely have authors I love, but sometimes I don't always like a piece they have written. Likewise, I've loved books written by first-time authors, but I hesitate to call them "favorite authors" until I've read and enjoyed more of their work.

Morgan said...

I have found your blog through this meme and am happy to be a new follower. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to reading your future posts

wisteria said...

Dido..I have so many favorite authors. I remember having to list them when I signed up on Library Thing. Over the past few years I have read and met so many new favorites if you will that my list keeps growing. There are some that stand out so much so that if they have a new book due out I so "The New Release Dance."
Thanks for your thoughts and everyone's comments.

Ordinary Reader said...

Stopping in from the hop to introduce myself and have a look around. I like your blog. A lot. I'm signing up to follow now. I look forward to coming back and reading some more reviews. Nice to meet you, Dianne

Rachel said...

There is no way I could pick a favourite author. No way.

I love the quote on your header by the way! :) great blog, consider me a new follower!

And the plot thickens...