On a podcast interview the other day I mentioned my favorite of my own books. Rather, I MEANT to mention the title of my favorite of the books I’ve written. I think I instead said “my favorite book,” as though I am even more egotistical than you might suspect. I assure you that while I have a healthy dose of self-respect, I don’t think my favorite book is one that I wrote.
But that got me thinking — among all of those I’ve read over many years, do I still have a favorite book? It was much easier to choose when I was a kid. Certainly I can point to ones that used to be favorites, like Swords Against Death or (perhaps unfairly because it’s actually a series, albeit one about the size of single modern doorstop fantasy novel) the first Chronicles of Amber, narrated by Corwin. But do I re-read those anymore? Not for a long while. So then perhaps the favorite is Hour of the Dragon, or some Robert E. Howard collection, or maybe a Leigh Brackett collection of short stories, or maybe a collection of Harold Lamb tales, or James Stoddard’s The High House, or something by Wade Miller or Ben Haas or Raymond Chandler or one of the Parker novels by Donald Westlake/Richard Stark.
The truth is, I don’t know anymore. I have various favorite writers, and favorite books, but I’m not sure I have ONE favorite to rule them all. There’s no single text that I refer to again and again above all others that’s my end-all and be-all perfect example of the way writing ought to be. I suppose it would be cool if there was.
What about you folks? Is there a favorite, or are you more in my camp where there’s a range of favorites?