Geesh, another book one. I pretty much covered all fictional books in the favorite book category earlier this month. (Can you believe it is the middle of October already?)I love reading fiction. I used to think my favorite book was Independent People by Halldor Laxness, which is set in Iceland and is very Icelandic. And the reason I loved it is that the long Nordic names almost lost me, and the pages of talking about sheep parasites almost lost me, and yet it never lost me. I felt part of this Icelandic sheep farming world. When she drank coffee with heavy cream after describing the severe cold and suffering, I also wanted coffee with heavy cream, and actually bought cream and decaf coffee, so that at night I could drink it while I was reading. I don't know. It somehow epitomizes everything I love about books. I transported me into another time and place, and made me nostalgic and feel at home all at once, even as what he was describing is about as far from any of my experiences of the world and childhood. And he taught me a bit about Iceland and its culture and folklore, and also about the hardships of being a poor Icelandic farmer. It is also funny. And weird. And makes me wish that I could have been born Icelandic, instead of mutt American.
Now, I don't know. I don't know if any are my favorites. They are all my favorites. Sometimes at night, I think about the book The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, which seems like a typically heartbreaking, bitter little book about a break up. The breakup is between the narrator, a writer in WWII era London, and his married lover. He talks about their affair and great love. But in the end, that is the most religious beautiful book I have ever read, or one of them. I think about it often, just laying there making deals with God.
I also love the book Of Love and other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Maybe not a favorite of the critics, but definitely one of my favorites. It is so Catholic and creepy and just became part of what is me when I read it. Basically, I love Catholic books, books that wrestle with larger questions. I also really love W. Somerset Maugham's Painted Veil for that reason. Real spiritual transformation. Anyway, I miss reading. I have been on a bit of crossword bender at night, so no book right now, and it is making me feel a bit, I dunno, bereft.