Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Worst Nightmares & Favourite Books

My girl is at home with a migraine. I hate this. These are the worst things I have bequeathed to my children -- I would give anything to keep the headaches in my own brain and spare them the suffering. My son had one last week. His are much rarer than the girl's and generally pretty silent -- meaning while he gets the aura and a headache afterwards, he is spared the axe through the brain that characterizes my migraines, and the stroke-like symptoms that characterize the girl's.

He and I were discussing the subject (after he recovered) and we agreed that the one thing that really drives us crazy is when people use the word migraine to describe a bad headache. NOT the same thing at all at all at all.

But now my girl is home, safe in bed, trying to sleep it off, and I am working instead of sweating at exercise class. Can always go to the gym later.

In the meantime, I just read in Publisher's Lunch of a study by the Harris Group in the US. Here's the clip:

Poll Asks, Name Your Favorite Book
Harris Interactive surveyed American adults to find out "What is your favorite book of all time?" The answers:

1. The Bible
2. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
3. Lord of the Rings (series), by J.R.R. Tolkien
4. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
5. The Stand, by Stephen King
6. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
7. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
8. Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown
9. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
10. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

Interesting list.

I actually really hate being asked what my favourite book is. I get asked this a lot, mostly at schools when I am talking with kids about writing. My problem is, I can never narrow it down to just one or two. As my recent Jane Austen jag can attest, when I find a novel I enjoy, I frequently end up reading the author's entire back list.

As to the Harris List, I can say I LOVE a couple of books noted, I really enjoyed several others, one I have always wanted to read, but haven't as yet, and two I despise.

Can you do better than I have at answering this tough question? What is your favourite book?



Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about migraines and I wish you and your children all the very best in healing.

Favourite book ? Good question (have not thought specifically before). I haven't read much in last 3 years. But I did catch one of Bernard Cornwell's 'Boys Own' history novels. Fantastic descriptions of battles. Alfred the Great.

Before that I'd kept a little red notebook with all the books I'd ever read, neatly written down; an illustration of how handwriting can change over years. Perhaps I should transfer to a database and assign categories, sub-categories, ratings and quotes. Perhaps not. That would be rather .. err.. wouldn't it?

The book I've read the most is 'The Chalk Giants' by Keith Roberts - a rather obscure British science fiction author who finally passed away grumpy and difficult. I don't know why I read it so much but I did.

I've really enjoyed 'Birdsong' by Sebastian Faulks.

Love 'Gormenghast', especially the 3rd one - 'Titus Alone'

Never did finish 'Lord of Rings' when a little boy. Gave up at 'Horns of Rohan'(I think it was called) but really loved the Norse mythic contexts. Have read first in J.K Rowlings's series and enjoyed very much. Same with Philip Pullman - loved first. Didn't get hooked though. But am middle aged child not actual child - so maybe that makes difference.

The Dan Brown books were entertaining and I admired how they were written in such a page- turning style. As if for TV.
But less character than a typical TV soap. Scrappy dialogue.

Harper Lee - OK.

Bible ? Which Books I wonder did USA people like the most. (compared to Canadian for example) I did read the Bible, New, Old and Apocrypha - long time ago. Enjoyed the read for the most part - some of it is very dry. Some is sheer poetry.

Haven't read any of the others on the list. Not Salinger.

Did you enjoy that film 'Becoming Jane' ?


P.S I expect I'll think of several more favourite books straight after I've clicked 'Publish Your Comment' button.

Trudy said...

That is a tough question. There are a few, for different reasons or different "times".
But I think I could safely say the first Poldark novel by Winston Graham.

I had to search high and low for a good hardcover copy!

kc dyer said...

A great selection, Julian! Ghormengast is one of my particular favourites. And I'm sorry to say I couldn't quite choke down the premise of 'Becoming Jane', in spite of my latent Austin fixation.

Thanks for your kind wishes!


kc dyer said...

Hey Trudy!

Poldark, eh? I guess I'd better hunt that one down...I haven't read it!


Ms. Yingling said...

Favorite young adult book as an adult-- The Phantom Tollbooth.

Favorite young adult book as a young adult-- Anne of Green Gables.

Most influential book-- Fahrenheit 451.

Most embarassing favorite book-- Weber's A New and Different Summer.

It's a good question, and keeps us thinking. And remember, your new favorite book might be the one waiting on your nightstand!