I love books, I devour them. For me there is no higher pleasure that a good book. I don’t mean a good story, I mean book, it’s got to feel right, smell right, even sound right. For it to be a good book it has to fit in your hand right, allow you to sit with it for hours on end like you would with a good friend.This is probably also why I don’t own an e-reader and most likely won’t. So seeing as how I accomplished very little today I’m going to list of my five favorite books. They are not the best books I’ve read, but they are like a good friend, sure there are better ones out there, but not one that are better for me.
5) “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk” by David Sedaris
This one is also the newest one the list, I just got last Christmas from my parents, and in part that is why it is on here. The main reason though is that it is a collection of short stories about everyday life but instead of people animals are used. This just struck me as so silly and at the same time so deep. He pokes so well at how we interact on a day to day basis, at how we think and feel, and the sociologist in me just laps it up.
4) “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” by Muriel Barbery
This was one of those on a whim books, something about it just caught my eye and I figured why not. Incredibly glad I did, it is one of the most beautiful books that I have ever read, and one of three that hold the prestige of me reading cover to cover before putting it down. The characters are so compelling, so real, and page by page I fell in love with them. For me this book just embody’s the beauty that we can find in life if we just go on a whim.
3) “Bear in the Attic” by Patrick F. McManus
This one isn’t so much about the book as the author. McManus is a great story teller, his books are comprised of a bunch of short story, all revolving around him and his exploits as one crazy ass outdoorsman that grew up in rural Idaho. He is just alway funny, always makes my laugh, and held a very important role in my life. Growing up we would visit my grandparents in Creston B.C. and on the way out there we would listen to McManus on tape. They whole family would laugh, and when we arrived us kids would retell the adventures of Pat to our grandparents, who would always listen, their whole focus just on us. The reason for this specific book of his is because it was the first hard copy of his work I had seen. I was with my grandfather at the time, he bought it, let me read it first, and he let me tell the stories to him.
4) “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
The style in it is so different, the narrator so moving, and the story so sad. I got in the Hong Kong International Airport on February 7 2008 as something to read on the plane home, it cost me about $10, I know this because the receipt is still in it.This is another book that I read cover to cover the first time. I began it on the plane and I finished it there. Why this book hold number two is for a couple reasons. First it’s a reminder of my uncle’s wedding and my trip to Hong Kong, and so it has good memories attached to it. More importantly is that I’ve read it probably more times than any other book, and every time I’m surprised at how strongly it tugs at my emotion. I have yet to make it through the whole book with out crying. It also is one of those books that changed my view on the world, and not after the third or fourth time reading it, but the moment I closed the pages for the first time.
1) “The Great Book of Amber” by Roger Zelazny
So what makes this one my favorite book. Well first off, because it’s not one book, it’s ten, a whole series. Beyond that though is it combine the reasons that I love all of the other books on this list, the writing, the insight, the characters, the family connection, and yes I have read all 1258 pages in one sitting. I was first exposed to it the same way that I was to Patrick F. McManus, as an audiobook on the drive out to Creston, and how the story filled my young head with awe and wonder. The heroes became my heroes, the villains my most hated foes. I felt betrayed with them, and I felt the need for vengeance with them. They were my peeps. Then one Christmas my parents gave me the book. One of the best moments in my life. That book is now held together with tape, a few pages slightly ripped, the cover scuffed and scratched, but I hold on to it because it was the first book to ever make me dream of something grander than what was around me, it inspired me, it is the basis for my own moral code, and I can honestly say that without the stories in this book I would not be who I am now. So how could it not be my number one eh?