em forster, maurice
and where angels fear to tread
perfect bookends to my favorite author--one of his most depressing and one of the most happy...also first and last, i think...at least, i know angels is first...and he's pretty much my favorite author, so he gets two.
kurt vonnegut, cat's cradle
and/or breakfast of champions
hard to choose between those two--breakfast used to be my favorite, hands down, but i think cat's cradle is a better book--i got to teach it for several years and the kids were almost always appalled when i said it was my favorite book:.
francesca lia block, dangerous
actually sort of cheating, as this is a collection of several very short books in the weetzie bat series. punk rock fairy tales. i love her--her new book is about grown-up weetzie. i haven't read it yet and i'm a little bit afraid.
stephen chbosky, the perks
of being a wallflower
great book. very catcher in the rye, but its own thing, too...made me love the smiths, after years of resisting.
jane langton, the swing in
the summerhouse and/or the fledgling
beautiful stories--transcendentalism for kids. i love the fledgling so much, but am obsessed with swing because it was the first of her books that i read, recommended to me by my stepmother. several of her books have just recently come back into print and i'm thrilled to see it.
donald harrington, the cockroaches
great sort-of parable about cockroaches. i love this book like crazy...i laugh, i cry, i get all excited...
ray bradbury, the october country
or dandelion wine
he has a style of description like no one else. my favorite story of his is probably "the cistern" or "all summer in a day"--so tragic and heartbreaking...but, on the flip side, dandelion wine is so beautiful and joyful. the description of the main character's new sneakers and how they make him feel makes me cry.
elizabeth enright, goneaway
another kid's book. i just love it--it's about discovering this abandoned summer resort and having adventures.
marilynne robinson, housekeeping
this book is so fragile and quiet and beautiful...i read it every couple of years and just savor the descriptions.
gary paulsen, the island
wouldn't it be nice to just be able to get away and think for a while?
james galvin, the meadow
i loaned this to my friend to take on a steamer cruise, knowing that she wouldn't read it unless it was all she had...and she thanked me for it. it's beautiful and heartbreaking and unlike anything else i've ever read.
steve martin, the pleasure
of my company
i'm not sure he'll stay on the all-time favorites list, but i am totally in love with the way steve martin uses language. he's a wonderful craftsman.
neil gaiman, the sandman,
neil gaiman can really tell a story that gets right into your brain and sets up house. i've enjoyed most of his work, graphic novels and otherwise.
okay! i need to stop somewhere or i'll just list the whole library here. i'm sure i missed something worthwhile...