"Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you'd most like not to lose." Neil Gaiman
Asking someone to make a list of their five favorite books really is like asking someone to make a list of their five most essential body parts. Readers understand the parts are the whole, and every book we read is essential, and even if it isn't the best book one has ever read, part of it stays with us on a genetic and a spiritual level. I dared several friends to take the 5 Book challenge. Here's the first of several book lists you can expect to see here. This one is from my friend, Erin Lottier. She's a student at Lourdes University, the biggest Dr. Who fan I know, and really one of the nicest people you're ever going to meet.
1) I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margret Craven I chose this book because it was the first book that I read in school that was not one of the "classics." I had no idea what to expect and I ended up absolutely loving it. It was the first time in a book that I was able to see, in my mind's eye, the scenery, the people, and so on. 2) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee I chose this book because it was the first book that I liked to so much that I read it twice. I've only read two other books a second time, World War Z, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
3) American Gods by Neil Gaiman After reading nothing but primary and secondary source historical readings for upwards of 10 years, my introduction to Neil Gaiman lit a fire in my soul that I had long ago forgotten. American Gods was not the first Neil Gaiman book that I read, but it was by far my most favorite. 4) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams Do I really have to explain why? The whole series is great but the first book is probably my favorite. 5) World War Z by Max Brooks Having my degree in history, the way that this book is set up is so appealing to me. It is simply a series of interviews, stories told by the person who lived it. It reminds me of listening to old men tell stories of their days in the war. This book is not just about zombies, in fact the zombies are part of the background. This book is about the people who encounter the zombies and how they handle it. Some handle it like fucking badasses, some turn cowards, some see a boatload of money to be made, some simply break under the pressure of it all. This book is so wonderfully written. I mean that it tells the story of each person in such distinctly different voices. I can tell you what each person's voice sounds like, how they speak, if they have an accent, when they pause and for how long. There is no narration. There is no back story apart from the prologue. It is bare and simple and beautiful.