My favorite book is one that sucks me in, that absorbs me, that carries me into its world. My favorite book is one where I adore the characters and want to spend time with them, where I love the setting and the power of place. My favorite book is one that makes me laugh, that makes me weep, that makes my heart contract with grief and expand with joy.
My favorite book opens my worldview. It shows me life through someone else’s eyes and broadens my understanding as a result. My favorite book changes me in sometimes large, sometimes small ways. It makes me think. It adds a word to my vocabulary. It shows me a landscape I’ve never seen or even given thought to before. It gives me empathy for someone I never knew needed empathy, or why. It changes the way I treat people. It expands my understanding of the past beyond the bias of what I was taught in school, and with more representation, and texture, and meaning than the memorization of dates and battle names.
My favorite book fills in spaces in my understanding of humanity and geography and history and psychology and language. My favorite book entertains me, pulls me to it on my lunch break, promises feeling while I read it, and reverberates long after I put it down, whether with a moved heart, appreciation of excellence, new ways of thinking or seeing, or with pure unadulterated joy.
My favorite book is The Shipping News, Olive Kitteridge, Lonesome Dove, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Anna Karenina, Bel Canto, The Goldfinch, Mean Spirit, The Haunting of Hill House, The Old Man and the Sea, Life of Pi, My Cousin Rachel, The Color Purple, The Language of Flowers, Prodigal Summer, True Grit, Thick, The Sound and the Fury, The Book of Unknown Americans, Between the World and Me, Me Talk Pretty Some Day, The Poet X, and so many, many more.