Sep 06, 2012

by English Muse

When I tell others that I majored in English or that I want to teach middle school language arts and literature, a certain question often arises.  I dread it every time, even though I’ve crafted a simple answer that is, for the most part, true.  Of course, it is not permanently true; the answer may change at any time and, in fact, has changed repeatedly throughout my life–throughout the last few years, in fact.

The question is this: what is your favorite book?

My cautiously crafted answer is always To Kill a Mockingbird, because of all the books I’ve read, that one holds the most memories.  The memories that formulate my attachment are personal and close to my heart.  Perhaps selecting TKAM (as I affectionately abbreviate the title) is a bit cliché.  It is a fairly common favorite.  But the truth is that it is my most frequent favorite book, and I think that is enough to answer the question.  Sure, TKAM’s reign as my favorite book is occasionally interrupted by fond memories of reading Les Misérables in the unabridged format during my senior year of high school, and childhood memories of plowing through Brian Jacques’ Redwall books as a kid.  Jane Eyre became a favorite for some time when I re-read it in college, too, and every time I re-read Sense and Sensibility, it becomes a favorite for awhile.  I’ve also begun collecting different editions of Pride and Prejudice because I can’t resist them and all the wit I know lies within those pages.

Do you have a favorite book, or do you, like me, feel as if choosing a favorite is a thoroughly ridiculous venture?  Do share!


Until next Thursday,


(Unwritten, Untitled)


This entry was posted on Thursday, September 6th, 2012 at 8:00 am. It is filed under Decor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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4 Responses to “The Dreaded Question”

  1. Amelia says:

    I can’t pick, if someone was to ask about a particular genre, maybe I could name a favorite but I doubt it. Like you I have crafted an answer since it’s almost like I’m required to have an answer (BA English, MLIS, MA English/Creative Writing). Mine is Catcher in the Rye, I think it would have been TKAM if we had been assigned it first in high school. Catcher is my pick I tell people because I remember the banned book speech my teacher attached to it, and it made it that more interesting to read.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I was an English major as well, so I know the pain of that dreaded question. I normally answer Light in August by William Faulkner, but it’s not necessarily my favorite. The book (series, I should say) that makes me the happiest is Harry Potter. But I also love Bel Canto, The Sacred Journey, The Bluest Eye, The Bell, The Phantom Tollbooth, Sense and Sensibility, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn… the list goes on and on 🙂

  3. I have been a confirmed book addict since childhood, and was an English major in college, as well. I am incapable of selecting one favorite. Genre, mood, and many other variables affect the possible selection. There are my dear old friends, new crushes, and books I enjoy at a given moment. Identify a clear favorite, one over all? Can’t be done!

  4. Paula says:

    So, I guess we are all English majors here, eh? It’s very difficult to choose just one favorite and I believe most people who like books will have a number of favorites. Like you, my favorite list changed over the years. Now, I’d say works from Shakespeare, Jane Austen or Dostoyevsky. xx

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