Thanks to those of you who answered the favourite book questions I posed a few posts ago. I figure it's probably only fair that I answer them myself. And of course if people still want to answer the questions in the comments section here, then please, I'd love to see the results!
But confession time.
The questions were actually a ruse. See, I wanted to get my agent and publisher special thank you gifts for being awesome and there's this amazing etsy.com site where the lovely Michelle makes purses out of books. Here's the site: http://www.etsy.com/people/spoonfulofchocolate
Now what would be a better gift for a literary agent and editor I ask you?
But I wanted them to be personal, so I sent the questions I am about to answer to my agent and editor saying I was doing a survey - when really I just wanted some book options to choose for their gifts. To make the ruse all the more ruse-y I then posted the questions on Twitter (my agent follows me you see) and here.
The cool thing was, that after starting the ruse, there was a wonderful side effect of delighting in the answers people were giving me. So in the end, not only did I get the titles of the books that wound up being the purses for my agent and editor, but I had a great time reading answers and even got some really great recommendations of what to read next.
All in all, a lovely experience.
And now, for my answers.
What is my favourite:
-adult book? It's a toss up between The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Picture of Dorian Gray (I'd include the complete works of Shakespeare, but I'm disqualifying it because even though I said "book" I really meant "novel" and his stuff are "plays"). I'm also really getting into John Irving these days.
-children's book? This is a near impossible answer for me. I love so many, Harry Potter, The Phantom Tollbooth, the Adventure series by Enid Blyton. But I thought I'd put two books here that I'd never mentioned before in interviews etc, two books that I still read at least once a year.
The first is Starring Sally J Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume. I just LOVE this story, especially the way her make believe passages are actualised. As a kid I could so relate, despite this being a story set in the 40s. As an adult I marvel how well Blume can get into the imaginations of children.
And The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This just blew my mind as a kid - the blizzards! The snow! The lack of food! It was all so compelling and so exciting.
-most influential book? The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I've said it before, but up until my dad read me this book we'd been going through the classics, like Great Expectations and Lord of the Rings. When he read me this book, the game was totally changed. Adams broke so many "rules", wrote in such a different way from anything I'd encountered before. He totally changed how I looked a writing books.
-desert island book? Again, Hitchhiker's. (the original question made it clear anthologies weren't allowed as an answer otherwise I might say Shakespeare here - still, technically he still doesn't count, plays and all that)
-guilty pleasure? Anything by Michael Crichton. I don't know if he's a guilty pleasure really, not sure why I'd feel guilty about it, but I suppose he's not the kind of author usually listed as a favourite author by "serious" authors, despite I think his ability to write compelling work based on some cool premises. Still, feels like the right answer.
Oh, and in case you guys were curious, here are the books that were turned into purses for my agent and editor, The Neverending Story and Pride and Prejudice: