Last Book Read: The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
From Whence Came It: I bought this particular copy (a beaten-up Modern Library hardcover) years ago for a dollar from the Brattle Book Shop in Boston. (That shop, with its wonderful outdoor racks of books for $3 or less, is the only thing I miss about Boston. The only thing.)
Books Read Per Year: If you count re-reading, that would probably be somewhere in the area of 250.
Favorite Genre: Pre-WWII British literature. It can be fiction, it can be non-fiction, it can be cookbooks or diaries or volumes of sermons. For some reason, I can't get enough of it.
Favorite Five Books of All Time:
Agony. This is a non-ordered list and subject to change. (I have commitment issues.)
- The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim
- Middlemarch by George Eliot
- Possession by A.S. Byatt
- Swann's Way by Marcel Proust
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
A few books that didn't make the cut but that you should read before you die are the "Lucia" novels of E. F. Benson; E.M. Delafield's Provincial Lady series; Antonia Fraser's biographies (her Marie Antoinette: The Journey made me sob at the end); Elizabeth Ehrlich's Miriam's Kitchen; the poems of John Donne; the diaries of Dorothy Wordsworth (I like them better than her brother's drippy poetry); and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. On the subject of kid lit, I consider Charlotte's Web to be one of the most perfectly written books ever.
I've just realized I could go on in this vein for, oh, five or six months. But I won't. It's late, I actually feel calm enough to sleep, and Chris will be here soon (thank heaven).