Friday, October 19, 2012

What Books do Famous Writers Love?

Well, obviously, the masters of writing had their favorites, and surprisingly, these were classics as well.

Here are some of them:

Leo Tolstoy: The Holy Bible and Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau were his favorite books. He said, "Rousseau and the Gospels are the two strongest and most positive influences on my life."

Mark Twain: Joan of Arc was his favorite book, although he did say that he reread A Tale of Two Cities at least once a year (he's my kind of guy in that aspect).

Ernest Hemingway: He had quite a list of favorite books, saying that he would "rather read again for the first time... than have an assured income of a million dollars a year" the books in the link above. Of his favorites, however, the works by the Russian greats (Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky) showed up a good few times.

JD Salinger: In 1995, Salinger answered that his favorite book was The Landsmen by Peter Martin. I know; I hadn't heard of this either, and it's Amazon page has only one (albeit, 5-star) review. However, Salinger was so passionate about this book that he lent it to the asker of this question, with a little note as well. Salinger is one of my most favorite authors, as a person and a writer.

Now, how about the more modern writers?

Suzanne Collins: Not really specific, but she loves works by Thomas Hardy, and she's reread The Lord of the Flies, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1984, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Germinal, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and A Moveable Feast to an "embarrassing" degree.

Stephanie Meyer: The best I could get was her favorite heroines: Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice), Anne Shirley (Green Gables), Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre...), Harriet Morton (no idea), and Jo March (Little Women); Dashti of Book of a Thousand Days is on her list as well.

John Irving: Great Expectations by Dickens was his favorite. (Yes! A straight forward answer!)

Dan Brown: His favorites were a lot of nonfiction, but he has some fiction in there as well, such as Of Mice and Men. Check out his list.

And, of course:

JK Rowling: (Whose favorite book I didn't even have to look up :D)  Emma by Jane Austen. Her favorite childhood book (I had to look this up to be sure) was The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge (I knew it! Just forgot the name.) "Goudge was the only one whose influence I was conscious of," Rowling said. To see the rest of her picks, click here.
So that's all, folks!

My own favorite books are:

1. Harry Potter -- JK Rowling. These books are what got me writing, so it's placement at the top is a huge debt of gratitude. Plus, these books are just freaking fantastic, in literary qualities as well as creative.

Oh, this is tough. OH this is tough!!!!! How about I have two second-place favorites?

2a. A Tale of Two Cities -- Charles Dickens.

2b. The Catcher in the Rye -- JD Salinger. This is my go-to book when I'm not in a good place, and I would not edit even a word of this book (I only feel this way about this book).

But A Tale of Two Cities is my other favorite to go to whenever I want to read that last page again (and again), the most beautifully written page of all time, I think, with one of my favorite characters, Sydney Carton.

(Les Misérables will probably be coming in this list soon; I just have to finish it.)

4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower -- Stephen Chbosky. I watched the movie, then read the book, and although I thought the movie was better than the book (I KNOW! But Chbosky played a big part in the movie as well.), I still loved them.

5. The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling. Yup, sorry guys, I really loved that book.

6. The Great Gatsby -- F Scott Fitzgerald. I just loved Gatsby (the MC) a lot.

Well, this is depressing. I need to start reading more classic books. Off to Les Mis and Great Expectations....

How about you guys? What are your favorite books?


  1. Tolstoy named the Bible? Good for him! That would be one of my selections. Along with Terry Brooks' Shannara series and Preston and Child's Agent Pendergast series. And Timothy Zahn's Star Wars books.

  2. This was fun! What a brilliant idea...

    My favorites? Hands down is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon... sigh...

  3. Good question! I've had so many favourite books over the years. Ones that I've read several times & still love are: Anne of Green Gables, The Hobbit & LotR, a few Agatha Christie mysteries and some Nora Roberts/JD Robb books :)

  4. Right there with you, Morgan. I've lost track of how many times I've read the Outlander series.

  5. I've never considered what well known authors enjoy reading. Cool post! :D