While I am taking a (ahem) break from work, I thought I'd list some of my most beloved authors and books. A lot of these books were required for various English classes. American public school education is pretty good!
Jane Austen. I love rereading her books. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I get something new out of it. Every sentence is marvelous. Such a contrast with Dickens, hee. My middle school friend gave me this book and a couple other classics for my birthday. I read the book so much that I wore out the binding.
John Steinbeck. I adored the "Grapes of Wrath." The first book I read was probably The Pearl, which is good but pretty depressing. But The Grapes of Wrath blew me away. I think I read it in a couple days.
Aldous Huxley. A Brave New World.
William Faulkner. As I Lay Dying demonstrated to me that a book of characters I hated could still be fascinating and brilliant. I've never read any other of his books though, and I read this one for English class.
All Quiet on the Western Front.
J.R.R. Tolkien. I think the animated movie The Hobbit prompted me to read his books. That movie was great. I think I read the trilogy and The Hobbit, but the main thing that stuck in my head was how scary Gollum was. Freaky!
The Great Gatsby. Adults out of control. This book was really disturbing to me, but I can understand why it's considered a classic.
J.D. Salinger. The Catcher in the Rye. Having spent my childhood trying to please various adult figures in my life, just reading this story was an awakening.
Shakespeare. Opened my eyes to the possibilities in tragedies, and the marvelousness of dialogue. I perhaps was most impressed by Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet.
The Stranger. Fascinating. Hadn't a clue while reading it, and even now only have a dim understanding of it.
Authors of lesser impact:
P.G. Wodehouse. British people are really funny. But I already knew that. Have you ever seen Are You Being Served? Funny show.
The English Patient. Beautiful prose. Not that I'm much of a judge of prose, but I loved the writing, and really identified with the message.
Siddhartha. Wow, fascinating book.
You know, compared to the books I used to read when I was young, I'm not reading books of particular quality these days.