Writing about books is hard. If nothing else, it becomes painfully apparent that you’re trying to use words to encapsulate a work of art whose author has already spent hour after hour choosing the exact right words. I have an incomplete Top 20 Books list sitting my hard drive I just can’t get right.
But what if I could only have 12 books? Forever? Much easier.
War and Peace (Tolstoy).
The Stand (King).
Infinite Jest (Wallace).
That’s months of reading right there. And they’re all great books!
The Secret History (Tartt) isn’t quite as long, and The Short History of Nearly Everything (Bryson) needs to lose the “short” and the “nearly,” but they both make the list.
A Pratchett book (Men at Arms, perhaps?), Slaughterhouse Five (Vonnegut) and A Confederacy of Dunces (Toole) provide some much-needed wit.
I need some fantasy. I’ve never been a Tolkein fan so I’ll pick Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy and now I’m left with only one slot remaining.
It is has to be one of my favourites, surely? It’s a close race between On The Road (Kerouac) and two-thirds of it – Cormac McCarthy’s compelling The Road, which I think just pips Kerouac at the post.