Marie, at The Boston Bibliophile, tagged me for an Author Meme (you should visit her blog – she's got a nice summer reading give-away going). And even though I really should be doing some reviews of recent reads, I'm easily distracted and this looks interesting. So here goes:
1. Who's your all-time favorite author, and why?
I really don't think I could name just one author as my "favorite all-time." You know – that single author whose books I'd take along to that famous desert island. That would be hard. There are several writers I've always tended to read and re-read – Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Barbara Pym, Anthony Powell, Muriel Spark, Joan Didion. Whenever there's a new P.D. James novel, I snap it up immediately. I'm sure if I sat here long enough, I'd come up with an even longer list.
2. Who was your first favorite author, and why? Do you still consider him or her among your favorites?
Well, I guess that would have to be Lewis Carroll. I can say without any reservation at all that the Alice books were and still are my favorite children's books. I still re-read them quite often. I just love everything about them – the fantasy, the whimsy, the nonsense, the tiny glimpses of 19th century Oxford life. And I always found Alice such an appealing character – she's always so plucky and down-to-earth even when reality begins to splinter all around her. And I love the Tenniel illustrations – none of the later versions equal his. It should be against the law to publish an edition of Alice without Tenniel.
Actually, I should say Carroll is the first author I really remember being smitten with, as a child. My mother always said the first book I fell in love with and "read" was Clement Moore's Visit from St. Nicholas ('Twas the Night Before Christmas) – apparently I knew it by heart at the age of two or so and would sit and recite it while turning the pages, making everyone think I could actually read at that age. Even back then I was more of a con artist than an intellectual.
3. Who's the most recent addition to your list of favorite authors, and why?
That would probably be Arturo Perez-Reverte. I read The Club Dumas a couple of years ago and fell in love. I picked it up mainly because of the tie-in with the Polanski film "The Ninth Gate," but discovered that the book is much richer and more interesting. Then earlier this year, I read The Flanders Panel (see my review), and loved that one, too. I've got a couple more books by him on my TBR list – The Nautical Chart, and The Fencing Master. He's a very fine writer, and apparently has a huge following in Europe, but is really just getting well-known here.
4. If someone asked you who your favorite authors were right now, which authors would first pop out of your mouth? Are there any you'd add on a moment of further reflection?
Well, aside from those named in my answer to question number one: Jorge Luis Borges, J.D. Salinger, Milan Kundera, Steven Millhauser, Larry McMurtry, Edgar Allan Poe, Harper Lee. I could do this forever. In fact, I have a blog post about this very thing (see My Top Ten List of 59 Favorite Books).
(Rules: Link to the person that tagged you, post the rules somewhere in your meme, answer the questions, tag six people in your post, let the tagees know they’ve been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog, let the tagger know your entry is posted.)
I know I'm supposed to tag six other bloggers, but I've only come up with three I think might play along: