By Barbara Plum (aka AB Plum)
At a recent writers’ conference, the speaker threw out an epic challenge:
· Write down our three favorite novels
· Rank them in order of preference
· Exclude children’s and YA titles, plus non-fiction, plus our own fiction
Groans eddied around the room.
Surprised by the reaction, I finished the exercise within minutes and then went a step further. I quickly analyzed several common threads shared by my choices.
I arbitrarily decided to omit memorable characters. In my opinion, characters are the obvious reason that make books unforgettable.
Here’s my ranked list, including some common threads that speak to me.
1. Valley of Decision by Marcia Davenport.
2. Turn of the Screw by Henry James.
3. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Here’s what puts these books on my shelf of favorite fiction:
First, I read them all at pivotal points in my life:
· Adolescence (just before leaving college)
· Freshman year in college (admitted to an advanced English program)
· Illness (at a turning point in my high-tech career)
Second, they’re all literary fiction (a bit of a surprise since I now more often read genre- fiction). The language and writing are evocative and layered in my three faves.
Third, they paint rich portraits of dysfunctional families (a theme I write about and find fascinating to read about).
Fourth, I compare much of what I read to these titles.
So, if I were marooned on a desert island without my magical red shoes, I’d take these three books. (I’d beg to take the King James Version of the Bible too because each of these favorite novels is told there at least once).
What about you? Is coming up with three favorites easier than naming only one? Of the three you identify, can you select one as “The Favorite”?
Barbara Plum lives and writes paranormal romance in the shadow of Google. Books 1 and 2 in Wicked Magic, her latest series are available on Amazon:
As AB Plum, Barbara writes dark, psychological thrillers. Check out The MisFit Series Books 1-4 on Amazon: