"So, tell us about your favorite book or author...."
I cannot tell you how much I HATE this question (especially in an interview)! I was reminded of this recently when we were asked this question as an ice-breaker at my MLIS orientation. This question doesn't bother me so much in casual conversation, but in a job interview or any other professional interaction, it really puts me on the spot and causes instant anxiety. Apparently I'm a real oddball, particularly in the library field, because I don't have a favorite book or author.
Everyone else seems to have one particular life-changing book that they loved, and/or an author that they love, but not me. I do love to read, and there have been many books that I have liked, even loved, at various times in my life, but not one stands out as being a singular favorite. Definitely nothing life-altering. There are several authors whose books I have liked, but many have not written a large enough body of work to say they are my favorite, or if they have written a number of works, I have only read or only liked a few.
I don't even really have a favorite genre; it's all relative and situational. I love to read, and I will pretty much read almost anything that's in front of me given the time. I work in youth services, so I read mostly middle-grade and young adult novels for professional reasons, though I do try to read some adult books every now and then. I do find the teen fiction that *I* like tends not to be what is most popular with teens. I gravitate towards realistic and historical fiction, and I'm so over the whole vampire thing, and I don't really care for magical realism in general.
I'm not a huge fan of fantasy or sci-fi, but, if the story and writing are good enough, I can enjoy them. I loved Harry Potter (if I were really pressed to pick a favorite series, that might be it, but I don't like Rowling's adult novels at all) and Ender's Game, and liked Hunger Games quite a bit (once I got past the children killing children aspect). I really don't care for novels in verse or graphic novels; I have nothing against them and do recognize their value, it's just not my thing. But again, if they are well-written with a good story, I enjoy them. For example, Kwame Alexander's The Crossover and Booked, and the graphic novels El Deafo and Roller Girl.
One book I really liked this year was Echo, with four stories for the price of one, mostly historical fiction, with just a little magic thrown in, but not enough to be annoying. Also, I just read both The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate and felt they were written for my 10-year old self. I loved them, but they still don't outshine everything else, and it's so hard to compare different genres and ages.
As far as adult literature, I don't get to read that much, but some that I've enjoyed in the last 3-4 years were Unbroken, A Higher Call, and The Book Thief (that they all have to do with WWII is entirely coincidental). Some others were the popular Gone Girl as well as Flynn's earlier Dark Places, The Dovekeepers, and being a child of the '80's, I LOVED Ready Player One (can't wait for the movie!).
Some of my childhood favorites were Heidi, Little Women, Pippi Longstocking, The Mouse and the Motorcyle, Socks, and the Little House series. My guilty pleasure as a teen through adulthood is historical romance, mostly by Kathleen Woodiwiss and Johanna Lindsey as they are steamy enough, without being too slutty and sordid, and I just love the historical aspect and being immersed in different time periods. I save these to read on vacation, since they are purely for escape and entertainment.
But out of all of these, I cannot pick any one book as my favorite, and in a few years most will probably be replaced by newer titles in my mind.
So, am I weird for not having a favorite book? Does everyone else have a favorite? What's yours?