These are some of my favorite things.

Wyatt Mason calls himself out for favoritism:

I have been haunted by some of the language I used to describe one of the suggested titles. In particular I wrote, foolishly, that

Robert Graves’s Goodbye to All That is my favorite full length memoir…

But “favorite” is a silly word to use to describe a book, much as for an adult the phrase “my best friend” is a suspiciously needy marker. Why saddle a book with favoriteness; why hobble the gait of intimacy with the heavy boots of bestness? For there are, with books, inevitably, many favorites–or so it seemed all too clear to me in the days since I announced my favoritism, as the astonished faces of any number of books I’ve spanned time with stared woundedly at me from the shelves…

I’d add that it imposes a limitation, or a bar to clear, for any that follow – a competition, where there shouldn’t (or couldn’t) be competition.  (Not that competition is always a bad thing, mind you.  Cock-a-doodle-doo.)


One Reply to “These are some of my favorite things.”

  1. I don’t like playing favorites, either. To me, that implies a set of unchanging standards by which you judge all books. I prefer taking each book on its own merits. Hell, I don’t even pick up every book for the same reasons. Sometimes I pick up a book just to broaden my horizons, even though I may not necessarily enjoy a certain book. I’d never say Tolstoy is a favorite of mine, but I’m still glad I read “Anna Karenina,” and I’ll still read “War and Peace” this year.


    I think the 2009 ToB, should they actually hold it, would be a little predictable. 2008 was really 2666.

    The only other book I read that was published in ’08 was “Beijing Coma.” Don’t rush to put it on your TBR pile. It was interesting for a bit, but it flames out about halfway through and becomes so redundant that it’s tiresome. It becomes a tragedy where we already know how the tragedy happens. Which isn’t very compelling, if you ask me.

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