This month, October 2020, Rhobin wants to know what my favourite books are.
There is no question. My favourite author of all time is Dr. Seuss, that genius. I mean, who can match Green Eggs and Ham or Fox in Socks?
But his best book ever was The Lorax. It is the first book of Greenie propaganda aimed at brainwashing kids to care for nature over profit. To this day, my children can recite it word for word. It should be compulsory reading for all business managers, from Deputy Trainee Bottlewasher to the CEO of every company. Being able to recite it should be a prerequisite for being allowed to take up any and every elected position. (That of course would have the additional benefit of keeping out self-declared geniuses whose attention span wanes beyond the length of a tweet.)
On the rhyming front, though, the world leader is Ogden Nash. For example, while I don’t approve of the sentiment, the humour is humungous in “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.” Then there is his version of The Carnival of the Animals, which is sheer genius. My favourite is The Elephant:
The elephant is a faithful friend
With a handle at either end,
A wrinkled and mothproof hide,
And teeth, upside down, OUTSIDE!
Then there is his little observation that Saint-Saens would prefer not to be called Sans Sense.
On the serious front, there are so many to choose from that with great speedy speed, I could list 20 or 30. Tops is probably the five books of David Eddings’ Belgariad, though the follow-up five didn’t grab me. I have read everything Isaac Asimov has written, which is saying a lot because he wrote a lot. The only textbook I ever enjoyed was his introduction to Chemistry.
In the criminal realm, no one can go past Dick Francis. I wish he were still alive, and writing a book a year. This is despite the fact that I am not interested in horse racing. Indeed, particularly jumps racing, his specialty, is cruel and should be banned. What attracts me to his writing, apart from the ingenious plots, is his view of human nature. His heroes are ordinary people who achieve extraordinary feats in the crucible he puts them into. The best of the people between the covers of Dick’s books is Sid Halley. Do check him out.
I do love The Hobbit. It is far better than Tolkien’s follow up, the Ring trilogy.
Somehow, I seem to have picked all male writers, but I assure you this is not by design. Even in card games like bridge and poker, chance can give you unexpected combinations like a straight flush or four of a kind.
My friend Anna Jacobs lives between Western Australia and Britain, and no, that does NOT put her in the middle of the ocean. Apart from lockdown, she nictitates between the two. She is now one of the most popular writers in both the UK and Australia, and has an unending number of courageous heroines who overcome the odds. Most but not all of her books are historical.
Then there is my friend and writing mentor, Florence Weinberg. I have either reviewed or beta read all of her 11 books (10 published to date), all of them award-winners. They are intriguing with historical accuracy, twists of the plot and characters that glow with reality.
So there you have it. It is done,
I hope with a bit of fun.
Funety fun, so go, go, go,
And visit all the ladies below.
Oh, and if you don’t comment before you leave, I’ll force you to eat green eggs and VEGETARIAN ham.