During a recent online interview, I was unexpectedly asked to list my 'Top Ten Books.' Believe me, the interview ground to a screeching halt at that point! Thinking back on it, I can imagine the interviewer tapping fingers impatiently on her keyboard, wanting desperately to wrap up the interview, as I painstakingly weighed and considered the various merits of all eighteen million books I've read during my lifetime. In the end, I was actually cheating; including entire bodies of work by certain authors under some numbers, while inserting subcategories such as "My Favorite Historical Fiction Books" under others. I really wanted to leave #10 open in sort of a 'yet-to-be-determined' fashion, but at the last moment I suddenly thought of a book that absolutely couldn't be left off the list, so I went with that and was left feeling stirred up and uneasy. In the time since, of course, I've been regretting all the books I forgot to mention... (Note to future interviewers: PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME THAT QUESTION!)
Right now I'm enjoying "Death of a Writer" by Michael Collins (2000 Booker Prize finalist); for some reason I can't stop myself from underlining passages that are particularly brilliant, so I guess I won't be lending it out to anyone with a low threshold for distraction. Besides being a talented and accomplished writer, MC is also an extreme athlete (this is actually a category of sportsman, not just my comment on his athleticism.) Good grief.