Reader Symposium: Your Favorite Book

Reader Symposium: Your Favorite Book

Last month I began compiling a list of everyone's favorite book. It was wonderful hearing what books moved people and why, and I'm honored to share with you what everyone said today. In a few days I'll hold another Reader Symposium, and I hope to hear from even more of you. Chicago Literati is nothing without the brilliant people who read and support it. Thank you, readers!

 Susan Geissler said… “Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins I contend it is one of the strangest and most beautiful love stories ever written. It's also erratic, often revolting and terribly funny.”

Sal Presto said… “Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon.”

David Piper Jr. said… “In Search of Lost Time - Marcel Proust. With each page I find myself stopping to daydream each savory sentence."

Peter Nilsson said…"Alice in Wonderland, I find myself returning to re-read that book every few years, with renewed aw, every time."

Claire Golan said… “There is so much I haven't read (yet), but... Gone With the Wind popped up in a second. Really. Read it when I was 11 or 12.”

M. Dean Dahlgren said… “Still To Kill a Mockingbird. Hope and despair, innocence and cruelty told from the adult-child voice...you never forget your first!”

Benoit Lelievre said… “Great question. I'd have to say Fight Club or Mystic River, because they changed my life. But there is so much good material out there. I'm reading Shibumi right now, it's like Nouveau Roman on crack.”

Kevin Lynn Helmick said… “Wow, what a question. So many books for so many diferent reasons. A Movable Feast, the restored version, by Hemingway is my first response, instinct. Not very current or surprising I suppose, but I love that book, and I too am a stuggling novelist, socializing with other struggling writers. so there's a lot of relatable emotions there.”

Jerry Partacz said… “I love reading Dickens' A Christmas Carol over and over again. I love everything about it: the Victorian England setting, the colorful variety of characters, the theme that compassion trumps material success. Its story resonates with my own philosophy of life.”

Michael Katz  said… “John Barth's The Sot-Weed Factor. I read it for a freshman lit class years ago. It's still the best opening paragraph to a novel I've ever read. It was the first book that made me think of all the possibilities inherent in prose and defined the art of comic fiction for me.”

Elisabeth Lawrence said… "Love in the Time of Cholera. I've loved it from the start and never stopped loving it. I read it once a year. One summer, I forced myself to read it in 3 languages. Me and a stack of translation dictionaries... That book just moved me. Tear stained pages, lots of highlighted text (and I hate defacing books!), etc.”

Judy Marcus said… “Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill. It's historical fiction with an amazing, inspiring main character and a can't-put-it-down story. Everyone should read it!”

May Robertson said… “Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. It both respects and teases fairy tale tropes. The setting is a work of art and the characters are likably flawed. And it has a happy ending.”

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