You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive. -James Baldwin
If there is one thing in the world that can make me stay in one place, it would be books. I dream of chasing every sunset all my life but I will gladly throw it away if I can have all the books I’d love to read. Someday, I’d like to retire somewhere far. Unreachable by foot and away from society. I’ll build a hermit hole and read the rest of my lifetime away. I won’t be asking for company. But I’ll make an exception if company means my favorite authors.
Yesterday, Karenina and I cooked up a blog topic that we’re both thrilled to do.
Being bookworms, we always seem to talk about books, books and books. And when we talk about books, it is impossible to leave out authors we adore.
What if you will be given a chance to meet your favorite author and get to talk to him/her, who will it be?
I’ve leafed through too many pages of books in the last 15 years of my life that it is quite daunting for me to pick only one favorite author. After some serious negotiation with my head, my heart agreed to list 10.
Here it is – the who and the why:
She made me fall in love with magic. I won’t be able to think of my childhood days without remembering Harry Potter. I’m sure we’ll have a lot to talk about. But I only have one pressing question to ask: why did you have to go and kill Sirius Black? It scarred me for life.
I read Anna Karenina and I was blown away. I want to find out more about Russia, a country I’m starting to fall in love with. And I fall in love even more – not just with its culture amd its history but also the people that inhabit it. Tolstoy weaved his characters so vividly that I experience what they go through and get into their very thoughts. He gave me a rich insight into the multi-layered nature of man. He made me realize that our everyday actions define our character and purpose. His ability to show me the good in everyone made me love him even more. We can talk about the intricacies of life and the complexities of being human.
Henry David Thoreau
This man led a very interesting life. A rebel in disguise, he has principles that can never be bent. I admire his stand about slavery and what it means to be a citizen. He is my favorite American. He got me at: “I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion.” Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote this about him: he “repudiated all regular modes of getting a living, and seems inclined to lead a sort of Indian life among civilized men.” This is meant as a criticism but it draws me even more to Thoreau.
We won’t run out of topics either. I will grill him about all the vague things I found in Civil Disobedience. And I’m sure he’ll be aghast to discover the state of the world today.
A Nobel laureate, Neruda led a very controversial life. He wrote an ode to Stalin. He was a marxist. And he lived a part of his life in exile. His exciting life brought him to the forefront of politics. A diplomat, Neruda was friends with Salvador Allende, the president of Argentina before it succumbed to dictatorship.
His poems are stunning. They can be sensual, erotic, political and even surreal. I wish I can read them in Spanish. We’ll most likely talk about his poems, every single one of them.
As a writer, I admire everything about Dickens. He made the most remarkable characters in literature. The image of Madam Defarge is forever imprinted on my mind. He idealised his characters. Some of them are caricatures. But I love them all. Even Fagin. And Plovis. But most especially Sydney Carton. So some call his works sentimental. I don’t mind. Bah! Humbug!
I won’t be able to read news articles and its comment section without being reminded of everything Orwellian. Big brother. Double speak. Ministry of Truth. East Asia. Eurasia. 1984 will always be present in today’s world.
When I read, I relish the long-winded passages because they freeze the moments and let me savor every word more. I take a sip and luxuriate at the taste. But Orwell’s writing is bland. I love it all the same. It allows me to gulp it down in one go. I’d definitely ask Orwell what he thinks of the Cold War.
Nora made me fall in love with romance and Ireland and faeries. I have half of her books. They make up my teenage years. Her novels paint a picture of perfection. They are always a welcome treat whenever I want to escape reality.
I met him once. And I got a hug. He’s absolutely nice. His books bring me back to my college days. If I want to ponder about life and death, they are my go-to read.
Mitch and I can talk about life. And death. Definitely death. We’ll exchange ideas about what we’ll find when we leave this world.
Why I love her? She’s Irish. She’s Nicky Byrne’s sister-in-law. And she writes the most awesome books. Her works border on the whimsical and poignant. I can’t forget If You Could See Me Now. We’re going to talk about Ireland, magic and imaginary friends.
There’s only one thing I can call Vonnegut – crazy! Crazy and brilliant. Bloody brilliant! Just imagine all the crazy things we can talk about. Dresden. Wars. Ice nine. Karaas. Maybe, he’ll tell me more about Bokonon or where I can find the cat in a cradle.
I just realize that more than half of the writers I’d like to invite for tea are all dead. The past is glorious, indeed.
So, I hope to see them at my hermit hole.
4 o’clock. Don’t be late if you want to join us!