The other day, I had another enlightening conversation with my husband about books. One of these days, I’ll learn my lesson.
My husband and I are not the type of couple that leads very separate lives. In fact, we are kind of sickly inseparable. And I know everything about him (or so I thought):
- I know his favorite TV show (Breaking Bad).
- I know his favorite food (pizza).
- I know his favorite hotel (The Wynn Las Vegas).
- I know his favorite restaurant (Blue Hill at Stone Barns).
- I know his favorite sport (golf).
- I know his favorite soda (Diet Sundrop).
- I know his favorite beer (Sweetwater 420).
- I know his favorite video game (Grand Theft Auto).
- I know his favorite color (orange).
- I know his favorite brand of shoes (Onitsuka Tigers).
- I know his favorite holiday (Christmas).
- I know his favorite song (“One and Only” by Teitur).
But I realized the other day that, after all these years, I didn’t know his favorite book. So I asked.
He said, “I don’t have one.”
Now, let me clarify. He didn’t say, “I don’t have one” to mean, “I’ve read so many amazing books; I couldn’t choose just one.” He meant, “I haven’t read a book that I liked enough to call it my favorite.”
I was dumbstruck. I just kind of stared at him with a confused look on my face.
“Well, remember? I don’t read,” he said. And he winked (he has said this to me approximately 12 million times since I posted this).
And it’s true. He doesn’t read. I know this. I keep telling myself this. But it is still kind of mind-boggling to me.
It doesn’t make sense that he doesn’t read. We are two peas in a quirky, little pod:
- We like playing with Legos. Together.
- We’re both allergic to cats, but we still like them (mostly because they’re unapologetic assholes).
- We enjoy eating cold cereal for breakfast, but will only allow ourselves such an extravagance on weekends (on those days when we don’t walk to our favorite hipster doughnut shop or go to Empire State South for their amazing farm egg with crispy rice).
- We like to go on adventures (and document them with silly photos).
- We run frequently in an effort to maintain some modicum of cardiovascular health. But we both hate it, and we’re not afraid to admit it.
- We love vodka, pinot noir, and bubbly.
- We find this hilarious:
I could go on and on and on. But you’d get bored (and maybe a little sick to your stomach). My point is this: I like to read, so he should like to read! For two people who are so similar in so many (odd) ways, how are we so different in this one important way?
If you were to ask me what my favorite book is, my answer would actually be similar to his. But I would be saying, “I don’t have one” to mean, “I don’t have just one.” I’d give you a list:
- My favorite book in translation: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Marquez
- My favorite girly book: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
- My favorite book about carnies: Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (unless, of course, you’d consider The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern to be a book about carnies . . . in which case, it might be a draw).
- My favorite non-fiction book: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
- My favorite YA book: George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl
- My favorite depressing book: Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
I can’t pledge my love to just one book! There are too many that are great. Not to mention, my favorites are often tied to memories that can’t be ranked. For example, I know that, objectively speaking, George’s Marvelous Medicine is not the best young-adult book ever written. In fact, it’s not even the best Roald Dahl book ever written (this is). But it’s my favorite, because I read it aloud to my first-ever class of fifth graders, and I have great memories of the kids laughing hysterically when I used different voices for George and his grandmother. They always begged me to read just one more chapter.
I get a little sad thinking my husband doesn’t have a favorite book. It means he doesn’t have the same kinds of memories and associations with books that I have. I feel like he’s missing out.
I don’t want him to miss out.
So, I’m on a mission to find him a favorite book. Perhaps you could help? Please tell me about YOUR favorite book (or books) below. If I haven’t read it, and it looks good, I’ll add it to my reading list and blog about it later. If it’s a book that looks like something Bryan would enjoy, I may just buy a copy and leave it lying conspicuously around the house (in his bathroom, in the refrigerator, next to the remote control). We’ll find him a favorite yet . . .
One final note about favorites: Stay tuned for IKWYSR’s new FAVORITES SERIES beginning at the end of September! Guest bloggers will be posting about some of their favorite books. If you’re interested in participating in the series as a guest blogger, please check out the details here.