Sunday, 14 December 2008

Who is your favourite fiction writer?

I will be logging onto Amazon sometime soon and purchasing a fair few books. Some will be Christmas presents but mostly they will be for me. When it comes to Christmas presents and deciding what to get to someone, I always find it easiest to decide which book to buy for them (if that is the type of present I have chosen for them). I think this is because of two reasons. Firstly, because I love wandering about bookshops and perusing literary review articles and thinking whether I would enjoy a particular book. Secondly, because there is just so much to choose from and so you are bound to find something. The thing about books is, there may seem to be an awful lot of them but you can always find a good bookshop that sells all the books you could want to buy for someone under one roof.

Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to ask some blawgers what their favourite novels are and who their favourite literary writers are. Its just a point of interest for me really. I want to see whether I am surprised by anybody's choice. They don't necessarily have to be law-related i.e. the likes of Bleak House or To Kill a Mockingbird but if you want to state your favourite in that category, do so.

Finally I thought I would mention one novel that I will be re-reading over the Christmas period: Netherland by Joseph O'Neill. I read it shortly after it was long-listed for this year's Man Booker Prize. The reason that I will be re-reading it so soon is because its turned out to be on everybody's Christmas favourite list. I do remember feeling that the novel made me think a lot after I finished it but I can't, for the life of me, remember why. Joseph O'Neill by-the-bye was formerly a barrister practising in Ireland. The novel is about cricket a subject dear to about 95% of the barristers that I have come across; but, interestingly, the plot takes place in New York. So why do you suppose a novel about cricket in New York has turned out be so popular - read it and find out for yourself is my advice.

EDIT By the way, I can't explain why the front cover of Netherland has a picture of an ice-skater on it. I remember thinking that I didn't come across any ice-skating happening in the novel. The only explanation that I have is: if the front-cover had a batsman on it, it wouldn't be flying off the American bookshelves as it has been.


Law Minx said...

I cant say I STRICTLY have a fave author, to be honest, Lackie, since I will read absolutely ANYTHING, even the label on your shirt if there is no book to hand, and my favourites tend to be the people Im reading at the time. At the moment I am revisiting Vera Brittains 'Testament of Youth' as well as a collection of her wartime letters, and enjoying both.

Lacklustre Lawyer said...

Really? The label on my shirt?!

If you don't have a favourite author, do you have a favourite book?

John Self said...

Let me join this a little late and offer some Patrick McGrath, perhaps Dr Haggard's Disease. There's a review of it on my blog if you feel like trawling the author index.

And just for the record, the US edition of Netherland did in fact have a cricket player - well, a whole game - pictured on the cover. I couldn't understand the ice skater either, though I do think there was a brief scene of ice skating in the book. The paperback has dispensed with all pastimes and used an aerial shot of New York.

Lacklustre Lawyer said...

I will definitely check that book out having read your very encouraging review. Will get back to you to let you know what I think of it.