Favorite Books

One of the joys of reading is sharing favorite books with other readers. Even when I’m still reading a book that really strikes my fancy, I’m thinking about who else might really like it.

Of course sharing books often becomes giving books away, and that’s fine. I’m not that good at remembering who lent me which book, and I don’t even try to keep track of what book I lent to whom. But there is a downside. My book shelves gradually become cluttered with the books I didn’t like well enough to share.  When there’s no more room for new books I want to buy, and the stack on my bedside table is reaching a tipping point, it’s time to cull. I almost never throw a book away. Instead, the thrift shop gives unwanted books the chance to find someone who likes them better.

Mysteries probably account for half the books I read, but my all-time favorite novel is The Master And Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, which not a mystery but a satire – and more. It combines mockery of Stalin’s Russia, particularly the literary establishment, with a romance and the story of Christ’s passion. This sounds complicated, possibly grim, but it’s easy to read and often very funny. Over the years, I’ve shared The Master and Margarita with numerous friends and family members and rarely get my book back. That’s okay.  I’m happy to share and will keep buying copies for myself. Books aren’t free, but they aren’t that expensive either. Over the years, I’ve bought a least a dozen copies for myself.

My favorite mystery is Tim O’Brien’s In The Lake of the Woods, which is not a who-done-it but a what-did-he-do. I just went to the bookshelves to check something that I wanted to mention about this book and found that I don’t have it anymore, and neither do I have my copy of What They Carried. It’s time to go book shopping.


About Patricia Dusenbury

Patricia Dusenbury grew up in the Northeast, went to college in the South, and married a southerner. After a lifetime on the east coast, she recently moved to San Francisco. In her previous career, Pat was an economist and the author of numerous dry publications. She is hoping to atone by writing mystery stories that people read for pleasure. The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition named A Perfect Victim, Book 1 of her Claire Marshall trilogy, 2015's best mystery. Book 2, Secrets, Lies & Homicide, was a finalist for the 2016 EPIC award. Book 3, A House of Her Own, is out and completes the trilogy. The first book in Pat's new series, working title Two Weeks in Geary, is a Claymore Award finalist. When she isn’t writing, Pat is reading, gardening, babysitting or exploring San Francisco, the fabulous city that is now her home.
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One Response to Favorite Books

  1. The Master and Margarita — I guess we all have different tastes. Although I write bizarre stuff myself, I just couldn’t get my head around this novel. It’s on my list of unfinished books. Perhaps I need someone intelligent like you to dissect it for me 😉

    My favourite authors are Rose Tremain, Philippa Gregory, Donna Tartt, Stephen King, & Lisa Gardner. I also love Nordic Crime, both reading it and watching it on television with subtitles (not a word of English, please). Favourite Nordic authors — Jo Nesbo, Karin Fossum, Peter Hoeg, & Stieg Larsson.

    And favourite novel ever — The Stand by Stephen King

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