The other day a friend and I were talking about what we’d like if we had a wish. Of course it inevitably evolved in a few minutes from “my own personal library!” to “my own mansion with a library on a private island with all my favorite authors!” So this week’s top ten was a little easier than usual, I already had a few picked out. If you are interested in joining in, Top Ten Tuesday was created and is hosted by The Broke And The Bookish.
1. Leo Tolstoy
Who wouldn’t want to spend time with Tolstoy? That man could write about a reflection on snow or a horse’s hooves with eloquence that beguiles and entrances his readers no matter how many times you read his books. I’d love to just sit there and listen to him all night. I doubt I’d even want to say “pass the potatoes” for fear of missing something he might say.
2. Helene Hanff
Since her books were her personal experiences and letters, I feel that I have a pretty good idea of what Hanff’s personality was like. She was smart, funny and loved to read. Definitely someone I’d want to have at my dinner table.
3. John Steinbeck
I’ve always found Steinbeck fascinating, not just because of his unique life but because of his amazing writing. I’d love to hear him speak in real life, if only for an evening.
4. Walt Whitman
I am fully aware that eloquence on paper doesn’t always transfer to speech, but I hope that if he were at my dinner table I’d be able to convince Whitman to write a little poem for me. (Then I’d probably frame it and never let anyone touch it, but that would be after he left my home.)
5. Jonathan Carroll
One of my all time favorite authors for his astounding imagination and always exciting, beautiful, horrifying, startling and amazing books. I have always been entranced his writing, no matter if it was a blog entry, a short story or a novel. I’d be honored to meet him, much less have him over for dinner. I’d probably insist on hugging him at the end of the evening, but that is neither here nor there. (Mr. Carroll, if you happen to read this, I’d really like that hug someday. Seriously.)
6. Neil Gaiman
I have never read a Gaiman book I haven’t enjoyed. The fact that he tweets Narnia references and pictures of his dogs is icing on the already-amazing-author cake. He seems like a great human being in addition to being a great writer.
7. Irving Stone
Stone’s books have long been cherished by me ever since I read Lust for Life and it gave me a different perspective about one of my favorite artists. He is an amazing writer who takes fascinating, legendary people and makes them real to those of us who never had a chance to meet them.
8. Pat Conroy
A lover of books, a wonderful writer and a man who can roll eloquent sentences off his tongue (or pen) in a way that seems effortless and awe inspiring.
9. Louisa May Alcott
Little Women is one of my all time beloved books, I read it at least once a year. I realize that this book wasn’t a huge deal to the authoress at the time, it was a way to put food on the table and a roof over her head, but I think she achieved something timeless and touching within it. For that, I’d like her at my dinner.
10. Alan Bradley
Anyone who writes a character like Flavia de Luce must be great fun to talk with. His books are always lively and amusing, so I imagine (and hope) that he would be too.
Any avid reader would bite their nails into oblivion at the prospect of actually having to choose only ten. After I wrote this list I could only sit here and think – What about Murakami? Burroughs? Krauss? Kingsolver? Le Guin? Card? Bradbury? Zafon? On and on the names flew into my head but I decided to leave it as is. I can only be thankful that this list is just for fun and not for an actual dinner, because in reality I’d never be able to choose.