Friday Favorites: Penny W

Friday Favorites is a new weekly feature that asks readers to share their favorite books. My boyfriend convinced me to start with my own, so here we are. If you would like to contribute just shoot me a message!


Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m an avid reader and book blogger, when I’m not spending long hours working in a call center. I’m a huge Star Trek fan, magic delights me, and I wish I could spend all of my time in the mountains. I also collect gnomes and have the cutest cat in existence (see below for proof).

read yourself happy - cat

What type of books are you drawn to?

Definitely science fiction and fantasy, with a focus on anything post-apocalyptic. I also read a lot of contemporary fiction, classics, comic books, and scientific non-fiction. The only genre I don’t read much of is romance.

If you could spend a night hanging out with three authors, living or dead, who would you choose?

Neil Gaiman, for sure. I adore all of his books and have always wanted to meet him. Douglas Adams, because his mind worked in wonderfully weird ways. Margeret Atwood, so I can pick her brain about all of her amazing books.

Which classic or popular book do you hate?

William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying

William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. In all honesty, I should probably give this book another chance because it’s been almost a decade since I read it. However, when I read it in my tenth grade AP English class, it was one of the only books that I didn’t finish. I hated the stream of consciousness narrative, and because of this book, I’m now wary of reading anything by Faulkner.

How do you keep track of books you’ve finished and books you want to read?

I use Goodreads obsessively. It’s so easy to keep track of every single book I read, and my TBR list is out of control. I also keep a handwritten book journal to record books I’ve finished and a few little notes about them.

What are your five favorite books, and why?

  • Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is my favorite book of all time. There is so much that I love about it: the anonymity of the main characters, the perfectly written desolation and horror of their world, and the immense love between father and son. I’ve read this book at least ten times, and it always leaves me sobbing uncontrollably.
  • I stumbled upon Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance by accident when I was wandering around my high school library back in 2004. The novel takes place in India in 1975 and follows several characters as they try to live as best they can. The thing about the book that strikes me the most is simply how real and tragic the characters’ lives are. You find yourself caring about them as if they were your own family.
  • As everyone who knows me or has read this blog is aware of by now, Neil Gaiman is my favorite author. I came across The Graveyard Book in a used bookstore in Asheville, NC, and read it the same night. When I was growing up (and even now, if I’m being honest), I’ve always found myself spending a great deal of time in graveyards, whether I’m meditating, having a picnic, or just wandering around, looking for interesting tombstones. It’s no wonder, then, that this young adult novel of a boy named Nobody being raised by ghosts in an overgrown graveyard is one of my favorites. The audiobook version, read by Neil Gaiman himself, is also worth checking out.
  • My mother introduced me to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit when I was a child, and it’s been my go-to fantasy novel ever since. It’s a perfect adventure story, and simply fun to read. My mother had a beautiful green leather-bound edition, and I used to pull it out of our bookshelf periodically just to hold it and admire it. When I’m feeling down for any reason, I usually find myself wanting to reread this book, because it always leaves me feeling happy and nostalgic.
  • Finally, we come to Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories. My brother introduced me to Rushdie’s work through The Satanic Verses and The Ground Beneath Her Feetboth marvelous and beautifully written works. Rushie writes very poetically, and I’ve always adored that. Haroun and the Sea of Stories, unlike many of his other books, is a very quick read, and follows the story of a father and son. The father is known for his storytelling, but one day finds he’s lost that ability. His son travels to the magical Sea of Stories to find a cure. It’s an amazing book, and one I can’t recommend enough.

Finally, leave us with your favorite bookish quote.

Wherever you go, you take yourelf with you - Neil Gaiman

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