I’m linking up with a the question set on Blogging Through Thursday today. Why not hop over there yourself and join in?
Are “best” and “favorite” the same thing? If someone asked you “What’s the best book you ever read?” would the answer be the same as for “What’s your favorite?”
I don’t think “best” is the same as “favourite”, especially when it comes to describing the books I’ve read.
To describe a book as “best” I would consider things such as the way it has been written (grammar, structure, plot pacing etc) as well concepts that have really stretched me or challenged me, or which have presented a set of characters with views that have made me rethink a few things I thought I was firm on. A “favourite” book is one where I am at home with the characters and the setting, and am entertained rather than educated by the story. Of course there are overlaps, because there have been books that have taken me out of my comfort zone and stretched me yet I’ve read them several times over because I’ve found myself really at home in them and can dip in and out of them when I am in a particular mood or frame of mind.
A “best” book of mine is “The Life of Pi” – I was absolutely blown away when I first read it and even now, 12 years or so later, I can remember the emotions I felt at the time when I was amongst its pages. The colour, the vibrancy, the smells, the allegorical tale are all still alive in my mind as if it was only last week when I read it.
A “favourite” book is “The Mists of Avalon” – I love all things Arthurian and this is a book that I have read several times over and have recommended to lots of family and friends because it is so good. There is nothing very thought provoking in it, but the journey of the book and the way that the Arthurian tale is told from the viewpoint of the women makes it a firm favourite of mine.
A “favourite best” book is “The Clan of the Cave Bear” – well the whole series really. When I first read it I was introduced to lots of things that were new to me and I gleaned a lot about the Neanderthal way of life. I’m not sure how much of it is 100% academically accurate, but it doesn’t matter because the story is just magnificent and it is a very firm favourite of mine.