(Tell me you didn’t see this one coming?)
(I totally did.)
Looking back over my recent books, I notice there’s been a sharp increase in children’s and YA books, juvenalia of all sorts. Like a lot of people, I find them soothing when stressed–though I also feel slightly embarrassed, like I should be reading some ponderous “adult” tome. But then, I’ve always felt that way, even when I was a wee tot.
Without playing favorites, I must say two of the best recent books are Little Women and Little House in the Big Woods, both of which are excellent examples of children’s literature–and worth reading by adults. I feel both are essential entries in the canon of English language children’s literature. For an adult book, I’d probably have to go all the way back to The Bearkeeper’s Daughter for something I’d call “best.”
It’s hard to decide something like that, though; I often think of my books as superlative, like you have in high school:
Best Trashy Ballerina Novel!
Best Novel about the Anarchy!
Best Scary Vulture Spirit Novel!
Best Mindbogglingly Bad Prose!
Best Book About Quilting in the Pacific Northwest!
(If you were wondering, I was voted “Most Likely to Have a TV Movie Based on Their Life.”)
Maybe I need to read some better books, though. I seem to dislike a lot of the non-juvenalia I’ve been reading.