I’m always torn to pieces by questions like these, because if you can pick just one book that easily, you cannot read very many books. If my life depended on answering that question without writing an 800 page book I would have to say Wuthering Heights or The Passion by Jeanette Winterson. There are so many fantastic books that I’ve read and love, but those are books that I always come back to, and I find something new in them.
My favourite quote from Wuthering Heights– “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and Linton’s is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.”
Though I do like when Heathcliff recalls how he pays the sexton to exhume Catherine’s body, `I’Il tell you what I did yesterday! I got the sexton, who was digging Linton’s grave, to remove the earth off her coffin-lid, and I opened it. I thought, once, I would have stayed there: when I saw her face again–it.is hers yet!–he had ~ hard work to stir me; but he said it would change if the air blew on it, and so I struck one side of the coffin loose, and covered it up: not Linton’s side, damn him! I wish he’d been soldered in lead. And I bribed the sexton to pull it away when I’m laid there, and slide mine out too; I’ll have it made so: and then, by the time Linton gets to us he’ll not know which is which!’
And my favourite quotes from The Passion:
“You play, you win, you play, you lose. You play. It’s the playing that’s irresistible. Dicing from one year to the next with the things you love, what you risk reveals what you value.”
“To kiss well one must kiss solely. No groping hands or stammering hearts. The lips and the lips alone are the pleasure. Passion is sweeter split strand by strand. Divided and re-divided like mercury then gathered up only at the last moment.”
“I say I’m in love with her, what does that mean? It means I review my future and my past in the light of this feeling. It is as though I wrote in a foreign language that I am suddenly able to read. Wordlessly she explains me to myself; like genius she is ignorant of what she does.”
Can you pick just one favourite book?