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Favorites’ Favorites

Books badge requirement 1: With the help of someone who knows books, make a reading plan to use in the library in your school or community.

Rather than talk to an actual someone who knows books, I’ve decided to “consult” some of my favorite writers and put together a list of their selections.

First, from my all-time favorite author, Natalia Ginzburg, comes the recommendation of the British author Ivy Compton-Burnett. In her essay “The Great Lady,” Ginzburg, writes about her discovery of Compton-Burnett and her complex reaction to the “dry and airless” novels that at first she suspects she may loathe but is drawn to nonetheless, and later comes to realize “that in fact I loved them wildly.” Ginzburg’s love-hate relationship with the British author is enough to pique my interest, but then, I was surprised to learn that Compton-Burnett is on another writer’s favorites list: John Waters (whose films I enjoy but whose hilarious books I adore). That one of Italy’s greatest post-WWII writers and the trashy Baltimorean filmmaker should have a common aesthetic appreciation for the same author intrigues me, and I’m looking forward to seeing what it is they may have liked about her novels. Read More.