I think my favourite book of all time would have to be divided into two- One would be Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and of course her following seven books in the series which have brought me so much historical, time traveling, romantic, practical characters and scenes over the years. I guess my second favourite book would be by Andre Dubus III called 'The House of Sand and Fog.' The beauty of love, the reality of hate, tragic yet beautiful- I have had so many more books touch my soul but those are on the tip of my tongue.
Being a poetry lover I'll have to say Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, the poet who ushered in modernism and changed the way language could be used.
Although it's over a hundred years old most of the poems are still highly relevant for today - from Compost to War, from Nature to Prostitution, from the Cosmos to the needs of a baby - Old Walt experienced life to the fullest.
It holds the attention because not only does it help explain why the USA grew into what she is today, it gives details of character and personality, tells of Civil War, universal love, the human condition, religion, mysticism, broadening of the mind and spirit - as Whitman himself said, he is a cosmos and his great book reflects this.
Harry Potter (of the series, Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite). Any book that can inspire a child to spend their whole Saturday reading is an incredible book. Considering how instrumental it was in shaping me as a writer, I can choose no other.
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