I recently drafted my colleagues’ bios for our new website, which gave me the opportunity to ask them all sorts of juicy questions about their literary preferences. And as I went through the answers, I realized that I had before me a rather extraordinary trove of information. Our individual preferences can be found here, but I noted a few trends from my little anthropological case study. Herewith a few observations about Girl Friday’s literary tastes:
Donna Tartt’s Goldfinch topped the list of bedside reading (both anticipated and completed). Guess I’d better add it to my own list! (For more on Goldfinch, check out Lam’s piece on it here.) Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking and Masterminds and Wingmen both showed up more than once. And lest you think we’re all exclusively highbrow literary types, Bridget Jones’s latest appeared on more than one of our lists. We’ve also got some serious Divergent fans out there too.
No surprise in our bookish, mostly female company that Jane Austen featured heavily (not sure what this reveals about us, but I believe two of us listed Elizabeth Bennett as our fave character of all time). And Harry Potter was probably a given—for our kids, for ourselves, for the book we wish we’d written and were earning royalties on. To Kill a Mockingbird—and Scout in particular—also appeared at least three times.
When it came to contemporary faves, Elizabeth Strout and Sherman Alexie got several nods each. And for a group of grown-up women, we have a lot of YA fans in our midst. Currently queued up to snag from our kids’ backpacks: the latest in the Divergent series, Wonder, Divided We Fall, and Frost.
Oh, and on a not quite so literary note: although margaritas were far and away the cocktail of choice, French 75s, negronis and bellinis also made multiple appearances.
Seeing where our interests differed was just as interesting, but that’s for another day.
As an extra bonus, here are a few other top picks of the Girls Friday. Have you read any or all? Let us know what you think in the comments!
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Tender is the Night
Anything by David Sedaris
Anything by John Irving
Anything by Alice Munro