If You Could Only Remember 1 Book

I just finished reading Fahrenheit 451 (review is still in my head). It got me thinking about what book I would want to remember if I could only remember one book, or read one book for the rest of my life. What book would I ‘be’?

My initial thought was one of the Harry Potters (of course), Half-Blood Prince because it’s my joint favourite, and has more substance than Chamber of Secrets. Then I thought just remembering one book from the middle of a series would probably be pretty pointless without the other books to give it context. So I thought maybe it would be better to remember Philosopher’s Stone instead, even though it’s my least favourite of the series, except then I would want to continue the story, and well if I can only remember one book that would be incredibly disappointing. I remember endlessly looking for Chamber of Secrets after I read Philosopher’s Stone. It would be like that, except it would literally be endless.

So I started thinking of other books which I have loved, or love. I kept coming back to series books, which is strange as I don’t actually read that many series. I thought of Northern Lights, but that so obviously leads on to The Subtle Knife that it wouldn’t work either. Maybe The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts would work. I still haven’t read the next in the series and whilst I want to Don Emmanuel does seem like a fairly good book in of itself. I am still trying to convince myself that it could be the ‘winner’.

Don Emmanuel got me thinking about Captain Correlli’s Mandolin, which I was trying to beat with other de Berniéres books for so long. Maybe it would still hold the same amazement if I hadn’t read Don Emmanuel, and it’s certainly a good book to stand alone.

I got thinking about another of my favourites which I first read at around about the same time as Captain Correlli. The one that stands out is Birdsong, which technically is a series book, but is probably the better of the three (the other two are The Girl at the Lion d’or and Charlotte Gray, if you wondered). I read the Regeneration trilogy around that time too, a series again (see I’ve always had a thing for books set in wartime).

I suppose Life After Life would be a good one. I loved it, there is a companion novel coming out but I think it still counts as a stand-alone novel.


If you could only remember one book for the rest of your life what would it be?


Filed under Musings

6 responses to “If You Could Only Remember 1 Book

  1. Anonymous

    OK. Well I can’t remember many books in detail anyway! But I can remember books I felt were important (The Magic Mountain), full of unexpected truthful moments (The Blue Flower), funny but also worthwhile (Deaf Sentence), favourites from childhood (A Hundred and One Dalmatians).


  2. I did wonder if it was better to remember something ‘important’ (maybe Living Dolls. Or The Lucifer Effect) but I think I would rather remember something I enjoy.

    Do you think if you knew all books were going to become illegal soon you could make yourself learn one off by heart?


  3. Such a hard call… maybe the Great gatsby

    “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

    What a great guiding principal to live by. Whether or not you have had those advantages, take the time to think about other people.

    You take the High road is another special one for me.

    Great topic!


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