I May Have a Favourite Author

G. K. Chesterton, by E. H. Mills, 1909 [Wikipedia]
Let me put it out there that I read almost exclusively classic books; and in addition to that, detective stories and fantasy, so, books mentioned here will naturally come from these genres and old… very old.

If I sound a bit antiquated throughout this blog, I blame the old books I read. And I apologise that many of you might not be able to relate to this article because the authors are a bit out of their time, so to speak.

I consider an author as ‘favourite’ when you specifically go for his/her books not because you want to find something interesting to read but because you know you will find something interesting to read. And I think I found that in G.K. Chesterton.

Funny enough, I was introduced to G.K. Chesterton by a fictional bookseller [you read it right] - I don’t remember which book, but if you think you might know please leave a comment below. I do however remember the book recommended by the bookseller, it was ‘The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare’. I remember it because I had come across this book so often while browsing Project Gutenberg for a book to read, and I thought the title was interesting but quite vague in giving the true genre even though it was listed under the mystery/detective category. I was too afraid to commit to a book I didn’t know the nature of or how good it would be.

I dislike repetition and G.K. Chesterton’s books are no exception. They have the tendency to frustrate me with his irony, poetic philosophy and the tendency to prefer one social set over another, particularly poets - nothing wrong with that except that it’s repeated too often that it becomes tiresome. But, for some reason even with his metaphors and poetic tendency, or despite his poetic tendency, I find it easier to understand him than other authors. In fact, I find him amusing and quite funny with comedy that one might find either silly or not find at all.

H.G. Wells, I think, has a way of forcing you to read because of the curiosity of what he might come up next. G.K. Chesterton makes you *want* to read out of intrigue.

I prefer stories written in a simple enough sentence structure which allow you to focus on the story itself; and here I think Arthur Conan Doyle is a good example, not only I think his stories especially the Sherlock Holmes series clever, I get to enjoy the stories because of it and I don’t have to wreck my brain to understand what each sentence means.

But there are times when putting my brain at work make me enjoy the book more.

G.K. Chesterton forces me to want to think of each sentence and its meaning in order to understand the whole story. I find every sentence interesting; I usually have to read and reread each sentence and it challenges my brain to think not only about the story but also what each sentence means, and I love this; and when I finished ‘The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare’ I found that the books that followed afterwards [by other authors] made me impatient for their ‘simplicity’ and blandness.

I find that he can be philosophical and metaphorical and poetic without being too difficult to understand. You know how there are certain books where you can understand each word but find it difficult to understand the meaning of the whole sentence? G.K. Chesterton’s books have the opposite effect on me.

He also has a knack for turning mundanely unbelievable scenes to convincingly mysterious scenes.

Father Brown: The Essential Tales [Modern Library Classics]
The Father Brown series by G.K. Chesterton I avoided for the longest time before giving it a try. I was afraid it would be too clerical. Now I wish I had read it sooner and there were more in the series because I’ve finished them all. The story is not quite like the detective stories that many might be used to - certainly not when the perpetrators usually slip away, and the crimes solved by assertions from an amateur detective; unlike Sherlock Holmes with his meticulous direct physical evidence.

I believe that sometimes when you read a book you’ll get a sense of the author’s own point of views through his/her main characters. If I didn’t know any better and if he had lived in this time, I might have thought G.K. Chesterton agnostic, at least at some parts of his life. The insights he has of his chosen religion and the sympathetic views of Father Brown towards other religions and non-religion I find very interesting, because sometimes even in this age and time some people rarely have the ability to do so.

So much for being my favourite author, I haven’t read all of his books; the non-fictions mostly. I can’t read books from one single author for more than one book at a time, or if the stories are short, a few. And since there are so many other mysteries to solve and detectives to discover, I don’t see how or when I will start on them.

& More

It's so easy to read a book nowadays; you can have many books in one device, and some of them are even free. My favourite place to find free ebooks is Project Gutenberg, where you can choose between reading online on your browser, an EPUB file, Kindle file or plain text.

Did you know that you don't have to have Kindle the device to read ebooks in Kindle format? You can read them using your smartphones or tablets. You can download the Kindle app at your device's app store and read Kindle ebooks such that found at Project Gutenberg.

Other places I use to find free ebooks are Project Gutenberg Australia and Roy Glashan's Library, but they have less ebook formats to choose from.