I’ve found this list rather belatedly – it was first published in 2005 in The Independent – but it’s worth perusing. Various literary luminaries nominate their favourite fictional characters: some of the selections are surprising.
Rather more recently, in last Sunday’s Observer, authors revealed which books they love to reread. Again, there are some surprises: for example, who would have expected Ian Rankin‘s list to include, not only T S Eliot and Raymond Chandler, but also Jilly Cooper’s Rivals ? The comments on the website are interesting, too.
Whereas I reread books all the time when I was young – I still have my battered Dean’s Classics copy of What Katy Did and I can quote chunks of Little Women – I don’t do it so often now (so many books, so little time to read them), but I return regularly to Dickens, Jane Austen (I’ve read Emma about a thousand times, but I find something new every time) and P G Wodehouse (nothing better for cheering you up). There are one or two crime writers who bear rereading – Chandler, of course, Conan Doyle, and Peabody’s creator, Elizabeth Peters.