Thus, I was thrilled to see Neil Gaiman's tweet this morning, announcing the lovely article about DWJ in the Guardian Book Blog. You can read it for yourselves, so I won't discuss the contents, except to say that she talks about how wonderful DWJ is and how difficult it is to choose an all-time favourite.
I have no difficulty choosing an all-time favourite ... well ... almost no difficulty ... maybe it's a tie. I think, if I were tied down and poked with sticks, I would plump for Fire and Hemlock as both my favourite and undoubtedly her best. I love it for its complexity, the dense intertextuality, the lovely relationship between Tom and Polly and indeed the unusual for DWJ emphasis on close human relationships of all kinds. And I've never found the ending ambiguous at all (but then, I'm a hopeless romantic and an optimist).
But, as a close second, by only a shade of a whisker, is Howl's Moving Castle, which for me is the ultimate comfort read: funny, irreverent, romantic, charming ... what can I say?
And then there's Dogsbody, with its remarkable presentation of the dog's point of view. And Time of the Ghost, and The Homeward Bounders, which I think is possibly my THIRD favourite DWJ book, maybe. But that would mean that I'd be leaving out Charmed Life, which was the first of her books that I read but still one that I love. Or The Ogre Downstairs which still cracks me up.
I can't wait for this summer's conference - All DWJ All The Time! What could be cooler than that?
PS: I need a DWJ icon.