I recently had a think about my favourite books - in fact, for my 'profile' page for this very blog, in which I thought of many favourites to share.
A weird tendency I noted in myself was that I felt as though I should only include books that I had known and loved for a long time - I suppose so that I knew that they had already stood the test of time and really were 'favourites'.
This occurred to me because I found myself quibbling with myself at the inclusion of 'We Need To Talk About Kevin' by Lionel shriver in my list of all-time best books. In the end, I did put it in there - along with some other newer books I've been impressed by, once I started thinking about it ('The Rehearsal' by Eleanor Catton and 'What Was Lost' by Catherine O'Flynn spring to mind).
I'm glad I did, because I think 'Kevin' is a actually one of the most perfect books I have ever read - I read it and felt that there wasn't a word out of place in the entire thing (the only other example of that I can think of is 'The Bell Jar'). I recently re-read it and was equally as struck by its power, both in the writing and the content, but found that my views and sympathies had subtly changed. Even more interesting.
I have recently finished reading Lionel Shriver's newest book, 'so Much For That' and was at least very nearly as impressed, possibly, on reflection, as much. She is a genius at writing 'issue-led' novels, that still deliver equally on character and plot. It's rare that I've read a book (outside of historical fiction, certainly) and felt that I have been educated, entertained and moved in equal measure.
I think both books are modern masterpieces and she is definitely now firmly in my 'favourite authors' list.