My THREE favorite books? Webmaster Gareth left me a comment and gave me the challenge, referring to his own favorites, cited here.
If they are my favorites, I've read them often, thought about them often, recommended them often. So here goes:
1. By What Authority? by Robert Hugh Benson: I read it as an undergraduate when Dr. Lewis Dralle recommended it and I have read it several times since--it is a beautifully vivid historical novel set in Elizabeth's reign, featuring two neighboring families, one Catholic and one Protestant, and the effects of recusancy and conversion between them.
2. Civilisation by Lord Kenneth Clark: I read it while in college when the series was repeated on PBS. I was impressed by Clark's insights into art and culture and have gone back to it often ever since.
3. Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon Our Language by Richard Lederer: I have laughed at the grammatical errors and other verbal infelicities documented in this book over and over again. (Examples: "Stock Up and Save: Limit One."; "For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs."; and, from the chapter on history: "Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was very large.")