Let's say I'm talking about a book, and I need to refer to some other book I've read, which I consider to be, of all the books I know, the one that is closest to the book that's under consideration. I would say:
The book I've read that feels closest to this one is...
But this just feels wrong. I can't find any way of phrasing this that seems right. The issue I keep running up against is that I have to do three things:
- Refer to all of the books that I've read.
- In that set, single out one specific book.
- But also somehow apply the superlative "closest" to it.
If you drop the last requirement, this isn't hard. "The only sad book I've read" is easy, because the criteria that singles out your book isn't a superlative. The problem seems to be that I have to single out one book, but once I've done that I can't meaningfully apply a superlative anymore.
Why does the above sound wrong, and what would be the best way of phrasing it?