I will admit that when Kirsten suggested we do a post of our all-time favorite books, I agreed without thinking it through. The funny thing is that I can probably name at least 6/10 of Kirsten’s favorites but, coming up with mine was an ordeal. There are so many books that I love for so many different reasons. There are books that I read at the perfect time, books that I have related to, books that have taught me something, and books that I connect to on an emotional level. But, let me be clear, finding just 10 books was NOT an easy task. This is one of the hardest posts that I have had to write. I debated, I changed my mind, and then I called my mother. In the end, I was able to find my top ten books by dividing them into categories like literary fiction, classics, epic read, and fantasies. These books are my favorites but, after all the debating, I admit that they are not the entire list. Maybe I will have to do a part 2. I hope you enjoy my favorite reads.
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Jackie’s All-Time Favorite Books
A few short months after we started the blog, I received this book in the mail. From the first paragraph on the first page, this book absorbed me and never fully let me out. It has a special place in my heart. It set the standard for all books I have read since because it is wonderfully written, powerful, and special. Bianca Marais has a beautiful way with words. The characters jump off the page and this read is an absolute must for literary fiction or historical fiction lovers.
I read this book long before we started the blog. I immediately recommended this book to everyone as a must-read and I made many friends by those recommendations. Anyone who liked it, was my kind of person. I guess it was a precursor to my weekly blog posts. The movie was a huge disappointment to me but, that is usually the case. I loved everything about this book from the romance and tension, to the beauty of the animals.
As historical fictions go, this one sets the standard for me. I love that it is set during the WWII era in France without being a book about the Holocaust. Instead, it is about two strong women and their survival against the odds. Kristin Hannah’s book, The Great Alone, was also a very high contender for me but, this book is one that I think about all the time. I absolutely love historical fiction and if you have not read this, it is a must for historical fiction lovers.
I was in university when this book was published and the first four were sitting on my younger brother’s bookshelf before I picked it up to see what the fuss was about. I read all four books in as many days and was married with a child before the final book was published. This book is so much more than just a book. It is a vernacular that is used in our house. It is the book that changed all books and our culture forever. I am so grateful for the world of Harry Potter because I think it opened up the world of books to people who may never have known they love to read.
I describe this book as the adult Harry Potter. But, while they are both about magic, this book is more about the act of creating magic than anything else. The descriptions are so lush and vivid, I felt like I could see and smell, touch and taste everything in the book. Morgenstern’s descriptions of magic are, in my opinion, unsurpassed by anyone. This is not a book to read in a hurry. Rather, it is a book to be savored with every delectable turn of the page. I love fantasy and I adored this book.
This is a book that you cannot explain to anyone if you are trying to get them to read it. I sound like a monster when I explain it is about an old man who initially, is foiled in his plans to kill himself by a neighbor. I found it even worse when I try to explain how funny it is. The book is all these things and so much more and I absolutely loved it. I feel like it was the first book that is really centered around an older person and the real sense of loneliness that can come with aging. But also, the real relationships that can come with the knowledge of life. This book paved the road for other favorites of mine like Arthur Pepper and Missy Carmichael.
For more books like these, check out our list of 9 Books Like A Man Called Ove
As audiobooks go, this book is the best one I have ever listened to and I needed to include it in this list. It is narrated by “music” who is telling the story of a magician named Frankie Presto. There are multiple people who narrate this book and it is more like a play. I could listen to this book over and over. I loved this book and bought a copy which I lent to an unnamed person who loved it and did not return it. My second copy has met the same fate. Third times a charm?
When I tried to think of my favorite books of all time, I had to divide the books into categories. In the list of epic reads, this book is worth every single page. But, it is also a beautifully written historical fiction. The writing is so lyrical- which is usually too poetic for me. But, in this case, it was hard to put down. The story moves between two strong, intelligent women living centuries apart and the choices and decisions that they have to make in order to be true to themselves If you have the time to invest in one read, this book is my pick.
My mother was the first person to read this book to me and I was immediately drawn to Anne. She was smart, precocious, and has a way of making everyone love her while simultaneously finding new ways to get into trouble. I read the book again when I was a teenager and then again as an adult. I will be reading this to my daughter next. Every time I read it, I am able to capture more of the nuances that are hidden within the pages. I am not sure if this book is more popular in Canada but, one day I hope to visit Prince Edward Island.
The first time I read this book was actually before I saw the movie Shawshank redemption. I read it a bunch of times and loved it. I did not realize, however, that it was an abridged version. When I was in University, I embarked on a journey to read the unabridged version of this book. I was so amazed at the brilliance and detail that is has been a favorite ever since. I cannot say that I have had a chance to re-read my mammoth copy but, I love it regardless. As the classics go, this one is epic!