Kirsten’s 10 Favorite Books of All Time: Books to Read Now

Kirsten's Favorite books of all time

We’ve been blogging for 3 1/2 years and it occurs to me that we’ve never shared our favorite books. Before blogging, I had a pretty set list of favorites which didn’t change much. But the more books I read, the more I get exposed to stories that leave me thinking long after they are complete.

Many of the books on my list are ones I’ve read over and over, while others are associated with people and places that warm my heart. So here’s my most-current list of favorite books of all time in no particular order. Will your favorite be one of Kirsten’s favorite books?

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Kirsten’s Favorite Books of All Time


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander #1)

How do we love Outlander? We cannot count the ways. There is a reason this is one of my favorite books of all time.

This epic story begins in 1945 when Claire Randall and her husband take a second honeymoon to the Scottish Highlands to celebrate being reunited after the war. When Claire touches one of the standing stones, she is transported to 1743.

This is when the real story begins. In order to stay safe as an English woman in Scotland, she must depend on Jamie Frasier for protection. This book is definitely at the top of our list of best romance novels of all time but you will love it equally if you love historical fiction, magical realism, romance, or witches. This is one of the iconic and epic time travel romance books that has it all and is perfect for a list of books like A Discovery of Witches. It was easy to include this on the best fantasy books for adults as well.

Juliet 1

Juliet: A Novel by Anna Fortier

I ADORE this book set in Italy and have read it numerous times. What if Shakespeare’s Juliet was real and was actually a curse? Alternating between the “real” Juliet’s story and her modern-day descendant’s story, the book proves that love transcends time.

I can’t put my finger on why this story makes my top 10 favorite books, but it’s a comfort read that I go to whenever I need a pick-me-up. I re-read it again and again! It has a little bit of everything – romance, a mystery, a contemporary and historical element. I

t’s such a unique and amazing classic retelling and was a no-brainer pick for a list of the best romance novels of all time and was obviously going to be included in our Ultimate List of Romance Books. The epic love story also makes it perfect for a list of books like Outlander.

Hum if You dont know the words

Hum If You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais

This coming-of-age story examines the relationship between a black woman and a white girl in apartheid South Africa in 1976. This novel is a brutally honest and emotionally compelling story, unlike anything I have ever read.

This book begins just before the 1976 Soweto uprising in which thousands of black students marched in protest of the apartheid government. Though the protest was peaceful, police open-fired killing a hundred children.

This historical fiction book led to the most amazing discussions with our book club. The characters jump off the page. I was completely absorbed from the first sentence on the first page until the last page of the book. It is powerful and poignant and one of Jackie’s all-time favorite books. This is an African Novel that you will not want to miss.

Castle of Water

Castle of Water by Dane Huckelridge

This is a wonderful contemporary fiction book about love and survival.  It is so much more than it appears on the surface.  It’s a beautifully written book about a vacation gone awry.

When Sophie and Barry find themselves on an Island as the sole survivors of a plane crash, they learn to depend on each other.  The book moves seamlessly from the past to the present, weaving an intricate tale. It’s one of Kirsten’s favorite books of all time. We also included this one in our list of feel-good books!

If you are looking for vacation books, this is a perfect pick from the list of books like People We Meet on Vacation.

Harry potter and the sorcerer's stone and more fantasy books for tweens

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling

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 is the book that introduces us to Harry, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger; our fearless trio.  We also meet the other favorite beloved and detested characters that make the Harry Potter book series so special. After all, what would Hogwarts be without Hagrid, Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Professor Snape, and Draco Malfoy?

Harry Potter shows up on our list of books like Percy Jackson too! And if you love Harry as we do, check out our 17 Books like Harry Potter for Kids Obsessed with Magic or 21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter for Fans of Magic.

If you are interested in starting Harry Potter, head to our guide on the Harry Potter Books in order to get a free printable!

my side of the mountain

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George 

Welcome to my favorite book of my childhood. It’s not one that anyone who knows me would pick as one of my favorite books, but maybe that’s why it’s so dear to my heart. This story about a 12-year-old boy who ran away to live in the wilderness spoke to me during a time when I needed to imagine an escape.

The thought of someone living off the land being able to survive and thrive captured my imagination. The sketches and notes about how he fashioned himself a home in a tree and a suit of deerskin only added to the allure of this story.

It’s the first book in a trilogy, and while the other two are great, this book for 10-year-olds is forever my favorite of the bunch.

Kirsten’s Favorite Books: Classics

frenchmans creek

This book and Outlander are my favorite books of all time. After reading Du Maurier’s Rebecca, I was eager to read more of her novels. At the time, my grandparents had a home in a Florida enclave by the same name so I picked it up and read it.

Only after I fell in love with this tale of

One Hundred Years of Solitude and other Oprah Book Club List Books ranked.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

For the record, I read this book BEFORE Oprah picked it! We spent a semester learning about this family saga during my Senior Year. Each person was assigned a symbol to report on throughout the book each week.

Mine was goldfish -part of the symbolism of amnesia and the duality between amnesia and nostalgia. Yep. I still remember the lesson. Maybe is was the teaching that contributed but, this remains one of my favorite books ever. This is a perfect example of a literary fiction book that is also a magical realism book.

The Odyssey 1

The Odyssey by Homer

There is a reason this boat book is one of my favorite books of all time. I just find this classic tale to be so entertaining. This is one of the OG adult fantasy novels

  It’s a classic for a reason. Odysseus’s struggle to get home to his family is truly epic. Those Greeks sure knew what they were doing.

I’m constantly pickup up something new and reading it along with A Thousand Ships and The Lost Sisterhood gave me so much to think about.

Pride and Prejudice BN

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

We absolutely love this classic love story. This love story has everything you could want. Elizabeth Bennet is a smart and stubborn woman who was ahead of her time. With 5 Bennet girls, one of them must marry well to support the other sisters.

There are so many new and wonderful adaptations of this novel, we did an entire post on it. And you don’t want to miss the other Jane Austen adaptations in the post as well.

Austen is a master of romances and this book is the original enemies-to-lovers novel/ grumpy sunshine books! How could we not include it in a list of enemies-to-lovers books and books about sisters? It’s my favorite of all the Jane Austen books.

What are your favorite books of all time?

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  1. Love your choices! P&P is easily one off my faves as well. I still need to get into Marquez and I’m awaiting both of Bianca’s books thanks to Bookstagram as well! Can’t wait to see Jackie’s picks next.