As an avid reader, I’m asked constantly about my favorite book. But as an avid reader, picking just one favorite is much too difficult for me. Here are my suggestions for the top 10 books to add to your to-read list.
I’ve been in love with books since I was a little girl. And I’m pretty sure love is a serious understatement here. It’s more of an infatuation.
Before I could even read, I insisted on bringing stacks of books taller than myself to bed each night. That love of books has never left me. Now I have more books than shelves to stack them on and the list keeps growing.
Top Favorite Books
So when the idea came up to share my top favorite books in a blog post, I was instantly excited. Share my favorite books? Yes, please!
I walked over to my bookshelves and started pulling favorite after favorite off the shelf. The stack of favorites just kept growing and I realized this wasn’t going to work out so well. I just have too many favorites.
Instead, I turned it into a challenge and asked myself, “If you could only recommend two books from each category, which ones would you choose?”
Then I went through the classics, middle grade, young adult, adult fiction, and nonfiction, picking only my top two recommendations.
This is what I came up with:
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry: I read this book around ten times as a kid (not an exaggeration). Then I read it again as an adult and still loved it. I can’t wait to read this one to my kids someday! It’s a story about a brave little girl who helps some Jews (and her friend) escape the Nazis during WWII. An amazing story of friendship and doing things that scare us when we know it’s right.
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee: I’ve read this one a couple times as well–and I never re-read books. But it’s just such a classic story. So much love for this book!
Middle Grade Novels
Note: These aren’t my top two recommendations of middle grade novels for kids, but they are my top two middle grade recommendations for adults. Yes, middle grade is written for kids, but I absolutely LOVE reading middle grade. I believe some of the very best literature in the world is written for kids. If you don’t read middle grade, you’re definitely missing out!
- The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin: A story about a young girl who’s determined to find a reason for her best friend’s recent drowning. This story is absolutely heartbreaking, but also beautiful and raw and real and I loved every single word. I seriously wish I could write something this amazing!
- Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan: Another heartbreaking but beautiful story. (What can I say? I just love books with emotion.) This follows a girl whose parents were just killed in a car accident and her journey to a new family. The voice is incredible in this book. Willow is so quirky and smart and such a fun character. This is another one I can’t wait to read to my kids!
Again, these aren’t necessarily my top picks for teens, even though YA is technically geared toward them. But I love reading YA (it’s the ultimate escape!), and these are my top picks for adults.
- The Selection by Kiera Cass: The Bachelor meets dystopian in this un-put-down-able series (yep, I just made up my own word). It has all the makings of a good YA–a love triangle, great romance, a captivating story, and breaking the rules! I LOVED this one!
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: One of the most brilliant books I’ve ever read. This book takes place during WWII and is narrated by death. Yep, death. It’s honestly amazing and really makes you think about words. Such a beautiful story that everyone should read. And if you’ve seen the movie, please don’t judge the book based on that. The book was a million times better.
- A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman: I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did. In fact, I didn’t really expect to like it at all. But I loved it! I couldn’t put it down. It was funny and quirky and made me feel all the emotions–love, loss, anger, frustration, laughter, loneliness, fear. SUCH A GOOD READ!
- Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson: This is another book I didn’t expect to like. I’m not a big fan of regency romance, so the back cover did nothing to persuade me to read it. But I kept hearing over and over again how amazing it was. So I finally picked it up. And “they” were right. I stayed up until 4am to finish it and read it in a day. Trust me, once you get past the first 20-30 pages, you won’t be able to put this one down. And bonus: it’s clean!
- Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People by Bob Goff: Wow. That one word pretty much sums up my experience reading this book. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that made me want to go and act on what I read so much. Bob Goff has a way of making you feel the need to change and be better, of seeing your own flaws, but not in a way that makes you depressed or frustrated. Instead, you feel motivated and inspired to do a little bit better than you did before. This book talks all about loving other people unconditionally, no matter how different from you they are.
- Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin: I love learning about habits and productivity, so of course this was a must-read for me. Plus, Gretchen Rubin was the reason I started reading (and loving) nonfiction to begin with–thanks to her book The Happiness Project (another great read–see how I snuck another recommendation in there?).
I could recommend books for days, but these are the ones that I find myself recommending over and over and that I have (or want to) re-read. And for someone who doesn’t like to waste time I could be spending reading a new book on a perviously read book, that’s a huge deal!
What’s your favorite book?
For reading tips, check out 7 Ways to Read More Books and How to Learn to Like Reading.