Well today is my birthday, the big 2-5! This beautiful planet has been blessed with my presence here for a quarter of a century. Man, that makes me feel old. And tired. But as the saying goes, wisdom comes with age and I like to think that I have wisdom coming out the wazoo. Whether my family and friends agree with that statement or not is an entirely different matter. Heh.
So in honor of my glorious day of birth, I would like to share with all of you my top 25 favorite books. Now let me be clear, this list is completely biased and subject to change whenever I feel like it. In fact, if I had wrote this last night, it would probably be totally different. There is no specific order either – All of these books are on an equal plane of awesomeness. Oh, and series count as only one book (of course).
Let’s get to it!
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Okay, this book is basically a no-brainer for me. I absolutely adore the characters and in my opinion, it is the original love story. Sorry, Rome and Juliet, but it’s true. It also helps that it was published on the most perfect day ever, January 28th. Cheers to you, Austen!
2. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: Come on, you should have seen this one coming from a mile away! I don’t even need to justify adding this one to the list. If you haven’t read this series, stop whatever you are doing (which is reading this blog, obvi) and go grab these books. IMMEDIATELY. Your childhood is very upset with you right now.
3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: I read this book when I was 13 years old and it completely changed my life. It started my love for historical fiction and epics, completely opening my eyes to a whole new genre. Rhett Butler was my first fictional boyfriend and that is a bond that can never be broken. Such a rascal he is. It also turned into some movie that you’ve probably never heard of…
4. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare: Angels? Check. Demons? Check. Vampires, fairies, werewolves? Check, checkity, check. Clare has created such a fun fantasy world and is able to bring it to life in the best way possible. There are so many twists that you never see coming, making it one exciting series. If you enjoy The Mortal Instruments, then check out her prequel trilogy, The Infernal Devices.
5. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery: This book series is an essential for every young girl. Anne was my hero growing up and still is. She is the most amazing fictional character. I wish I had as many interesting and quotable thoughts as she does. Trust me, you will be constantly writing down all of the great things she says.
6. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy: Okay, most people mention Anna Karenina when they talk about Tolstoy. However, I am not a fan of that story. War and Peace is his true genius. There are so many moving parts that flow seamlessly together, creating a story of epic proportions. Just be ready to set aside a good bit of time for this one, it took me almost a month to finish.
7. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien: This one just speaks for itself. Tolkien is the father of fantasy and that’s all there is to it.
8. The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown: This is one of the newer series on my list. So new in fact, that the final one, Morning Star, doesn’t even come out for a few more weeks. I CANNOT WAIT. If you love dystopian or science fiction novels, then this series was written for you. It’s got tons of action, great characters, and an insanely fun plot (think Game of Thrones/Hunger Games in space). Brown is also a pretty hilarious follow on Instagram.
9. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: Yet another quintessential childhood story. You would be hard-pressed to find a more quirky and fantastical world than Wonderland. I still wish I was Alice, lucky girl.
10. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand: Okay, this might be a controversial pick for some people. However, as a freshman in high school reading this, I have never felt more empowered as a person. Rand may rub some people the wrong way with Objectivism, but I find something in her message that we can all take to heart – Never give up. If you do decide to check this book out, just be ready for “the speech”. It’s a doozy.
11. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman: Two of the most clever and funny writers to ever exist coming together to write a story about a demon and an angel losing the Antichrist and ruining the Apocalypse? Sign me up! This story is laugh-out-loud funny with some unforgettable characters. Just get it. Don’t even think about it.
12. The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness: If you enjoy a good supernatural romance filled with vampires and witches, then you have come to the right place. Harkness brings a maturity to the genre, with very well researched historical details. The second book is definitely my favorite of the 3, probably because there happens to be a bit of Elizabethan England in it. I told y’all that I am a sucker for history.
13. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: I obviously have a soft heart for the classics but how could you not? Jo is such a fireball and I still am Team Laurie (how can you not be?). The March girls are the reason why I wished I had a house full of sisters growing up. But I guess my little brother is fine too.
14. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: This coming-of-age story is one amazing, emotional rollercoaster ride. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will be so happy that you read this book. Charlie is one of those characters who will live forever in your heart. Once you read it, go watch the movie starring Logan Lerman. You won’t regret it!
15. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas: The ultimate tale of revenge! Follow Edmond as he spends YEARS taking down those who have betrayed him. This book has everything from Napoleon Bonaparte to pirates to 19th century Paris masquerade balls. You will be unable to put down this book once you pick it up, so do yourself a favor and pick it up.
16. The Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi: These books are unlike anything you have ever read. The style that Mafi writes in is lyrical and absolutely beautiful, vividly bringing to life the world of Juliette. She creates characters that are so complex and real, you will find yourself falling in love with each and every one of them, over and over again.
17. Roses by Leila Meecham: This story is an epic, one to be savored and enjoyed. I may be even more biased than normal since it’s set in a small town in East Texas, which is where I grew up. In small towns, first loves never leave and secrets never stay secret.
18. Inferno (The Divine Comedy #1) by Dante Alighieri: This one may surprise some people and I completely understand. I had to read this book my senior year for AP Literature and I was dreading it. I waited until the night before it was due to even bother picking it up. But man, I am glad I did. The writing style does take some time getting used to, but to me, the story is so intriguing that you won’t even notice it. It’s very interesting to see how well Dante thought of certain people from history and myth, as he disperses them amongst the various levels of Hell. Man, you were a judgmental jerk, Dante.
19. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: You have probably heard enough about this story, as it has become quite famous since its release last year. But let me tell you, the hype is real. I had an intense ugly cry reading this book and I’m not even ashamed to admit that.
20. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry: People, if you only ever read one western in your life, let it be this one.
21. The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks: By now, you will have noticed I have pretty eclectic tastes when it comes to books. This is no exception. I would like to thank my brother for begging me to read this series because he was right, it is AMAZING. These stories are along the lines of Game of Thrones when it comes to complexity. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself lost occasionally, just keep powering through it. This is definitely a character story and that’s what makes it great. Also, Brent Weeks is a pretty funny guy too. You should read his AMA on Reddit, it’s hilarious.
22. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis: I bet you thought I had forgotten about this children’s classic, huh? I would never!
23. The Giver by Lois Lowry: Every teenager should read this book. Its message against conformity and following along blindly is very important in society today. Thanks to this book, we see what could happen in the future if we give up our freedoms and personal choices for the sake of “perfect harmony”. Let’s not do that, okay?
24. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: We never really know what is going on with other people. We imagine them a certain way and put them in this labeled box, never really knowing if that is their reality. This is how rumors get started and it doesn’t always end pretty. Once you finish this book, be ready to take a long look at yourself and the impact you might have had on others. It could be painful.
25. Emma by Jane Austen: Yeah, that’s right, Jane Austen makes my list twice! Emma is the epitome of Austen’s satirical writings on the English gentry in the early 19th century. You don’t like Emma, the character? Well, according to Jane, that’s the point. I, however, find her fascinatingly entertaining. She gets so much wrong but that’s why I love her. The movie Clueless is actually a retelling of this story, so in fact, Emma is the original Cher. How do you like her now?
So there you have it, my 25 favorite books as of this moment. I am sure I forgot quite a few so don’t be surprised if you ask me later to list some of my favorite books and I come up with something completely different. It’ll definitely happen.
So what would you change or add to this list?