My top 5 favorite books of all time.

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Not mentioned below because it should go without saying – the Harry Potter series is my favorite.  All seven of them but especially the last two.

Honorable Mention to Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.  Simply finishing this book fluffed my feathers like a proud peacock.  It took me a good six months to get through it, because I would read other things simultaneously and because it is so long.  1400+ pages?  But the story is completely and utterly beautiful.  I remember finishing it and sitting in silence for a good five minutes, tears streaming down my face.  If that’s not a rave review, I don’t know what is.

5. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi.  I first read this book when I was around 13 years old.  It has a very strong female protagonist which is something I crave in a novel.  This book delivers on all the best levels, with murder on the high sea and an unwavering theme of resilience and strength – physically and of character.

4. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.  One of the few books that I have reread multiple times and every time, I love it even more.  There’s just the right amount of magic and romance and another strong female character at the helm.  I haven’t seen the movie and I don’t want to.  The book stands alone.

3. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.  So quotable and so timeless – Anne’s fanciful language and Marilla’s matter-of-fact nature and Matthew’s sweet, quiet disposition.  I really love how Anne changes and matures gradually through the course of the book.  You turn to the last page and blink in surprise because somewhere along the way, Anne grew up.

2. The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy.  All of Maeve Binchy’s books (that I’ve read at least) take place predominately in Ireland, so the landscape is beautifully drawn in my mind as I read her descriptions.  And her talent for character development – so strong.  The characters become three dimensional.  Without giving away too much, I love how the two female leads in this story persevere through difficult personal circumstances.

1. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.  In my opinion (that’s what you’re here for, right?), this book is not nearly as famous as it should be.  Show of hands, who has even heard of it?  If you have and you’ve read it and you liked it, well, we’re meant to be bosom friends.  You’re the Anne to my Diana.  No joke.  When my friend Leann and I discovered that this one is a favorite for us both, an unbreakable bond was formed.  But back to the book.  It unfolds on a backdrop of nitty-gritty glamour – Manhattan in the late 1930’s – and has drama and strength and romance and humor and the. best. writing.

Tell me about your all time favorite book(s).  Do you reread books?

Linking up with Miriam today!

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18 thoughts on “My top 5 favorite books of all time.

  1. Wow – never heard of Rules of Civility but it sounds right up my alley. I love the 1930’s. Well, at least we still have Monty Python to bond over. As for my favorites – I do re-read them. Memoirs of a Geisha is up there, I love Sayuri. The movie was done pretty well. Gone with the Wind of course. Talk about strong female heroins, although Scarlett is also the villain – I just love her nitty gritty reality. You hate her for doing what she does, but you also see she has very little choice. I love A Christmas Carol (Dickens), and I read it often around the holidays. I am surprised to even say this, but there’s a book called A Widow for One Year by John Irving and I always find myself remembering the events and characters from that book. It’s not my usual type but I would have to call it a favorite. And I agree about Les Miserables.

  2. There are some great choices here. I don’t read as much as I should. I think it is because I was in education for so long, once I finished I just wanted to not read for a while. But I am getting back in to it now and I finally read To Kill A Mocking Bird (I know, how did I go so long without reading it) and I loved it.

  3. I loooved Ella Enchanted as a kid. And I’ve re-read it as an adult and still love it! That’s not one I hear people mention very often in their favorite reads, but I really did love it! And of course you know how I feel about Harry Potter – so much love. ;)

  4. I am embarrassed to admit – I haven’t read any of your top 5. Gasp! I’m with you when it comes to Harry Potter, of course, but the other ones I don’t know. Yet! I will change that, I promise! *hides her red face in shame*

  5. The only one of those I’ve read is Ella Enchanted! But you just might have convinced me to check out the others! This year I plan on doing a brief little review of all the books I read under my “ink” page. Feel free to check ’em out!
    -Linds

  6. hehe, the book discussion continues :) rules of civility is definitely one of my favorites, but, don’t be alarmed – i haven’t read ANY of the others. i’ve seen the musical les mis, but the book? neva. and secret? i didn’t like the musical!! hehe :)

  7. I don’t read many fictional books, usually they are related to some kind of topic I am interested in. I loved Eat and Run by Scott Jurek, anything coffee related, and the occasional James Patterson novel!

  8. YES, I definitely reread books! :) A few of my favorites include A Tale of Two Cities, Gone With the Wind, Little Women, Les Miserables, and – of course – Anne of Green Gables. :)
    There are just soooo many amazing books out there though, so it’s hard to narrow down the list, isn’t it? SO many favorites!!! :)

  9. Hey Amy!!! I love your space! :)

    I learned about Maeve Binchy last year or the year before and I really like everything that I’ve read so far! Minding Frankie served as my introduction, but I’ve gone back to read several more of her books.

    I did not know that Ella Enchanted was a book first! Is it very long? I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on a copy!

    ps – I’d love to reply to the comment you left on my blog, but I need your e-mail address! Let me know what it is and we can chat. :)

  10. On Beauty by Zadie Smith and A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley (modernized King Lear) are probably my favorite. They are the only books that I’ve read several times.

    I love that Maeve Binchy made your list; I think my parents have every single book of hers.

  11. I need to re-read Charlotte Doyle. I was OBSESSED with Avi back in the day. I’m not sure why, but I’ve started Anne of Green Gables several times in the past few years, but I just can’t get into it :( I love the movie though! Rules of Civility…I just want to live in that book and somehow stop Wally from going to war.

    I’m going to think up my top five now.

  12. Uh oh… I feel like I might get an email from you with a YOU MUST READ THESE list. I’m with some of the other commenters: I haven’t read any of these books. Oh man. Can we still be friends?

  13. Charlotte Doyle is a memorable book for me too, but I haven’t read it in at least 10 years. Now I’ll have to find it! Of course I’m with you with Anne and HP but I’ll be adding the rest to my goodreads list!!!

  14. I love LOVE this picture of you in the bookstore! I feel like just about every time I find a cute little hole-in-the-wall bookstore (which isn’t often these days), I like to have Justin take a picture of me there amongst the stacks. I feel like I can almost smell the books when I look at that photo of you–and yay for the Hardy Boys (blue) and Nancy Drew (yellow) books that I see on the top two shelves behind you! I am a personal collector, and I get so excited whenever I stumble upon a few titles that are on my to-be-bought list! This girl misses reading, can you tell? Once grad school is over, I will finally feel like I have time to read for fun again! And your number 1 book (Rules of Civility) is definitely going on my list!

  15. Pingback: 20 questions. | A Desert Girl

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