Friday, November 11, 2011


I play favorites. 

I have a favorite animal -- the rhino. A favorite season -- fall. Favorite television show -- Vampire Diaries. Favorite sister -- just kidding. Favorite movie -- Empire Records.

With favorites, there are also non-favorites. I do not like wasabi. I do not like playing any sports that involve a ball. I hate the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. And I prefer not to sleep in a tent. 

I know what I like and what I don't like. I am a take it or leave it person. To me, there is no reason to rest on top of the fence, that is too tiring. Choose a side. And commit to it. 

As someone who plays favorites, naturally I have favorite books. The following are my top ten favorite books/series of all time:

1. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
I hope Steinbeck feels honored to make it on this list. I don't read many "adult" books. Nor many "classics."  But East of Eden is one of those books that I cannot help loving. I think it definitely hits on some of those elements that I love in a story. Growing up, rebelliousness, young love, belonging. It is my utmost favorite book. And Caleb Trask is one of my favorite characters. I love the wounded.  

2. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
A magical world full of witchcraft and wizardry.  A world so convincing that I truly think it might be real. 

3. The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Action. Love. Heartbreak. Death. Vampires. Adrian Ivashkov. This series is  a commitment, but some stories are worth it. I walked into it apprehensive, but walked away a true fan. 

4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
A story of lost love and hidden secrets. Gatsby is the perfect love interest. And the 1920s are such a romantic and intriguing decade. 

5. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
What could be better than a book with vampires, warlocks, fairies, and werewolves? Perhaps a book where the male lead is snarky and gorgeous Jace -- a shadowhunter. (Shadowhunters fight demons.) I accredit this series to my reawakened love for young adult books. It made me realize that it doesn't matter how old you are. If a book is this good, it is worth reading. 

6. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
I love this book. A story of class struggles that leads to self-discovery. The greasers are dirty and rowdy, yet loyal and supportive. And oh so troubled. They are at war with the Socs (the privileged). It is a war against each other that turns into a war within. I read this book in seventh grade, and it still falls on my favorites list. 

7. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
When Anna is forced to go to school in Paris for her senior year, she thinks this is the worst thing ever. Then she meets -- Etienne St. Clair. And oh my goodness. So cute. This story is adorable. And I simply loved both Anna and St. Clair. Sometimes I think a book becomes your favorite based on where you are when you read it. And I read this at the end of summer when I had only a few days left to soak up the sun and relax. It was the perfect book.  

8. Hex Hall Series by Rachel Hawkins
Okay, this is a strange choice. Not because it is a bad book -- it is great. But because it is about witches. I'm not really a witch fan. I like most paranormal stories, but witches can veer on the satanic side. This book is not one of those. It is lighthearted and Sophie Mercer is positively adorable. And so is her love interest, Archer Cross. 

9. Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes
When Lucy visits a psychic, she hears some unexpected news. In one year, she will be married. Only problem -- she doesn't even have a boyfriend. Now every guy she meets could be the one. Lucy meets some winners and some losers. And along the way to finding a husband, she finds herself. And thoroughly entertains us as she does.  Until just now, I had forgotten how much I love this book. 

10. Dystopian 
I know this isn't a specific book, but I couldn't pick. So -- I decided it could count as one. The Hunger Games (Suazanne Collins), Matched (Ally Condie), Delirium (Lauren Oliver), Forest of Hands and Teeth (Carrie Ryan), Divergent (Veronica Roth), 1984 (George Orwell), Uglies (Scott Westerfeld), etc. I love them all. In societies where personal choice is taken away, what happens when people discover their own voice can lead to a multitude of intriguing stories. 

That's my list. And I think I recognize a trend. I like my romantic interests. I like them snarky, hot, loyal, vulnerable, slightly broken, and a lot rebellious. If a book gets that right, it makes the list. 

What are your favorite books? 


  1. You ask, and I shall respond!

    100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (this one, you should read. It's totally up your alley)
    As She Climbed Across the Table by Jonathan Lethem

    I would issue a challenge to you! On behalf of your fandom of your "dystopian" novels, I encourage you to read one of the classics of it's other-brother genre, cyberpunk. I challenge/encourage you to pick up "Snow Crash" by Neil Stephenson. It's a little quirky, outside your comfort zone, but in every way totally worth it. Also, it's one of Time Magazine's 100 best english langauge novels since 1923 (a list which also includes Gatsby...but East of Eden didn't make the cut!)

  2. Thanks for your response Nate! I will take your challenge. Then I will review it and tell you if it makes my cut.


Questions? Comments? Snide remarks?