These Are A Few Of My Favorite Reads

When a friend recently asked me to compile a list of my favorite books, I’m sure she had no idea the list would be so long. And neither did I. I thought I’d come up with 10-15 books, maybe 20 that could be considered my tops. But oh, was I wrong. I got out pen and paper (yes, some of us still use yellow legal pads) and started brainstorming. I recorded every book that I remembered loving as an adult, for one reason or another. I wrote and wrote and wrote and before I knew it, there was no blank space left on the page.

As I looked back over my list, I saw a little bit of almost everything. Some of the books that I’d recorded were considered literary masterpieces while others were not. They ran the gamut from young adult to memoir to fantasy to classics. There was humor and horror and romance. Some were contemporary, others historical. Some made me feel happy while others made me sad. Some just made me feel weird. But the common thread that ran through all the books I loved was that each one made me feel something very deeply. In short, they made an impact on me.

Naturally, if you compiled your own list, it would look very different from mine. Yours might be filled with non-fiction, mine is not. Yours might include Shakespeare and Tolstoy and Proust. Mine does not. Yours would reflect your own personality and be unique to you. And so is mine. So take this list for what it is: one person’s opinion about a number of fabulous books that have enriched my life and might, in some way, enrich yours.

By the way, one of the books on this list is the book that is solely responsible for turning me into a reader. If you can guess which one, I’ll have Amazon mail you a free book of your choice (May I suggest an enthralling family drama, The Weight of Lies, by my sister Emily Carpenter, coming out June 6, 2017.  The Weight of Lies: A Novel ). But I’m pretty sure you’ll never figure it out.

So, here’s my current list of favorites, beginning with the most recently published. I do reserve the right to make amendments going forward, because the minute I press publish, I’m certain I’ll think of five books I’ve left out. And if you are a reader or a wannabe reader, please download the free and fabulous Goodreads App on your phone and use it to determine which books are right for you. I hope this gives you some intriguing ideas, and will inspire you to, as they say, #keepreading.


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman 2017

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart 2014

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell 2013

Daphne du Maurier

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes 2012

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple 2012

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green 2012

Room by Emma Donoghue 2010

The Help by Kathryn Stockett 2009

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 2008

Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See 2005

Still Alice by Lisa Genova 2005

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer 2005

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls 2005

C.S. Lewis

the curious case of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon 2004

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini 2003

Dry by Augusten Burroughs 2003

Coraline by Neil Gaiman 2002

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory 2001

Life of Pi by Yann Martel 2001

The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff 2000

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver 1998

1000 White Women by Jim Fergus 1998

Margaret Mitchell

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant 1997

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden 1997

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling 1997

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding 1996

The Giver by Lois Lowry 1993

A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers 1993

A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving 1989

Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody 1987

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card 1985

Oscar Wilde

Carrie by Stephen King 1974

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom 1971

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson 1962

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess 1962

Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls 1961

The Bad Seed by William March 1954

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway 1952

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis 1950

Anthem by Ayn Rand 1938

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier 1938

1984 by George Orwell 1937

Charlotte Bronte

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck 1937

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell 1936

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 1925

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde1890

The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne 1850

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 1847

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas 1844

Candide by Voltaire 1759

Revelation by John c. 95

Genesis by Moses c. 1446 B.C.

6 thoughts on “These Are A Few Of My Favorite Reads

  1. I do need to add a couple of books to this list! But honestly I haven’t read anything fabulous recently. Great suggestion about keywords, I’ll see about doing that.
    And the first book I loved was…”Not Without My Daughter.” Fascinating.


      1. Never read NWMD but saw the movie with Sally Fields and am still haunted by it. Jane Eyre was a childhood favorite of mine. Haven’t re-read it but watched the movie (the Mia Wasikowska one) with Dennis (who had never read the book) and loved it all over again.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Katy… I searched and searched for this old post because a friend was asking for book recommendations. Have you updated the list or published a new one? Maybe you should use ‘keywords’ and say ‘book review’ or something if/when you do these. I love hearing what other people are reading.

    By the way, which of the books turned you into a reader? I’m guessing either The Help, The L, W & Wardrobe or Jane Eyre?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve only read 13; have only heard of 10 others. This is an impressive list! Saw a documentary on Wm. March nt. before last. Do you remember that he lived next door to me in his old age? I never saw him.


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