Today is National Read-A-Book Day (which avid readers just call “Thursday”) so I was thinking today you could tell me a great book (because I am voracious and always looking for a new read) and then we could do a giveaway.
What is a book you loved so much that you almost wish you could erase from your memory so you could experience it again for the first time?
I have dozens but one of my favorites is Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle.
It’s simple and complex and she perfectly captures the sense of otherness and of fear in a way that few people ever do. It’s a strange book but one of my favorites.
(PS. Tonight I’ll pick three commenters at random and send you a gift certificate for free books. Just make sure you use an email address in your comment.)
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WOOHOO! The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov!!! One of me favoritezzz!11
The Little Prince. I loved all of the complexities and innocence of it.
The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin.
The World To Come by Dara Horn is a book I happened upon at exactly the right time in my life. It made me cry my eyes out on a plane trip, and I didn’t even care.
Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury
East of Eden will always be my choice here.
Fortunately, every time I re-read it, I find something new to love about it, so it’s a win-win. I don’t have to go through a memory wipe AND I get to experience it again for the first time, kinda.
Seriously, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.
The is one of my all time favorites.
Right now i’m crazy into a novella series that has blown my mind. It’s by Seanan Mcguire and the series is The Wayward Children. It’s beautiful, short, and i will read a million times over. The characters are beautiful and flawed and complex and the world(s) they live in are fascinating.
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. I read it in a grad level lit class and it just blew me away. I wish I could read it for the first time all over again. It’s a magical book. Simply magical.
Definitely The Devil in the White City. I buy copies whenever I can to leave around town like some sort of (overweight) Book Fairy.
The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley. Ferocious and tender.
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet.
The Mists of Avalon
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. I read it in a grad level lit class and it just blew me away. I wish I could read it for the first time all over again. It’s a magical book. Simply magical.
Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster. Especially good if you’ve lived in Chicago
Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars – it’s alt-history SF (what if a large meteorite struck DC in 1952 and we had to develop space flight faster to leave before Earth became unlivable?) with great characters diverse characters, especially the women.
Christina Henry’s Alice. I love it, I will re-read it any time (right now. I’ll go do it right now. Dare me to go do it right now, because I will!) but I have already read it and know things. So that journey is forever different and I wish I could have the exact first experience back. The repeat is lovely, but that first read is full of WOAH.
My all time favorite book is still Lord Of The Rings. I remember practically consuming it when I first read it. That would be great to reread not knowing how it was going to turn out.
“Gaudy Night” by Dorothy L. Sayers. So much more than a mystery — it has wit and romance and great characters and Oxford and everything good.
The Professor by Robert Bailey
I’m not sure why but when I first read Watership Down it hit me so hard that I immediately reread it two more times.
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed is relevant and important and helpful and beautiful, and I gift it to people I love who are doing hard things. <3
I am dippy for the late Laurie Colwin’s food memoirs “Home Cooking” and “More Home Cooking.” I am forever grabbing one of these to reread an essay.
Unicorn Western by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant – I laughed my ass off.
Small Gods by Terry Pratchett is one of my favourites. But all his Discworld novels are a joy to read. 🙂
Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I was surprised at how much I did like it.
Hands down, The Hate U Give. I would read it a thousand times if I was someone who could read a book more than once. But sadly I am not. It’s a thing.
Warning: My degree is in history.
I love My Thoughts Be Bloody by Nora Titone. It’s about the rivalry between John Wilkes Booth and his then more famous brother, actor Edwin.
Honestly? And I’m not just saying this because I’m your biggest fan, but both Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend this Never Happened would be my choices. Doesn’t really help answer your question, Jenny, sorry about that!
Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster
I love Just One Damned Thing After Another By Jodi Taylor. There is time travel and dinosaurs so what could be better! I’ve read it and listened to it so many times. The whole series is terrific!
I loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Such a good read 🙂
Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight by Alexandria Fuller.
Red queen is by far the BEST book I have series I have ever read. I recommend it to literally anyone who enjoys reading.
The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. It’s a trilogy and I wish there were more.
The Westing Game – Ellen Raskin. I know it’s for junior high kids… but it just sticks with me. Has since I read it the first time in 7th grade. I always buy it when I see it at used book sales to give to kids to read and they can just keep it.
A Prayer for Owen Meaney. I wish I could have the whole thing unfurl before me for the first time again. All the twists and turns, joy and heartbreak would be amazing to experience again.
The BFG by Roald Dahl. I loved it the first time I read it, and was my absolute favorite to read to all 3 of my children, who in turn fell in love with it! (Really, anything by Roald Dahl is a great read!) firstname.lastname@example.org
Lord of the fading lands by C.L. Wilson. email@example.com
I just recently read “My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” by Fredrik Backman and it was glorious. I laughed and cried and just loved all of it.
I tend to prefer non-fiction, as it seems that there so many interesting people in the world, I love hearing their stories. I was sold on Bill Bryson when I read his book “A Walk in the Woods:, but that love was cemented when he described his vacation through Australia in “In a Sunburned Country”. I was positively rolling with laughter. David Sedaris’ “Me Talk Pretty One Day” comes in with a close section. The chapter “Jesus Shaves” is a particular favorite.
Please enter me into your drawing: firstname.lastname@example.org
The darkest part of the forest by holly black. So deliciously imaginative.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Besides your books which still make me laugh, I loved Orange Is The New Black. But only the book, not the show. Also, the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich. Her granny makes me laugh every time.
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. I know he’s more well-known for The Book Thief (which is also great), but I Am the Messenger is my favorite.
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (and its sequel, Children of God). Incredible books.
Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. You have not truly laughed until you’ve read about how he’d react to a bear outside his tent!
Oh, also A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman !!! Heart breaking and heart warming.
I have too many favorites, but top of my list right now would have to be Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things. A lot of emotion in this one!
Midwives. I have lots but that one was the first that came to my mind.
Persuasion by Jane Austen. I just adore it. Read it in two hours
Sabriel by Garth Nix
Smoking ears and screaming teeth. It’s kind of hard to find but is on kindle. SO SO SO GOOD.
Colson Whitehead’s The Intuitionist (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Intuitionist) which is about elevator inspectors… if magical realism was part of elevator inspecting… It’s weird, but so good.
A Street Cat Named Bob.
Mandy by Julie Andrews 💖
The Night Circus! I couldn’t put it down, I was even reading it at work lol
I made my husband read Dragonsbane by Barara Hambly just so I’d have someone to talk about it with.
I have soooo many fav’s its hard to choose so I will just go with 2 I read recently. The Cellar by Natasha Preston and The Broken Girls by Simone St. James.Both are excellent reads that I just couldn’t put down.
Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw. Seriously fabulous book with vampires and ghouls and mummies and a human doctor.
Either Good Omens or To Kill A Mockingbird. I’ve read Good Omens so many times, I know when all the jokes are coming, and I still re-read it and love it (and laugh out loud) every time, but there’s nothing like the first time. And To Kill a Mockingbird was the first book I HAD to read for school that I absolutely loved. It was a revelation that the classics could be interesting.
There’s also an up and coming thriller author named Luke Murphy. His books are a good read and available on Kindle.
Furiously Happy and Harry Potter.
The Art of Racing in the Rain
A story about Life told through the eyes of a dog.
Funny, moving, deep.
OH MY GOODNESS ESS WAIT STOP THE PRESSES!
I just finished reading the quirkiest most nostalgic book we all need right now. What is it? Well let me tell you!
HOPE NEVER DIES: AN OBAMACARE BIDEN MYSTERY by Andrew Shaffer
The book America needs right now.
I would highly recommend Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse if you haven’t read it. I think it’s beautiful!
I am reading The Assistants by Camille Perri. It’s a bunch of admins working for very rich media moguls. They start diverting money to pay people’s student loan debt. I haven’t finished it yet but I can’t put it down so I’m betting I’ll finish it today.
So glad it turned out to be National Read-a-Book Day so I have an excuse not to get to any housework.
I read constantly it’s my escape from this crazy life. I had never read Dune by Frank Herbert and have gotten into them recently and I love them. Water is life. ❤️
I cried so hard when I read “a little life” I had to stop reading because I couldn’t see the words through my tears- still finished the 700+ page book in 2 days. I read it three years ago and still think about it often.
Water For Elephants, it’s a wonderful story. Everybody should get the chance to know an elephant. I also hold folks who live the life of a paragon schnizophonic close to my heart.
I’m torn between Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut because it opened me up to ALL THE Vonnegut books and he was so damn funny and real and salty and Dogsong by Gary Paulsen because I was in 6th grade when I read it and it was so vivid and real and filled with honor and respect and courage that it just warped my mind and then I was okay with being the bookish kid because stories like that existed!
But yeah, Shirley Jackson, too!
Books forever. And ever.
There are SO MANY wonderful books to choose from! Immediately I thought of “The Crooked House” by Agatha Christie. It’s so rich and detailed and completely leaves you guessing until the very end as only the best whodunnits can. You won’t be bored a moment with book! The characters are so fleshed out, by the time you finish the story you could swear you knew them all personally, but until the very end, you realize you didn’t as Agatha explains:)
This is an impossible question but the most recent book I read that really blew me away was Emma Donoghue’s “Room”. I’d seen the movie already but the book is written from the little boy’s point of view and it’s just so much more heartbreaking that way.
Watership Down by Richard Adams. I read this book at least once a year.
I second the discworld suggestion. Start with Small Gods and know that there are 40 more books in the series. They pulled me out of a major depression last spring.
The Way The Crow Flies by Anne Marie MacDonald
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. She’s getting lots of attention for Handmaid’s Tale lately, but I read that ages ago… and while timely for today’s sociopolitical climate, it’s not nearly as good as some of her others. Alias Grace is another (which was recently made into a Netflix adaptation). Atwood completely changed my life when I read Cat’s Eye in high school (as part of an English class) and her work has really influenced my thinking as a woman. Love her.
“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Fave movie as well. Every time I read it, it makes me furious, sad, and then at the end, tearfully hopeful.
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. It blew my mind, it was beautiful, and all genres at once. The book is way better than the movie, and there are major plot differences, so you should still read the book even if you’ve seen the movie.
David Sedalia – Theft by Finding
Anything Margaret Atwood has ever written or will ever write because it’s all pretty much about how the world in maybe twenty years will be just as terrible and probably worse than it is now, but sex will be new and disturbing and almost undoubtedly involve robots or full-body condoms or blue genetically-engineered people with amazing penises, so it balances out.
Hands down Gone With The Wind!! Margaret Mitchel…. I’m forever on Team Scarlet!!!
I have several, The Talisman by Stephen King & Peter Straub, The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, and the entire Gunslinger series by Stephen King.
My top two favorites are The Mayfair Witches trilogy by Anne Rice, and She’s Come Undine by Wally Lamb. I love them so much! Ro is named after the main character in The Mayfair Witches series. Don’t tell Ray. He thinks it’s because of what the name means, which is partially true, just not all the way true. lol
It’s hard to pick, but The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is a great one and fresh in my mind since the play is opening near me this month.
I have been bingeing:
“A Court of Mist and Fury” by Sarah J Maas. YA fantasy
“Poison Study” by Maria V Snyder. Fantasy
“The Girl From Everywhere” by Heidi Heilig. YA fantasy
“The Fringe” by Tarah Benner. YA Sci-fi
The Elegance of the Hedgehog because I’m a sucker for love stories.
A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. It is comfort food wrapped in a space story.
Wizard and Glass by Stephen king
Death by Neil Gaiman
Harry Potter. I know it’s cliched, but the 7 Harry Potter books. I was always a voracious reader regardless of the quality of the books I was reading, but the world JK Rowling created in the Harry Potter books was the first series I read that was so hugely intricate and well developed. It changed my outlook on what fiction could be.
But, in terms of giving you a great book to read (as I’m fairly confident you’ve already read Harry Potter), I strongly recommend The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden, by Jonas Jonasson. Well written and absolutely hilarious, I think it’s better than Jonasson’s more famous book The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. Both books follow characters who have unique ways of approaching the problems in lives, that cause them to wind up on rather extraordinary adventures.
The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher is one of my favorite heartwarming reads. I love it so much, and when I am feeling down, I find my (third) battered copy and read it again. It’s like sitting down with an old friend.
Ack.. I recommended Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse but I realized my email was not connected to the post and it had a bad link on my account name. Email is email@example.com just in case.. I love booooks!
The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Honestly, though, it’s so complicated that I often DO feel like I’m reading it for the first time again!
A Gentleman in Moscow
For me, that kind of book is either life-changing or just like only one M&M – what, no more? So in the spirit of the latter, I offer you The Squirrel on the Train, by David Hearne. Hilarious, set in Portland, Oregon (so I can relate) and the protagonist is an Irish Wolfhound. You’ll devour it in a couple hours and then wonder why you didn’t stretch it out because now it’s done and gone.
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins. I liked it so much I got a cowgirl pin-up tattoo, with a belt buckle that says “Jelly” (for the protagonist, Bonanza Jellybean).
Moloka’i by Alan Brennert. The subject of this novel was so fascinating it inspired me to read about 10 more (non fiction) books on the subject. I LOVE when that happens. I got to read a great book and..bonus…I am a little smarter as a result!!
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd. It’s a novel but covers the history of England from paleolithic to 1945, following 5 families throughout. It’s long but I couldn’t put it down.
Matilda was and remains one of my most favorite books ever. It was SO glowing for me as a quiet child.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
It was the first book I read that made me laugh out loud.
At the time, I had NO idea that WORDS on paper could do that.
I LOVE BOOKS, TOO! The best ever is A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Not everyone will agree with me, but I think it’s great. One can never have too many books.
The Westing Game. I loved that book so much as a child and it still holds up!
Bossy Pants by Tina Fey.
The Princess Bride by William Goldman.
Lucy’s Bones, Sacred Stones and Einstein’s Brain by Harvey Rachlin.
Bourbon Kings series or Black Dagger Brotherhood series (and spinoff) by J.R. Ward.
The Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones.
The Night Huntress series (and spinoffs) by Jeaniene Frost.
Oh man, this is a seriously tough question for me. But I did stay up until 2AM last night to finish Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell and it was so so good I only put it down twice.
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. I’ve never experienced a book with so many dimensions. There is the tactile enjoyment of having to turn and twist the book to get into it along with the accompanying Poe album that added a whole new voice to the story. The fact that it is also one of the creepiest books I have ever read (and reread) doesn’t hurt either!
Every Day by David Levithan
David Sedalia Theft by Finding
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller.
Just One Damn Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor. The Chronicles of St. Mary’s is an awesome series to get involved in. Also, anything by Jim Buther
The Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover. When I’m anxious, when I’m sad, when I need a laugh, when I think of my mom… this is hands down, the book that I will read eleventy million times.
The Crisanta Knight Series by Geanna Culbertson is my new favorite. Crisanta is Cinderella’s daughter and decides to fight back against her story being defined by the author. The number of fairy tales and childhood stories they take on is amazing. There are adventures, battles, villains and fairy Godmothers. It is fabulous.
That one is easy. Roses and Rot by Kat Howard. I bought it for myself as a Christmas gift a few years ago (it has since been lost to someone who borrowed it and never gave it back) and I have never had a book affect me so intensely. Not only did it hit me with the impact of a cast-iron frying pan to the face (but more-so in the heart region), it is easily the most beautiful thing I have ever read – to the point where it was one of the two things that inspired me to start writing again. It’s a realistic but fantastical tale about a pair of estranged sisters (one a writer, the other a dancer) who get accepted into an artist’s retreat and are given the opportunity to repair their fractured bond as they work on their magnum opus while being forced to deal with trauma from their pasts, the faerie world that encroaches on them and twists things in ways they couldn’t imagine, and their feelings about themselves and each other. I literally lost my breath at parts when reading the first time and would give almost anything for that again.
Iconic book that everyone should read at least once.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Harry Potter. And so many more.
It’s so hard to choose! If I’m going with cute YA contemporaries, I’d have to go with any of Morgan Matson’s books because they’re mostly fun, happy stories, which is nice when you need to escape from real life. But they also deal with some hard hitting topics as well, so it’s not just fluff.
Aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the Universe. By Benjamin Alire Sanez. I read it last months d loved it so much I’m listening to the audiobook now. It’s read by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who I’d like to read me every book from now on.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden was sooooo good. It touched a part of my actual soul that made me feel like the kid I was who absolutely LOVED to read. Totally reccomend this book. And the 3rd and final book of the trilogy comes out in January!
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
Written On The Body by Jeanette Winterson. Exquisite prose.
“Now You See Me” by Sharon Bolton. I love it so much I have gifted it many times over the last couple of years just to have any opportunity to talk about it more. In fact, that’s probably what I’d do with free gift certificates. It’s a sickness! Haha!
As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann, which is a historical novel about two soldiers who fall in love while serving in Cromwell’s Army. Gorgeously written and utterly heartbreaking. I was reading it on my lunch break at work with about 2 chapters to go, and when I had to go back to my desk, I pretended I had some photocopying to do and finished it in the copy room!
Mr. God This is Anna by Finn is the most profoundly beautiful book I have ever read 20 or more times. It takes me a few days to recover. Also, Leaving Time by Jodi Piccoult broke my heart just a little bit. American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson gave me a particular insight on appreciating what it means to be an American.
I forgot the email address – firstname.lastname@example.org
You know me – anything by Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant.
If you want to feel better about finding a place you can call home, read The Wayward Children novellas. The first is called Every Heart A Doorway. Because when Wonderland and Narnia and all those other worlds are real, and imagine what happens to the children who “come home” to families who can never understand…
If you want a saavy thought-provoking thriller that happens to have Zombies in it, then the Newsflesh books are for you. The first one – FEED – is a political thriller (with zombies). The Rising happened 20 years ago, and humanity survived but society was profoundly changed. And there are still people with a vested interest in keeping you afraid…
I am currently reading “My Year of Living Danishly” all about why the Danes are so happy written by a British woman who moved there with her husband. Keeps making me laugh and waking up my husband when he’s trying to sleep.
The first Harry Potter novel. I read it out of spite (I worked in a bookstore and experienced the Pottermania firsthand.) I was prepared to hate it as much as I loathed the Left Behind novels and Chicken Soup for the Soulless, but I loved it. I loved it so goshdarn hard.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik is a beautifully written book inspired by Rapunzel. I don’t re-read a lot, but I checked it out from the library twice so I just bought it.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman is SO exquisite! I so wish I could read it for the first time (again). So far, just twice.
Like Tracy, I would choose Good Omens. Or American Gods. To this day, they remain my favorite books I’ve read as an adult. Though when I finished Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos, I wanted to start it over again immediately. It’s just a lovely book, and it’s set in my hometown and surrounding area, so it spoke to me in a big way.
One Thousand Splendid Suns was one of the best books I’ve read.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater or Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I would LOVE to be able to read either of those for the first time again. Rereads are great, but to be able to have that first time back? Man, that would be great! bgraves81 (at) gmail.com
Spindle’s end! It’s a retelling of sleeping beauty but the main character is badass and saves the kingdom by herself and it’s so amazing and has a great friendship ☺️
The last great book I read is really several books – the Patrick Melrose novels. Brilliant. Bitingly witty, yet so poignant.
Swan Song by Robert McCammon. I love it and I have always wished there was a reset button in the brain to erase my memory of the book so that I can go back and have that awesome feeling of enjoying a great book for the first time!!
Oh man, anything by Jeanette Wells. Her books tear at my heart because they are her truth. The Glass Castle (now a movie), Half Broke Horses, The silver Star. Take your pick as they are all 3 impossible to put down.
Being a dog trainer, I don’t read much outside of learning theory books, but one of my favorite books I have read was Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. I just love his stories in general.
All time favorite I think will always be The Stand by Stephen King. All of the Chief Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny. More recent (or recently read) loves are The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, Bird Box by Jose Saramago, Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, and The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Sorry, I can never keep a list of books to just one.
a million little pieces.
controversy or not, it’s a fantastic book.
Stephen King’s 11/22/63
It’s a cheat, but I read David Eddings’ Belgariad series so closely together (it’s five books) that I consider it one epically long book. This was the series that got me into epic fantasies in middle school and is now one of my comfort reads.
The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
It’s soooooo creepy 😀
I just read What Alice Forgot and it was wonderful.
I don’t know that I have just one favorite book. There are far too many good ones out there.
The Autobiography of Henry VIII
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey (led me down a rabbit hole I’ve yet to crawl out of)
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Fionavar trilogy by Guy Gavriel Kay
And Harry Potter. Always.
i know that you’ve already read it, but i have to say that American Gods by Neil Gaiman is one of those books that i find refreshing every single time.
my current obsession is focused on Celeste Ng and Fredrick Backman. they both weave such amazing characters in real world settings. Backman’s gonna have made me cry more than any other author.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon! I was ONLY a non-fiction reader before this book. But, this book TRANSPORTED me to 18th century Scotland. I smelled the smells (NOT always a good thing 😜), tasted the food, KNEW the people. I’ve never found another that could do that.
The Time Traveler’s Wife (but not the movie!) by Audrey Niffenegger,
Revelation by Colin Winnette. Dark and fascinating.
Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
Too many to pick a favorite of all time, however current great reads are The trouble with goats and sheep by Joanna Cannon. Exquisite writing . Also love all Fredrick Backman books but especially his last 2- Beartown, followed by Us against You (sequel). Not sure they fit into the categories of books you seem to enjoy, but if you appreciate great writing and character development, these are great and FUN reads.
The one I say is my favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird
The ones I’ve read so many times i lost count: The Harry Potter Series
The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving. It was really deeply personal to me, to the point that I sometimes get afraid to reread it, but, nope, I love it. Plus it helps me keep passing the open windows.
Night Film by Marisha Pessl or The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. They aren’t books I read all the time, because I feel like I will not like them as much if I keep re-reading, but I could not get enough of them reading them for the first time, and I recommend both, often! Happy reading.
The Fault In Our Stars (Although I’m not sure there are enough tissues to have a second go-round.)
The Book of the Year by the elves who do the No Such Thing as a Fish podcast
The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh
Another vote for Good Omens as the intelligent laugh-out-loud novel that you can read over and over. Books I have read recently and like are The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. I don’t know if you’ve read it, but since you like We Have Always Lived in the Castle, I think you will understand when I say that I see the character of Eleanor in Hill House as Merricat all grown up.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
It remains my favourite book after all these years.
I could NOT put ‘Gone Girl’ down – I LOVED the plot twists…and Amy is just SO evil!!!!!!!
Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer Hands down!
Naomi Novik “Spinning Silver” is amazing!!
The Hearts Invisible Furies. I think about this book a lot! ❤️
Hands down, the Harry Potter books. My daughter is reading them for the first time right now, and I’m SO JEALOUS she gets to read them for the first time. Literal magic.
Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel. Magic realism. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and read it now! The movie is also so so lovely.
A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness. It’s a trilogy, with Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life being the other two.) Witches, vampires, daemons, time travel, history. It’s a great story and Harkness is a great writer. It’s being made into a TV show to begin airing in early 2019 in the US, next week in the UK.
A Court of Mist and Fury (Second book in Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series.) You thought you liked Feyre/Tamlin after the first book? Well wait til you read the second one!
And, of course, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Reading the stories again is still amazing and I laugh and laugh, but reading them for the first time, laughing until I almost vomited, was the BEST. (The best best piece of writing I’d love to experience for the first time again, however, was of course And That’s Why You Should Learn to Pick Your Battles, right here on this very website, because it very nearly caused me to expire from lack of oxygen because of the laughing. I had to take breaks while reading it to breathe.)
Im sure you have already read ‘Neverwhere’, but that is the one I wish I could forget and read again for the first time.
(Have you done ‘Outlander’ yet? It is my favorite place to hide. I have read it 10+, I dont even remember anymore.)
Dune is one of my favorites, as is Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. It was my first King read so it’s very special to me. And I’m in the midddle of The Last Hour of Gann. I know something terrible is coming up but I can stop myself. It’s really well written.
The Night Circus – I want to live in this book.
The Long World series by Terry Pratchett.
The True Meaning of Schmekday, by Adam Rex.
My all time favorite is Pillars Of the Earth by Ken Follett! I have given away so many copies to people to get them to read it. 🙂 email@example.com
Lamb by Christopher Moore – as a kid who was raised without religion (but not atheist or anything specific or definable like that), it did a shockingly good job of teaching me the basics of Christianity while also making me laugh my ass off in 9th grade trigonometry.
A Prayer for Owen Meany
Making this choice took over half an hour to make.
I’d pick Watchers by Dean Koontz. I have specifically not allowed myself to re-read it since I graduated college in 2016 because I want to someday pick it up and rediscover certain pages I had forgotten.
Unsaid, by Neil Abramson
The Woman in the Window by A J Finn
Disclaimer: I should start by saying I read purely for entertainment and stress relief. Mysteries and thrillers are pretty much my only reading material. With that said, Dewey the Library Cat was an amazing book. I love libraries and when you throw a cat in the mix (I am literally a crazy cat lady), well that’s my weak spot. I cried like a baby and hugged my cat while reading it. But I loved it. Also, all Janet Evanovich books, particularly the Stephanie Plum series. These hit the mark as far as a easy, take your mind off of everything, hilarious reads. Seriously, I can’t read them in public because I end up laughing out loud. And of course, the famous Harry Potter books. I’m currently re-reading them along side my mysteries. But apparently my reading taste is “trashy” as I was once told at a book retreat by some book snobs so maybe don’t take my advice. Your call. firstname.lastname@example.org (in case you pick me)
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
I have loved all your books. I find them beautiful and funny every time. Rightnow, close to turning 47, I have decided to try stop hating the body I have, to stop trying to destroy it, and find some peace with it. As a result, I have found Jes Baker’s book Landwhale, and it has helped a lot. Body positivity is super hard, I know it is an uphill fight. I have checked it out twice and hope to own it one day. Thanks for being you, Jenny. And to everyone else for these great book recommendations.
A Ciry in Winter by Mark Helprin and also The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo. Or anything by both of them, really
Love Shirley Jackson’s work. She was so incredibly talented.
My theee all-time favorites are A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, The Raw Shark Texts by Stephen Hall, and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Fiction novels? Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie and American Gods by Neil Gaiman and now Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
Memoirs? Well – Let’s Pretend This Never Happen- the audiobook version 🙂 And Hyperbole and a Half. I’m positive I’ll love Furiously Happy but I’m saving it for when I need a good hug & some cheer in my life.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, The Shadow of the Wind and Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Stranger and The Plague by Albert Camus
The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo…one of my all time favorites! A quick read, as it was one I would read aloud when I taught fifth grade. Beautiful imagery and characters you’ll fall in love with!
Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Album. It’s the first book my then boyfriend and I read together. We laughed and cried together and learned a lot about each other and I’m happy say we are now happily married and have been for 8 years! Books are something we both have in common and love to share with each other.
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
LOVE Shirley Jackson and especially We Have Always Lived in the Castle! I just checked this out (again) at the library a few weeks ago. <3
Also my favorite is ALL THE BOOKS. Because I never know what I’m going to read (or feel like re-reading) next.
Where the Heart is by Billie Letts. It’s a works I wanted to be a part of. I met the author in the 11th Grade on a Job Shadowing assignment. She was incredibly nice.
The October Daye books by Seanan McGuire. I’ve read them all more than once, and they are soooooooo good.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – Savannah is one of my favorite places in the world.
I love getting book recommendations – Totally going to look into the book you mentioned… I need a good read to distract me from life!!
All of the above and probably most of what comes next …books are wonderful no matter what kind they are – reading the comment list – i was thinking yes I love that one – oh yes i remember that one – ohhhh the book after that was wonderful – D – all of the above is my answer.
( this is what happens to chicks that manage books store for most of their adult life)
Anything by T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon in afake moustache) especially the Clocktaur War duology.
Where the Heart is by Billie Letts. It’s a works I wanted to be a part of. I met the author in the 11th Grade on a Job Shadowing assignment. She was incredibly nice. email@example.com
Mud Vein by Tarryn fisher. It is painful and beautiful and everything in between.
The Little Chinese Seamstress
I’ve always loved any of Friedrich Durrenmatt’s books for dark/interesting books but especially enjoy “The Physicists” as a short play. For more common books, the history lover in me enjoys the Sarah Vowell books – Assasination Vacation and .her most recent (Lafayette in the Somewhat United States).
Oh, there are too many!
– JD Robb series – fun, light read
– The Time Travelers Wife Audrey Niffenegger
– Little Women Louisa May Alcott
– Pern series Anne Mccaffrey
– Wheel of Time series Robert jordan
– Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout
– Harry Potter
– Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
– anything by Dick Francis
It is so hard to pick a favorite. One of my favorites is The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. It’s also about otherness and trying to fit in. So funny and also very sad. So good!
Name of the Wind – Kingkiller Chronicles!
We the Living by Ayn Rand. I do not care for her as a person, hated her politics, and can’t say I’ve enjoyed any of her other books, but her attention to detail and ability to tell a story made me feel like I’d visited 1920s Russia.
First We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson. Reading it was like recapping all the therapy I’ve done to manage my anxiety. Amazing book.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It’s a children’s book, and instilled in me a lifelong love of mysteries. Everyone should read this book!
Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie is magical!
The immortalists. I read it this summer and read it so fast because I was so intrigued and caught up in the story. Loved it so much.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I always felt my family was a bit odd and at times harsh, but reading TGC made me realize even though I didn’t come from the best of circumstances, I was always loved.
Squirrel seeks Chipmunk.
Such an odd, wonderful book! <3
Moo by Jane Smiley and Let’s Pretend this Never Happened (but I still laugh until I choke every time I read it).
Barbara Kingslover’s “Poisonwood Bible,” “The Stand” by Stephen King and “Beloved” by Toni Morrison.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed.
Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson. Read it a couple of times, and it is sooo funny, and intelligent, and intelligently funny.
I want to say the Little Prince because I have it in English & French but probably the Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury. I hated reading growing up and in middle school my grandfather gave me a stack of old Bradbury books and it taught me that it wasn’t that I didn’t like reading, I just wasn’t reading the right things (sorry Bronte sisters).
The Golem and The Djinni by Helene Wecker. It’s her first, and so far only book. I’m waiting impatiently for another. Magical, atmospheric, didn’t want it to end.
My favorite to date is the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher. However, I did just finish reading The Woodcutter by Kate Danley, which was full of magic and delight. ^_^
“Sharp Objects” and “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn. If you liked “Gone Girl”, these two might be even better, with great plot twists!
My all time favorite book since I was a child is ‘A Wrinkle in Time’, by Madeleine L’Engle. I have read all of her fiction books more than once! I had the pleasure of meeting her once at a book signing when I was 13!!
I’ve been working my way through the Black Dagger Brotherhood series from J.R. Ward (sci fi / fantasy / romance) which is a new take (for me) on what a vampire race would look like if it existed (which I suspect it might). There’s pretty much everything you’d want in a good book and each one has a “happy ending” for the couple spotlighted in each story. Definitely not a typical romance which is what I’m always looking for.
Still Life by Louise Penny. Actually anything written by Louise Penny. They are murder mysteries set in southern Quebec . Really well-written and I can never put them down.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It’s a fabulous fantasy book to help anyone get out of their head for a while.
The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath. I’m moving, but I’m sort of thinking of digging into that box just to read that book again.
Some Boys by Patty Blount. It has its flaws, but, has a very realistic look at rape culture.
Most recentky, Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts or Need to Know by Karen Cleveland. Of all time, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith.
The Blue Sword, by Robin McKinley. I can’t even count the number of times I have read this book, and I often listen to the audiobook while falling asleep. But it’ll never be the same as the first time I read it and got to the ending.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell you She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman was my absolute favorite. I couldn’t put it down and wanted more.
Illusions by Richard Bach
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami – holy flying monkeys this book was so good I stayed up until 4am to finish it one night. Can’t recommend it enough to anyone and everyone.
Have you read A Very Long Engagement, by Sebastien Japrisot? It’s a mystery/love story/war story (WWI) set in France, and even though I know the plot twists by heart I continue to enjoy rereading it. Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere is another excellent reread (I expect you’ve read it). Finally, for creepy dark suspense, anything by Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, etc.)
Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” Trilogy – hands down my favorite!
PS – I love seeing what everyone else loves to read, it gives me things to add to my list!
Life of Pi
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.
Yes! We Have Always Lived in the Castle is wonderful, in an understated and kind of bleak way. You can’t go wrong with Shirley, at any rate.
I’d fucking live to read The Ocean at the End of the Lane for the first time again, or the Bartimaeus chronicles. Or everything Christopher Moore has written. And everything Neil Gaiman has written, actually. But especially Ocean.
I loved Tully by Paulina Simmons. She normally writes crime/mystery books. This gem I picked up at a Big Lots on my way to the beach my senior year of high school. Best $2 bucks spent. This is not a crime book but a book about best friends, tragedy & triumph. Fast forward 20 years, we just got a pig. And I named her Tully Belle♡
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It’s one of the few books I’ve read more than once. It’s genius.
Not a book but I loved the Ravin by E A Poe since Jr HS.
Strut by Bruce and Carole Hart. It takes place in Wildwood, N.J. and it is about love, and ghosts, and rock and roll. I loved this book so much that I named my cat Jasper.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was a novel before a movie. Loved both.
I read, “The Stand”, by Stephen King every couple of years. The classic good and evil conflict, where good kinda-sorta wins in the end (but at what cost?) always leaves me with something to contemplate.
The Bone Reader by Mab Morris. Hard to describe except to say it’s another world, and fantastic. There’s intrigue and honor and mystery and fortune telling. You’ll like it.
Ooh tough one… I loved The time traveler’s wife. But so many more i can’t even think!
A Prayer For Owen Meany – John Irving. Thought-provoking, heart-breaking and just really, truly a lovely read. Enough snarkiness to amuse me, and an incredibly clever story that will surprise you with the “who” in the end. I’ve read it countless times, and it still, there are tears. Every. Single. Time. A must-read, for sure.
When I was in second grade, I got to go to the “big kids” library. Ms. Richards, the librarian, introduced me to the indomitable Nancy Drew. I wish I could go back to that moment of reading my first Nancy Drew book because it really changed my life.
“A” book? So many…
The House At Pooh Corner: my daddy read this to me as a kid, and I still hear his voice when I read it to my grandkids. It continues to be hilariously witty. Any great kid lit is just as engaging for the adults, and Milne nailed it.
The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis: epic and joyous.
Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse series): just super-compelling and immersive.
QED by Feynman: fascinating, surprising, and actually funny.
Sorry email is firstname.lastname@example.org
So many books, so little time…
My first mind blower was Bridge to Terebithia back in elementary school. Then Thinner which kicked off my love of Stephen King. In college it was The General in His Labyrinth by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. More recently the Silo series by Hugh Howey and the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson.
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. It was a novel before the movie. Loved both.
The fault in our stars by John Green. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.
I love the book “The Alchemist” so very much! I read it about once a year, right when I’m on the cusp of change again/still and it inspires me a different way each time.
However, upon a recommendation I just read “The Immortalists” and I’d like to forget it soon, so I could read it again.
Absolutely loved The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I had to go read all of Gaiman’s other books after that. I’m off for the next couple of days, I should read it again…
What Happened To Lani Garver by Carol Plum-Ucci. The first time I read it I was a high school freshman, I still love it as a grad student
Sorry email spelled wrong before email@example.com
Oh my, so many choices, but I guess I will say Carrie by Stephen King. The very first book of his that I read. Borrowed it from the library, started reading and just could not put it down. Finished it that same evening. Did the same with several of his books. Of course, this was in like 1979. firstname.lastname@example.org
the hatching series
i got an arc of this to review but am completely and hysterically archnophobic. i just ignored it for awhile but my brain COULD NOT get the plot summary to go away. it was horrifying and captivating and completely worth the read. it’s also on audible, read by george Newbern who is great.
The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love by Jill Connor Browne changed my life and I reread parts often.
Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad just broke something open inside me, but in a good way. It’s like a hidden chamber I had no idea existed finally revealed itself.
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. I recommend it to anyone lookin for a new series. The characters are amazing and since there are few books that I’ll read a second time, I would certainly love to be able to read this series for the first time again!
If I had to pick just one book and call it my favorite, I’d have to say “Little House On the Prairie”. It’s super nostalgic for me because I remember reading it (and pretty much every other book in the series I could get my hands on) while stashed in the back of first a station wagon and then (in middle school) a giant white minivan that vaguely resembled a space ship without wings. (What can I say? Everybody in the 90s wanted one of those pointy nosed ugly things. It was a weird time, y’all.) My family did a LOT of road trips, travelling to San Antonio to check up on my stepdad’s father or down to Galveston or South Padre (which I maintain is a pit suitable only for drunken Spring Breakers) to spend a week at the beach. We also traveled pretty extensively throughout the deep South–Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North and South Carolina–to visit my mom’s relatives.
My Brilliant Friend series by Elena Ferrante and His Dark Materials series (don’t watch the Golden Compass movie, whatever you do) by Phillip Pullman. email@example.com
Any Bill Bryson. I can’t choose just one. Also, The Road by Cormac McCarthy. That one stayed with me a long time. (Yes, very different types of books; what can I say, I have eclectic tastes)
If any of you are ever in need of a book that just makes you laugh and you don’t have to think to seriously about it, OFF TO BE THE WIZARD by Scott Meyer made me Lol. Just don’t worry about plot holes and reality.
I love to reread books because there is always something you miss the first time because you didn’t realize it was important later. So reading something for the first time really isn’t better for me. I enjoy getting to know books. So many great ones people have already listed. My favs besides our Jenny are probably Gaiman, Sedaris, and Dahl.
A Little Life by HanyaYanagihara. Amazing story, beautiful prose, and knowing how it ends makes it hard to read again.
What Happened to Lani Garver. I first read it as a freshman in high school and still love it 16 years later.
Revival by Stephen King…hints to early form of TMS 😉
The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I’ve always loved reading but went through a really deep depression in college when I just completely couldn’t. You know, the kind when you stop liking everything you love and generally take solace in? This was the first book I read again as I was pulling out and it pushed me back into voracious reading mode.
Wideacre by Philippa Gregory. It is dark and twisted in such an unexpected way.
I loved Gone With The Wind as someone else mentioned above. I had seen the movie and felt some hope for Scarlett at the end, but the book is a gut-punch. For a good two weeks I was devastated and actually started writing a sequel just to make myself feel better. Also, a more recent book that I read that you might like – if you like creepy English houses and period pieces – is The Little Stranger. I just saw the movie of it this weekend and it was very true to the book. Others that I love are Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier and My Cousin Rachel also by her.
Grapes of Wrath
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay -an unexpected delight!
I have lots, too, but most recent is the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!! (sobs like Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona) The imagery is immersive and gorgeous.
So hard to choose, but first THREE (yes I know, that’s cheating), that come to mind are Stranger in a Strange Land, Watership Down, and Hitchhiker’ s Guide to the Galaxy.
Oh wait, have to also add The Stand by S.K.
All of those I re-read at least very other year or so.
Happy to see quite a few of my faves already listed. Impossible to choose just one but I’ll add The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough. Clh@telus.net
It’s a kids book but Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville is one I could read forever, and it’s also the first book I imagined reading to both my children when I found out they were on their respective ways. That and the Narnia series, which I have lovely memories of my dad reading to me.
On a VERY different note, the Sandman Slim series by Richard Kadrey is fantastic. It’s like classic punk meets catholic school gone horribly wrong meets detective noir. So good.
For novels Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
Memoir? Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – the audiobook version (LOVED hearing it in your voice!!!) and Hyperbole and a Half. I never comment, but you touched on one of my loves 🙂 You’re the best Jenny – thanks for all you do!
Nobody Gets the Girl by James Maxey
I’m going to go the sentimental route…my very first favorite novel: Harriett the Spy. I read it so many times, the cover is tattered.
The movie of We Have Always Lived in the Castle comes out in a couple of weeks!
(SO GOOD. I love all of her stuff. I even have her unfinished short stories. ~ Jenny)
All-time favorites: Little Women and Black Beauty. Gone With the Wind is up there too. A recent read that I’d highly recommend that keeps creeping into my thoughts is The Power by Naomi Alderman.
Oh! And the original Wraeththu trilogy by Storm Constantine. (There was a second trilogy (and maybe even a third?) that was good, but not as good as the first.) The titles are all long and similar sounding so I never really remember them, but the first set’s main character is named Pell.
The River Why by David James Duncan
All are YA fantasy, with pretty different styles.
The Book Thief ♥
I always loved “The Thief of Always”… I’ve read it so many times….
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. It’s just perfect.
I love you, and I love books!
Anne of Green Gables. The whole series is excellent and we can all relate to Anne in one way or another!
Lamb: the gospel according to Biff by Christopher Moore. I picked it up in Borders and seriously laughed so loud while reading the first page people stared at me.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman is my number one I-wish-I-could-get-a-memwipe book but The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is a close second. Both of them touched my core for different bt vital reasons.
Ma and Pa Dracula by Ann M. Martin
It is one of the few books I have read many times!!!!
I love “Heartsick” by Chelsea Cain. It’s the first novel in a series. It’s about detective Archie Sheridan, who struggles with addiction issues and his absolute obsession with the beautiful serial killer, Gretchen Lowell (the “Beauty Killer”). She held him hostage and tortured him before he sent her to prison and yet, he can’t quite stop thinking about her. His trusty sidekick (and pain in the ass) is Susan Ward, intrepid reporter and fond of brightly-hued hair dye. She’s always getting into trouble!
And Gretchen isn’t quite done killing. Or is it a copycat?!
There are many, but one I finished fairly recently–Advent by James Treadwell. It’s the first in a trilogy and definitely the best.
So many choices, but the first that popped to mind was A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Such a powerful opening line. I’d love to experience it again for the first time.
One of my very first “grown-up” reads should have never been at my disposal at 12 years old due to the violent content, but I have purchased and re-read it many times through my life and I keep a coveted beloved copy of this book when most of my books are of course now on Kindle. The book is “Ride the Wind” by Lucia St. Claire Robson and it is the historically fictionalized account of a white child, Cynthia Ann Parker, kidnapped as a child by the Comanche Indians and her life among them, and the tragic and bitter end of the Native American way of life. Her son, Quannah Parker, was the last free Chief of the Comanche and lobbied for many of the Native American Cultural Rights and Rituals in place today for Native Americans. While quite violent in many places, it is the most beautiful book I have ever read and none has ever dislodged this story from my mind and heart. As mentioned it is out of print but can still be found on Amazon and I, now 44 as opposed to 12 when I first read it, have continually pulled it from my very special and meager holdings of print books every few years to re-experience the beauty of a way of life gone tragically to near extinction. I now live in the Tulsa, OK area which makes this read all the more special to me as this is the final and most extensive reservation of so many of the tribes that once roamed this nation and it is rich in culture, heritage, and pride here. I even boast a tin photo of Quannah Parker in my home -that’s when you know you have been forever marked by a story. I highly recommend this read!! If you don’t love it, I will buy your copy back from you.
Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan. I first read it many, many years ago and have re read it a many times since. It has given me a totally new way to look at life and its daily struggles! “It is the story of a courageous woman, who walked with the Aboriginals and learned the wonderful secrets and wisdom of an old, old tribe.”
The Harry Potter books. All of them.
My most recent “head-over-heels” has to be Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. It was a wonderful fantasy, with a main character I really felt connected to. 🙂
A.S. Byatt “Possession” (not the movie!) or any by her, gorgeous prose; Jane Eyre of course – an old friend in times of trouble. And I’m so happy to add to my “list” with everyone’s suggestions!
One of my favorite recent reads “Reincarnation Blues” by Michael Poore. It’s whimsical, dark, funny, and full of love. Danielleunread@yahoo.com
Beowulf. A vastly underrated book. I keep a dogeared copy at the bottom of my suitcase.
Also, I have been reading and loving anything by Fredrik Backman !
A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle. I once read that eight times in a row because I never wanted to leave.
I LOVED “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” I recommend it to random strangers wherever I go. On the other side of the spectrum is “Blackbird” by Jennifer Lauck. The most moving, torturous memoir I’ve ever read.
I reread The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern every October. It’s the perfect October book. I love it so much. My other favourite book is Pride and Prejudice. I read it in high school and about eleventy billion times since.
I’m currently reading A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman. It’s a cozy mystery type book. I’m enjoying it so far. Next up is The Elite, the second book of The Selection series by Kiera Cass. It’s a YA series in the dystopian vein of the Hunger Games. I really liked the first one so I’m looking forward to the second.
The Shack by William P Young or Carry on Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. Honestly these two books are partly responsible for where I am in my mental health today. Life changing. Actually your books have been a huge part of my journey as well. Thank God for authors sharing precious stories
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, it’s a great read!
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. Or any book by Connie Willis, frankly. While reading Doomsday Book, I was working and just could NOT wait for a break, lunch or getting home to keep reading it.
A Thousand Splendid Suns
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. Riveting!
Right now I’m on the 4th book of the Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski. Great series, can’t recommend it enough for fantasy fans.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. There are book club type discussion questions at the end of the book, and it was only then that I realized that the main character is never named….seems like something I should’ve noticed, but I got so lost in the story that it never even occurred to me.
The Mists of Avalon. I read this in HS and it has stuck with me since, such a different view/perspective.
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, a twisting, dark, touching story I’ve re read several times now. Nothing compares to the first read through, really.
I love EVERY SINGLE BOOK Kristen Cashore has ever written. Her descriptions and world-building and characters are AWESOME.
All the Harry Potters firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m pretty sure you have read them already, so this isn’t very helpful, but for me it would be the Harry Potter series. Reading that series changed my life! Never has a book or series become such a huge part of my life like that. I now have 2 HP tattoos, one of which is a half-sleeve!
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
The All Creatures Great and Small series are my comfort books. Also Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and anything by Russell H Greenan wattsrachelm at gmail
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. One of my all-time favorites and I’ve read it SO MANY TIMES.
hstorm799 (at) gmail (dot) com
Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay. Most of his novels are historical fantasy and are excellent overall. This is one of a few favorites that he wrote and it would be a delight to have it be new again. I still reread them all happily anyway, of course.
Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang was awesome. Any and all Bordertown books, of which Holly Black, Terri Windling, and Ellen Kushner are frequent contributors (and Neil Gaimon at least once). Stiff by Mary Roach, if real live (puns!) dead bodies interest you.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
A favorite book of mine is The Outsiders. Funny it was a high school English requirement but I fell in love with it way back then and still love it today. I’d love to be able to read it over and over fresh. “Nothing gold can stay” Cheers sweet lady. You make me smile.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Luis Zafon
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.
That and every Harry Potter book.
Today Will Be Simple by Maria Semple
Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Prayer for Owen Meant by John Irving
And my most frequently recommended book:
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (for real)
*Owen Meany, not Owen Meant!
“Jane Two” by Sean Patrick Flanery still stands as the only book that was so beautiful it made me cry.
I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman. It’s YA, incredibly diverse, written by a young author that I respect very much and this book captures the internet and fandom culture I have grown up in better than anything else I’ve ever read.
Murder in Amityville by Hans Holzer. I first read it when I was 13. My first adult book. I had been watching horror movies since I was a wee tot. My Dad would let me watch them as I often wouldn’t sleep. He figured as long as I wasn’t having nightmares, I was okay. This may have contributed to my ability to solve puzzles/mysteries. Also The Shining by Stephen King.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman I read it, well technically I listen Neil read it to me at least once a year
All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother by Danielle Teller. A really interesting retelling of a classic fairytale and completely different perspective of the events.
A recent favorite is The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson.
Dear Enemy by Jean Webster. I don’t know why, but something about the sweetness, and the fact that we are STILL fighting those exact same issues today…
At first, I read this as “Read a book A day,” and I was all like “I can do this in the summer when I’m not working, but when school’s in session that’s pretty hard to do!” Reading comprehension. I has it.
My book is Jane Eyre. I always come back to Jane. I love her stubbornness.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Ooh, I have several.
The Stand by Stephen King is probably my favorite “typical” SK book. Epic story, tons of great characters, good vs. evil. Just a wonderful read.
The Eyes of the Dragon also by Stephen King. More of a YA book and I love it more every time I read it, this would be the one I would want to forget so I could experience it again.
Gone Girl. That Gillian Flynn is a goddamn genius. Sharp Objects was also great, haven’t read Dark Places yet but it’s on my list.
Little House on the Prairie series. I read these books to literal tatters when I was a kid, I thought Laura’s life was so cool and just wanted to go live on the prairie with her. Reread the series in my late 30’s and was like wtf, how did they survive?? Their life was so hard!
Switcheroo by Olivia Goldsmith. Funny funny funny! I legit laugh out loud every time I read it.
Pet Sematary! Discovering how much I loved Stephen King was a revelation. I also read a lot of kids and YA books — “Better Nate than Ever” by Tim Federle spring to mind as a favorite. It’s about a gay-ish tween who lives for musicals and runs away to New York to audition for a musical adaptation of ET. 🙂
acholland22 at gmail
Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens: The Nice And Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. Even the title, I mean… I must have read it ten times and I never fail to pick something new up. The jokes are still hilarious every time but I wish I could read them for the first time again. Besides, this book helped me discover both Neil and Terry, which (I’m not exaggerating here) changed my life (and my own writing) forever.
Definitely Gone With the Wind. I probably read it every summer for 10 years. The writing just takes you to another world. Same with the Harry Potter series. 3kats2010atgmail.com
Either Outlander by Diana Gabaldon or Game of Thrones, because neither was remotely was I was expecting at all. I fell in love with Jamie and Claire and revisit often, but it would be nice to experience it all for the first time. GoT just stunned me with the first major plot twist and I took the book to my husband and told him he HAD to read it and then waited for the shock to hit him, too.
Harry Potter or The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
White Oleander by Janet Fitch and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte are two of my go to books when I want something to read ( and haven’t got anything new to read).
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll……the subject matter is sometimes hard to read for some (a girl is raped while she is passed out) but it is such a good book. I read it in a day and a half. Even if I don’t win, please, take the opportunity to read this one.
Hard to choose just one! Even though it is dark and difficult to read at times, ‘She’s Come Undone’ by Wally Lamb is the book that really made me think about differences in perceptions of mental illness. Wally Lamb makes his characters realistic and yet very human. And yes, I’d love a new book!
Oh so many! A recent one is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Others include everything by Sharon Shinn, especially the Archangel series. Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Trilogy. Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half book. I’ll stop before I list too many 🙂
The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley
The Education Of Little Tree was very good
I completely agree about We Have Always Lived in the Castle!! I read it a few years ago and scenes from it still randomly pop into my head for no reason. I tried twice to get my book club to read it but they picked something else. Mostly I wanted them to read it because I desperately want someone to talk with about it!
I need to make a list out of all these comments! So much fun to revisit old favorites and starting thinking about new favorites. Thanks for this thread – and “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” is one of my favorites to recommend to friends!
Stardust by Neil Gaiman or else The Princess Bride
I just got addicted to Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant. Rolling in the Deep + Into the Drowning Deep are my new favorite fiction reads. Weeks later, I’m still just “!!!!!!! about them.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King opened new adventures in the vein of Sherlock Holmes to me. Perhaps if my memory fails I will read it again as if for the first time.
I read so many comments that voiced the same opinion, but choosing just one book is so hard! I choose Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley. I read this book at least once a year.
I also feel the need to highly recommend to everyone I talk to about reading The Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood, The Amelia Peabody Emerson series by Elizabeth Peters, and The Flavia DeLuce series by Alan Bradbury. I gravitate to books with strong, female protagonists!
So many! It’s hard to choose!
I’d probably have to go with the Harry Potter series. It’s a magical feeling reading those 🙂
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. There were so many sentences that I stopped and re-read, believing that any single one of them constituted a brilliant achievement in writing.
I did not read every reply. Likely that I will be the only one to mention it here.
Armor, John Steakley. Great Sci-Fi and so much more.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
I really enjoyed the Enola Holmes books by Nancy Springer… love reading them… love listening to the audiobooks… doesn’t hurt that it’s the late Katherine Kellgren reading them… I just love them.
Beowulf – I named my cat Grendel so I could be Grendel’s mother. Also Grendel and Eaters of the Dead (because Grendel – shut up, I’m not obsessed- you’re obsessed). I read anything Ray Bradbury – Something Wicked This Way Comes and Fahrenheit 451. SWTWC makes me cry every time I read it, just because of the way it’s written, it’s almost poetry. Fahrenheit 451 is one of the scariest books I’ve ever read. I can’t imagine a world where no one reads and they want to burn books.
So many…but my family just talked this weekend about reading Harry Potter again and wishing it could be for the first time. But also the dragon riders of pern, outlander , wonder, the graveyard book. And yes…today is just a Thursday for me….started children of blood and bone today.
This isn’t super-original and it’s not likely to expose anyone to a new book, but: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I’m reading it (again) for the first time with my seven-year-old right now and it’s amazing. I love watching her fall into this whole new world. (cmafairman[at]gmail.com)
“A Man Called Ove” and “My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry” by Fredrik Backman
Both made me want to start them from the beginning again, immediately after finishing them. But I didn’t. Any more than I checked the prior 330 comments to see if they’d already been mentioned. #sorrynotsorry
Since The Shadow of the Wind has already been named a couple of times, I’ll recommend Marina, also by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, and a sort of little sister for it. Such a special, short gem of a book.
I’ll also add The slow regard of silent things by Patrick Rothfuss, which I’m probably discovering for no one of us, but which always puts a smile on my Facebook.
Happy read-a-book day, fellow nerds!
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. It’s a very moving book about America’s great migration. At times it is painful to read about how people were treated and understand their motivation to leave the south. Yet she still finds the beauty in the south and in the courage of the three people she follows. I also love the Harry Potter series – a great story about friendship and love. And finally, the Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood (Rebecca Wells) – another that is at times upsetting, but overall a lovely story about friendship staying strong throughout the years.
LOVE LOVE LOVE Pete Hamill’s book Forever (and, really, anything that he’s written 🙂
Oh man I just finished Beartown by Fredrik Backman – I had to keep walking away to process all the feels but it was so good I didn’t want to put it down!
The lie Place by Nicola Griffith, of course DUNE Frank Herburt
The Blue Place
The Past Life Perspective (Discovering your true nature across multiple lifetimes)
By Ann C. Barham
It’s about Past Life Regression sessions, such an interesting read for sure!!
My email: email@example.com
I would chose to be my 10 year old self reading Little Women for the first time. I loved Jo March, she was (after my mom) the first female I was influenced by, her passion for learning and trying to be true to herself was so relatable to me at the time.
My all time favorite is The Time Travelers Wife. If you’ve seen the movie totally disregard it! I tried read this book at least once a year.
The Unlikely Ones by Mary Brown. Release date was in 1996. This book i will read over and over!
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. I’m not a sci-fi person, nor am I a religious person, but this book about Jesuits making first contact on another planet is amazing. Great writing, and a thought-provoking situation.
A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving. It’s not over stating the case to say it deeply changed me. It’s like when l was reading it a little part of me broke and was put back together again and l was forever changed. I love it so much.
The Gargoyle – Andrew Davidson Such an amazing read that I can’t get enough of. I am a speed reader, but not with this book. I read each and every word. This booked affected me like no other.
The Fifth Season and the rest of the Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin is absolutely amazing!
House of Leaves!. A nice and slow creepy book!
Classic:Frances Hodgson Burnet – the Secret Garden
Modern: Fredrik Backman – My grandmother sends her regards and apologies
Nice! 🙂 Here are some of my favorites. 🙂
The Legends of Muirwood trilogy
The Covenant of Muirwood series
Cassidy Jones series
The Harry Potter series
But my absolute favorite book, and I’m seriously not kidding, the book that I have purchased many copies of and handed out to many friends is Let’s Pretend this Never Happened. Hands down the absolute best book I’ve ever read. I’m currently reading Furiously Happy though! 😉
The book I have been recommending to everyone who will listen for the past year is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. There is just something about it’s steady pace and imagery that has really stuck with me.
Hmmm, what have you NOT read?? I’m certain you’ve read these, but I love Neverwhere by Gaiman, of course, and The Night Circus; I wish I could be mesmerized by them for the first time again.
“Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch” by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I re-read it every year or so, and still am still delighted by it. A close second is “Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal” by Christopher Moore.
If I could go back in time to my childhood self, it would be all the Pippi Longstocking books. I wanted her to be my best friend.
Sorry if this goes through twice I am having issues with life in general.
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
And of course, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
I just recently finished Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo and I’m OBSESSED. Also, and of the Sarah J Maas books are ADDICTING.
Happy reading darlings!
Many many years ago my mother gave me an illustrated copy of Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Graham .
I loved that book and have often reread it .
I have also gifted is copy of it to all my younger cousins and their children.
I wish I could go back to the day I first read about Mole and Ratty ,Mr Badger and the naughty vivacious Toad of Toad Hall
“Tell The Wolves I’m Home” by Carol Rifka Brunt is a book I will never ever get over.
Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey. I love all her Pern novels, but this was the first of them I read and it really opened my eyes to whole new worlds. I probably re-read it at least once a year.
So many great books already posted. All the books by Barbara Kingsolver, but her book The Bean Trees” and the others in that series are my favorite. Loved the Tony HIllerman detective series set in the Southwest, and for another fun read are Sue Grafton’s alphabetical detective series. I love the protagonist Kinsey. Also “Water For Elephants” haunts me. Favorite readings this summer have been “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi and “Tomorrow Will be Different, Love, Loss and the fight for Trans Equality” by Sarah McBride. Both will make you cry and educate you at the same time. David Sedaris is a must read for anyone who follows this blog. “Calypso” on audio books is laugh out loud funny!. In fact stared following this blog after reading “Furiously Happy” which was recommended to me after I was talking about “Calypso”.
Okay going to stop now because this is way to long and I will just continue to list and explain books I’ve read.
“Screening Party,” by Dennis Hensley. It’s about a journalist who gets an assignment to write about the 30th anniversary of “Jaws,” but he’s never seen it, so he gets a bunch of his friends together for a screening and records everything they say, which turns into a monthly party. I’m probably not selling it very well, but it’s legit laugh-out-loud funny. I reread it at least once a year.
(Email addy is firstname.lastname@example.org, in case I’m in the drawing.)
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Beauty by Robin McKinley. I first read this book in middle school- I had checked out a hardcover copy from the school library. Then I checked it out again, and yet again before I eventually purchased my own paper back version. This would have been in…1995 or 96. I still own that book- it is battered and torn- but every year or so I come back around and re-read it. Sure, there are bits now as an adult aren’t as polished, but I still love the nostalgia I get from opening it back up again.
Fiction: “The Brothers K” by David James Duncan
Non-Fiction: “Black Holes and Time-Warps” by Kip Thorne
Reginald Hill’s Pascoe and Dalziel series – smart police procedurals set in Yorkshire.
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.
Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles.
I read these all every couple of years. Holy cats, I love these books.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.
Gorgeous cover, beautifully written. Half Urban Fantasy, half epic. If you’ve read The Fault in Out Stars, Hazel talks about loving a book so much you want to keep it just for you. A book that’s so special, you feel like it’s a secret. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is that bookenfor me.
And then there were none, by Agatha Christie
I loved the entire Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne. They are so irreverent and funny and I mean a dog that can communicate telepathically, does it get better than that??
JD Robb’s “In Death” series. These have gotten me through some dark days, because they have allowed me to leave my life and depression behind and to go be in the comfort of the future and what feels like family.
The Good Earth, by Pearl Buck. We were assigned to read it in high school. I had already read it 11 times by then, so I asked the teacher if I could read something else. No soap. I read it for the 12th time in class. I’ve since read it again countless times (high school was a while ago). (By the way, most people don’t know that that is the first book of a masterful trilogy. “The Good Earth” is followed by “Sons” and “A House Divided”. The entire trilogy is a beautiful, beautiful story.)
I love Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. That’s the one I’ve re-read the most and recommended the most. I have a friend that tried to convince me to read it when we were in high school but I didn’t take her advice until I was in my 30’s. To think, I could have had Claire and Jamie in my life that much sooner!
This has always been my favorite book since I was a teenager.
It is a romance novel but it is more funny and less steamy than most romance books.
I swear I find a copy every time I go to a used book store. Which is great because no one ever seems to give back any books that I lend out!! 🙂