Hello again! It’s Tuesday, and of course that means it’s time for a Top 5 post. Top 5 Tuesdays and their topics are brought to you by Shanah @ the Bionic Bookworm. Check out her blog, she’s awesome, and this page for the list of topics for June!
I know, it’s weird – there’s a Top 10 this week instead of a Top 5! Shanah is breaking the rules and bringing out this amazingly difficult topic. I’m glad I get 10, though, instead of the usual 5, because choosing favorite books is hard enough, but 5 would have been nigh impossible!
I’m the kind of person whose top favorites can change over time. I’ll do my best to make this list, but I’m going to struggle through it.
Here goes (in no particular order):
1. A Room With a View – E.M. Forster
I know I’ve talked about this book on my blog before. It’s one of my favorite because it’s just so beautifully written! Forster’s writing is so otherworldly, sometimes, and he captures human feeling so beautifully. It’s not the the characters are so amazing, but they’re written so incredibly well, and George Emerson is such a unique one! His whole outlook on life is really eye-opening and inspiring. I love the gentle love that blooms between him and Lucy.
Mostly, I just love this book for the writing. It’s poetic and lyrical and the theme of nature and art is front and center. If you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend it because it’s just such a well-crafted novel.
2. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter had to find his place on this list. But I’m putting my favorite of the Harry Potter books, rather than the first. I just think this book, out of all the others, interested me the most.
I love the Marauders’ story and I also love all of the Harry/Hermione time (since I ship them – not sorry!). I also really love Sirius Black, seeing the Knight Bus, and the overall Voldemort-less storyline is just interesting. Plus, I think that Rowling had really hit her stride by this book, so the writing is on point and the characters are really coming into their own.
3. Dracula – Bram Stoker
The OG of Vampire books! If you haven’t read Dracula and you like vampire stories…just…get on it, okay? It’s too good to pass up. Stoker is so good at creating an atmosphere, a realistic environment. The book is told through letters and journal entries, which gives it a level of “authenticity” that makes the whole thing feel real. Dracula himself is such an interesting character. He’s creepy, he’s intelligent, and he’s been alive so long, he’s developed a knack for staying alive.
All the peripheral characters in this book are amazing – Lucy and Mina are a really good example of female friendship, and all of Lucy’s romantic interests are really cool characters in their own right. And, of course, there’s Van Helsing!
4. Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
My first real foray into science fiction was with this book. I became totally absorbed in the story and in its characters. I think Ender Wiggin is probably one of my favorite characters of all time. He’s just so awesome. He’s thoughtful, incredibly smart, but also incredibly humble and supportive of his friends. He is a true leader and, like Spiderman, has to use his powers of intelligence with responsibility. He often has the weight of the world on his shoulders. Like with Ella Enchanted, this book is probably one of my favorite books of all time. I absolutely adore it and I’ve read it and re-read it many times. The whole series is really good. Card is an excellent writer. Unfortunately, he’s not the greatest when it comes to being a good human being (it is known that he’s homophobic). But I read this book long before I knew this, when I was a child, and I can’t reverse my feelings for the book itself.
5. Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
This is my favorite of Austen’s works. It’s a bit different, not as conventional. The setting and the characters are what fascinate me the most about it. I love Catherine Morland and I really like the spookiness that Austen brings to this story, which mirrors the gothic novels that Catherine loves so much.
I think I enjoy the progression of Catherine’s character the best. I really like how naive she starts off, but then, through making new friends and learning from her mistakes, she becomes a more mature adult. I also really like Henry, so there’s that, too!
6. Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine
Yes, it’s Ella again. I can honestly say, if pressed, that I would choose this book as my Top Book of all time. That’s right, number 1! This book is my childhood favorite. It holds a special place in my heart. I’ve read it so many times, I obsessed over it. I was all about it. And I can say that if I were to interview my younger self, she’d say that Gail Carson Levine is her favorite author. She still is one of my favorite authors. I love her approach to re-telling classic fairytale stories. She’s so good at breathing new life into them, to creating strong, charismatic characters that don’t just let magic and misfortune bulldoze them. This book has a special place with me and so it must be on this list.
7. The Martian – Andy Weir
Of course I’m putting The Martian on this list. It’s a fabulous book and no, I don’t think I overuse it when it comes to these Top 5s. It’s such brilliant writing and the humor is just awesome. If you want a good laugh, you need to read this book. I had a blast reading it, which was totally unexpected, since I was all prepared for deep, dramatic science-fiction type stuff (of which there’s still plenty!).
And, of course, because this book’s so brilliant, Hollywood has produced a movie adaptation, with Matt Damon, which is still pretty good, considering. I remember a lot of people being confused by it being nominated for awards as a comedy – but there is lots of humor in it, even if I wouldn’t outright call it a comedy.
8. Julius Caesar – William Shakespeare
I’m putting a play in here because this is one of my favorite plays of all time (and yes, I know it’s supposed to be favorite books, but I think this can still count). The writing is just brilliant.
I know it’s an odd choice out of all of Shakespeare’s work, but there are so many great monologues and dialogue exchanges in this play. I had to memorize a portion for school, so maybe that’s why this one sticks with me so much. I don’t know. But I find all the characters so interesting and well developed. I always count myself lucky when I can see a really well produced stage version.
9. Never Let Me Go
This book really blew me away. Up to that point I hadn’t really read too many dystopan novels. Ishiguro’s story is so unique and horrifying. I love how dark it is, and yet his characters bring such light and hope to it. I hadn’t read any of Ishiguro’s work before, but since then I’ve read his other well-known novel, The Remains of the Day, and it’s just as brilliant.
There is a movie of this book – it stars Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightly, and Carey Mulligan. It’s a pretty good interpretation, I have to say. If you want to check that out as well, I don’t blame you! Great casting!
10. Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
Who doesn’t love a good pirate story? I really treasure this book. It’s one of the first books I remember reading that had a character that’s supposed to be a “villain” but that I truly like. Long John Silver is such an interesting character! He’s morally gray and yet he’s just so much fun to read about.
I really enjoy Stevenson’s writing. This book is not one that comes up very often, but it is a classic that I think holds up to time. If you haven’t read it before, please do! It’s not a long book, and it’s got pirates, adventure, and it’s really cool.
Thoughts & Thanks!
Whew! We did it, guys! My Top 10 all time favorites. I really enjoyed looking through my books and deciding which ones to single out. It’s not everyday that someone prompts me to pick my favorite books. I think I did a descent job relaying my favorites here.
What do you think of my selections? Did any of your favorites make it on this list? Thank you for reading this post. Let’s chat in the comments! And, as always, happy reading!