There is really nothing better in life than finding a book that is so amazing that when it’s over, you’re sad to be parting ways. The first book for me that was like this was Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret. My fifth grade girlfriends and I modeled our own lives and conversations after those of Margaret, Gretchen, and Janie, and lied about getting our periods just like Nancy did.
I keep a very long list of books I plan to read, most of the books are finds from friends and blog recommendations. Either I am really picky or we just have different tastes in books, but so many of the books people recommend are sort of meh or they’re just plain TERRIBLE. I suffer from Reader’s Eternal Anticipation Disorder (R.E.A.D.) where if I’ve started a book that I’ve been told is a good read, then I feel compelled to read it all the way to the end for fear that I’ll miss the the good part. Just yesterday, I abandoned all responsibilities to finish The Paris Wife, a book that came with glowing reviews, that was due at the library THAT VERY DAY. Here’s my brief review: It sort of stunk.
Don’t even get me started on the Twilight series or any book by Jodi Picoult. There are several days of my life I’ll never get back thanks to these books. (I would love Jodi Picoult books if they didn’t all follow the same formula: great story until the end when a horrible, unexpected twist changes everything. DO NOT LIKE THAT.)
Yet, another symptom of R.E.A.D. is that no matter my pitiful track record of following book recommendations, I’m still hopelessly addicted to “Best of” lists and adding them to my own list of books to read.
Like Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, there are a select few books that are fantastic enough that I can read them over and over again and absorb the characters and their stories. These books truly captured my heart and imagination, the kind that when I find one of these books on the shelf unexpectedly at the library, it’s like rediscovering an old friend with whom you can’t wait to catch up.
So I present to you my list of my nine FAVORITE books, books that are practically family.
What are your favorite books? I’m always looking for recommendations. AHEM.
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Summer Sisters 1 of 9Judy Blume is sort of my hero. Not only did she write the very first book to affect me in profound ways, she also wrote Summer Sisters. An epic novel that captured the evolution of two girls-women friendship. I adore this book.
I Know This Much is True 2 of 9I Know This Much is True was the second book of Wally Lamb's I ever read. I am still in awe of the story and memorable, REAL characters he created. Yes it was an Oprah book, blah, blah, blah. It's just a good book, okay?
Coming Home 3 of 9Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher is a book I've read I don't know how many times. Set in England before World War II, she follows the life of Judith Dunbar through triumphs and tragedies.
The Book Thief 4 of 9The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is such a unique concept and book, following Death as a character. I recommend it to everyone. Find it in the Young Adult section. (photo source)
The Time Traveler’s Wife 5 of 9I refused to see the movie of The Time Traveler's Wife because I knew that there was no way they could capture the love between Claire and Henry or Henry's moves through time on the big screen. Amazing book by Audrey Niffeneger, not so amazing movie. (photo source)
Blue Like Jazz 6 of 9Blue Like Jazz by Christian author Donald Miller is a book that changed my view of Christians and helped me decide that being one didn't mean what I thought it did. (photo source)
My Life in France 7 of 9My Life in France by Julia Child almost makes me want to throw my suburban American life away for a shot at an adventure in Paris. Too bad the movie Julie and Julia wasn't just, Julia.
The Harry Potter Series 8 of 9I'm still sad that there won't be anymore adventures with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. J.K. Rowling created such an amazing magical world. I can't wait for my kids to be old enough to get lost in Hogwarts. (photo source)
History of Love 9 of 9History of Love by Nicole Krauss is a book that has two separate but interwoven stories with characters so imaginative. They're not always likable, but I'll never forget them.