Talk About Your Favorite Books

I love talking about books.

Why are your favorite books what they are? What kind of books do you like in general? Which stories have touched your heart, impacted your life, or just made you fall in love with a life you will never live?

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The Hate U Give by [name_u]Angie[/name_u] [name_m]Thomas[/name_m]
is probably my favourite book of all time, it was incredible, powerful, and I couldn’t put it down. I read it all in a day, and its one of those books that once you have finished you just need to stare up at the ceiling for a little bit.
I read this book almost a year ago, but I still find myself thinking about it all the time. It was honest, heartbreaking, and made me feel every single emotion possible. It touched me in ways I didn’t know was possible, and gave me a much needed perspective on world issues.

[name_f]My[/name_f] favourite quote: “What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

Alright! Another one of my favourite books…

Howls Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones!

This book was refreshing, dreamy, and lighthearted. I remember reading it during a really long and boring roadtrip… suffice to say, it was no longer boring after I picked up this book!
I love the characters, the plot, the setting, the dialogue, its all so wonderful. The only thing I didn’t really like was the ending (:pensive:)
My favourite quote: “Is that all you can do in the face of tragedy?” Howl asked. “Make toast!?”

Im also going to talk about my all time favourite childrens book, just because… how can I not mention fairytales when discussing my favourite books?

Everything that was ever written by Shirley Barber

I used to beg for one of these stories everynight! Martha B. Rabbit was probably my favourite tale, but I read all of them. Shirley Barbers books are what truly made me believe in magic, and are what made me obsessed with fairytales, magic, and toadstools!
The illustrations are gorgeous, and the characters and plots really appealed to my sense of wonder as a kid. I still think they are some of the most beautiful stories I have ever read.

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I felt the exact same way upon reading it!

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Most of the books I have enjoyed are books that are dark and present families or situations that are emotionally erratic and volatile - likely due to the fact that that was my background. [name_m]Reading[/name_m] those kinds of stories made me feel less alone.

Still, it’s got to have a strong moral. I feel like it should make it clear that that shouldn’t be anyone’s reality - that we need to change this. I can’t watch or read something that depicts such things and stops at simply depicting it. It just seems dangerous to imply that it is okay - or worse, glamorous.

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I would say these are my two favorite books:

A Tree Grows in [name_u]Brooklyn[/name_u] has been one of my all-time favorites since I first read it years ago. I love the childhood nostalgia of [name_f]Francie[/name_f]’s perspective, despite the difficult circumstances she faces in the book, she manages to cast mundane or unfortunate things with in an exciting light. As far as names go, it’s the reason I love [name_f]Frances[/name_f] ‘[name_f]Francie[/name_f]’ and have a soft spot for [name_m]Cornelius[/name_m] ‘Neeley’.

I read (the [name_f]English[/name_f] translation of) My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by [name_m]Fredrik[/name_m] Backman a few years ago and absolutely loved it. I think it’s so well-written and the characters are so well-developed and unique, they seem like real people. The main character is a young girl with a complicated life, and it blends her imaginary world with her real life so fluidly. The books deals with family, grief, and the power of imagination- all themes I love. The ending was so satisfying and made me realize how much foreshadowing I had missed- it was amazing to see all the pieces come together, and suddenly everything made so much sense! It was the type of book I put down afterwards and thought “that was amazing.” I would highly recommend it to anybody.

As far as types of books, my favorite genre has always been historical fiction, even as a kid. In the past few years I’ve gotten into contemporary fiction, too.

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I mean, [name_u]Harry[/name_u] [name_m]Potter[/name_m] saved my life. I’m a fierce LGBTQ+ ally so the current situation with the author has been devastating. But nothing can change how much the books helped me and how much I adore the fandom.

I also read some books for school that I really, really enjoyed. None of these are textbooks, they all read like a normal story.

9 Highland Road: [name_f]Sane[/name_f] Living for the Mentally Ill
Another Place at the Table
Detached: Surviving Reactive Attachment Disorder
Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in [name_f]Chicago[/name_f]
The [name_f]Spirit[/name_f] Catches You and You Fall Down (this one I HAD to use the audio book, it’s so heavy on explaining the Hmong language that it weighed it down)

Oh, and in HS I was in a book club and read Code Talker: A [name_u]Novel[/name_u] About the Navajo Marines of World War Two. It is truly a fantastic and eye-opening read. That is probably my #1 book recommendation!

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I have so many! To limit a disastrously long post, I think I’ll talk about one or two at a time over the next few days. @EagleEyes, A Tree Grows in [name_u]Brooklyn[/name_u] might be top five (or three) for me.

I’ll start with one that I think is a breathtaking work of fantasy (as opposed to one that I love for different reasons).

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by [name_f]Susanna[/name_f] [name_u]Clarke[/name_u] is one of the best fantasy novels I have ever read, if not the best. I can’t do it justice! It’s incredibly imaginative, engrossing, and well-written. It brings together the best elements of high fantasy, fairy tales and mythology, historical fiction, and a little bit of [name_f]Jane[/name_f]-[name_u]Austen[/name_u]-esque social commentary. Despite being 800 pages, none of the book seems overdone. The world is vivid, the characters and their relationships are complex, and the story is well told. It follows two magicians, Strange and Norrell, as they revive [name_f]English[/name_f] magic as well as their complicated relationship. Their love of magic is part of every page, and it also touches on the flipside: magic and obsession. It’s intelligent, it’s odd, it’s dark, and it is positively magical.

I love this book for less personal reasons than many other books, but I don’t love it any less!

I like most book genres, but I especially love character-driven stories in a variety of settings (with a soft spot for historical or fantastical elements).

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Ooooh one of my favorites I listed above, Another Place at the Table, is from a foster / foster-to-adopt parent’s perspective. I worked in foster care for years (I still could again some day!) so I’m extremely critical of books, movies, and tv shows about the topic… How realistic they are, how honest they are, etc. This one excellent! [name_f]My[/name_f] other one listed, Detached: Surviving Reactive Attachment Disorder, is from the perspective of a foster-to-adopt child. It’s very good, highly recommend!

I’ll have to check out One for the [name_u]Murphy[/name_u]’s!

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I’m going to do a more in-depth summary of why my favorite books are what they are probably sometime this weekend, but here they are:

  1. The [name_m]Lion[/name_m], The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. [name_m]Lewis[/name_m].
  2. Beloved by [name_u]Toni[/name_u] [name_m]Morrison[/name_m]
  3. Huckleberry [name_u]Finn[/name_u] by [name_m]Mark[/name_m] [name_m]Twain[/name_m]
  4. Death Comes For the Archbishop by [name_f]Willa[/name_f] [name_f]Cather[/name_f]
  5. Persuasion by [name_f]Jane[/name_f] [name_u]Austen[/name_u]
  6. Little Women by [name_f]Louisa[/name_f] [name_f]May[/name_f] [name_u]Alcott[/name_u]
  7. Anne of [name_u]Green[/name_u] Gables by [name_f]Lucy[/name_f] [name_f]Maud[/name_f] [name_u]Montgomery[/name_u]
  8. The [name_f]Secret[/name_f] Garden by [name_f]Frances[/name_f] [name_m]Burnett[/name_m]
  9. To Kill a Mockingbird by [name_u]Harper[/name_u] [name_u]Lee[/name_u]
  10. Gilead by [name_f]Marilynne[/name_f] [name_m]Robinson[/name_m]

Bonus: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by [name_m]Stephen[/name_m] Chbosky. I was incredibly affected by this story as a teen.

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Honorable mentions include: this great [name_u]Hillary[/name_u] [name_m]Clinton[/name_m] biography and The Courtship of [name_f]Princess[/name_f] [name_f]Leia[/name_f] by [name_m]Dave[/name_m] Wolverton.

  1. If We Were Villains by M.L. [name_u]Rio[/name_u] was the first book with characters I could relate to. The MC, [name_u]Oliver[/name_u], was secretive and laid-back, and simply let his friends drag him around. [name_u]Meredith[/name_u] suffered from extreme imposter syndrome. [name_u]Wren[/name_u] was shy. [name_u]James[/name_u] harbored great hatred and wrath. [name_f]Filippa[/name_f] was forgotten. I could relate to every single one of the characters (except maybe [name_m]Richard[/name_m], [name_f]Gwen[/name_f], and [name_m]Frank[/name_m]) so well. I read it on my thirteenth birthday and, for the first time, felt like somebody knew what it felt like to be me. It wasn’t a book with a story to help me through life, but it was beautiful, bittersweet, and painfully real.

  2. Tangerine by [name_m]Edward[/name_m] Bloor was a book that the school assigned me to read the summer before eight grade. I actually didn’t read it until after we wrote the essay on it. Then, I came across this paragraph that made me want to read, describing the soccer coach, [name_f]Betty[/name_f] [name_u]Bright[/name_u], as a track star. I found I could empathize with the main character, who’s family often refused to believe him, and withheld information which they knew was wrong to do. It was another bittersweet ending, but it made sense, and I loved how I felt when I read it.

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I love mystery books! [name_f]Colleen[/name_f] Coble is my fav author!

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I have quite a wide variety of what I consider my favourite names. I read quite a lot (this year has been slow for me though, but I have also had to work a lot more shifts because of the pandemic and situations relating to that).

As far as why my favourites are my favourites, that is normally because I see part of myself in the characters, or they touch me in a way I can’t shake or forget. Longstanding favourites of mine are ones I tend to go back to and and reread, or that stay on my mind heavily. I would say all the ones I’m going to list do all the things for me in OPs last paragraph. (I also tend to read the same authors; when I find a book I like I read everything that author has to offer, so I’ll group the books by author/series and point out the ones I like best).

Unraveled by [name_u]Courtney[/name_u] [name_u]Milan[/name_u]
To a lesser extent this trilogy and accompanying novella are all favourites, but Unraveled really cemented the deal for me. The main character, Smite, is someone I connect with on a soul-deep level. He is prickly, experiences PTSD, and also works in the judicial system (I also work in an adjacent field and I really connect with his desire to provide justice and do what is right). I connect so heavily with the term they use “unraveled”, because, as the main heroine explains, Smite isn’t broken, because truly broken people stop functioning and can’t move on. Smite is just a bit “unraveled”. Also [name_u]Courtney[/name_u] [name_u]Milan[/name_u] is just the absolute best author ever and I will never get of my soapbox about that :joy: and in the first book in this series, Unveiled, [name_u]Ash[/name_u] is dyslexic and I am also dyslexic and I loved that representation. The only other place I have seen that was in [name_m]Rick[/name_m] [name_m]Riordan[/name_m]’s books.

Duchess War by [name_u]Courtney[/name_u] [name_u]Milan[/name_u]
And the Brothers Sinister series in general because it is so spectacular. But, as far as Duchess War goes, I am [name_m]Robert[/name_m] [name_m]Alan[/name_m] [name_m]Graydon[/name_m] Blaisdell and [name_f]Minnie[/name_f] is the perfect woman. So much of who I was at the time I read this book almost eight years ago resonated with [name_m]Robert[/name_m], and I have gone back and reread this book twice every year since.

Carhart Series, also by [name_u]Courtney[/name_u] [name_u]Milan[/name_u]
What can I say? I am trash for Ms. [name_u]Milan[/name_u] :joy:. This series is a little odd, and not quite as good as her later works, but This Wicked [name_u]Gift[/name_u] is the absolute best novella I have ever read (and continue to go back to) and [name_m]Ned[/name_m] in the duology is bipolar (or something close to that) and I had NEVER seen that in books before this. Again, they aren’t the best on this list, but I just love the representation of [name_m]Ned[/name_m]’s character.

Four Horseman series by [name_f]Laura[/name_f] [name_f]Thalassa[/name_f]
There are only three books out so far in this series, and with each one they get darker and more explicit (with violence, language, and sexually), but I personally love that in books. I loved Pestilence, adored War, but I just finished Famine a couple of days ago and it seriously blew me away. The characters are so complex, matters of morality and humanity are discussed, and each book leads you to new conclusions and they are so good. If Death follows the pattern of the rest, this will be my all-time favourite series.

East by [name_f]Edith[/name_f] Pattou
I read this book when I was in middle school and absolutely loved it. It is the most magical book. If you haven’t read it you should.

Francine [name_u]Rivers[/name_u]
I just… everything this woman has written I have read and loved. From Redeeming [name_u]Love[/name_u] and A [name_u]Legacy[/name_u] of [name_f]Grace[/name_f] to The [name_m]Mark[/name_m] of the [name_m]Lion[/name_m] trilogy and the Last Sin Eater her books have shaped my faith and personality in so many ways. They will always hold a special place in my heart.

Divine by [name_f]Karen[/name_f] Kingsbury
I like [name_f]Karen[/name_f] Kingsbury very much, and as she is my mothers favourite author I have read most of her books. But, Divine is the most heartbreaking, bittersweet book and [name_f]Mary[/name_f] the most beautiful character I have ever read about.

Robin McKinley
I thought she needed her own section since so many of her books are favourites of mine. Beauty, Rose Daughter, and Deerskin being the top three. They are sweet fairytales while still being very eye opening (especially Deerskin). Again, I recommend anyone who likes these kinds of books to read them if you haven’t already.

Rick [name_m]Riordan[/name_m]
I started out with the [name_u]Percy[/name_u] [name_u]Jackson[/name_u] books, but all of his stuff is soooo good and even as an adult I enjoy them. I started them the year they came out (and I was about the same age [name_u]Percy[/name_u] was at that time) so I really feel like I grew up with [name_u]Percy[/name_u] and [name_f]Annabeth[/name_f]. And I love Greek Mythos. And I’m dyslexic. They’re just really good. And [name_m]Riordan[/name_m]’s other series’ are just as good (and have really good representation in the newer ones).

Sarah J [name_m]Maas[/name_m]
Really, Heir of [name_u]Fire[/name_u] is my top book by her (I dislike the main character of this series, but in Heir of [name_u]Fire[/name_u] she just becomes more understandable, and her struggles here really resonated with me at the time I read it). In her Court of Thorns and Roses series (which I do like, but its not a favourite exactly) her character of [name_u]Nesta[/name_u] is me. I see so much of myself in her, and I cannot wait for her book A [name_m]Court[/name_m] of [name_u]Silver[/name_u] Flames to come out! Tower of [name_f]Dawn[/name_f] in her Throne of Glass series is another I love, for the deep dive into mental and physical health to the issues brought up by race and sibling rivalry.

The Witchlands series by [name_f]Susan[/name_f] Dennard
This is possibly one of the best YA fantasy series out there, and so very underrated. [name_f]Iseult[/name_f] is possibly one of my favourite characters ever created, and the lore and all the detail of this series? Outstanding.

Chronicles of Prydain by [name_m]Lloyd[/name_m] [name_m]Alexander[/name_m]
This series was one of the first I ever read, and [name_u]Taran[/name_u]’s journey of finding himself and his purpose (especially in Taran [name_u]Wanderer[/name_u]) I connected with as a kid.

Petey by [name_m]Ben[/name_m] Mikaelsen
This book haunts me to this day, and I read it going on 15 yeas ago. So heartbreakingly lovely and poignant. It made me so aware of those society just “threw away” because they were too hard to understand or take care of ([name_m]Petey[/name_m], the titular character, has cerebral palsy and grows up in a mental institution). This book was the first that ever really stuck with me like this.

Green [name_u]Creek[/name_u] series by TJ Klune
This series is beautiful. And has [name_m]Ace[/name_m] rep as well as platonic physical touch (which is my love language) used so often as it is an important part of this story.

A [name_f]Countess[/name_f] Below Stairs by [name_f]Eva[/name_f] Ibbotson
This is such a sweet book. Really. I have come back to this book over and over again and I find something new to love every time!

Kill Switch by [name_f]Penelope[/name_f] [name_u]Douglas[/name_u]
This book. Oh wow. [name_m]Damon[/name_m] and [name_u]Winter[/name_u] are just some of the best characters ever created. Its dark and twisted, but such a good read. The rest of the books in this series are good too, but to me this is the crown jewel.

Winternight trilogy by [name_f]Katherine[/name_f] [name_u]Arden[/name_u]
The handsdown best series I have read possibly ever. If you like the Death and the Maiden trope, this is the series for you. I learned so much from these books and it is so beautiful and heart-touching (and can I say Solovey is the best character ever? [name_m]Even[/name_m] if he is a magical horse).

A Thousand Nights by EK [name_m]Johnston[/name_m]
This book is the most lyrical, feminist book and it is so poetical and lovely, and the sister relationship in here touched me so much, because I have a relationship like that with my sister. Gah. I swoon.

Thats all I’m going to put down for now. I’m sure there are much more, but these are the top ones for sure.

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Since a conversation yesterday led me to think of this, I’ll talk about I am the Messenger by [name_m]Markus[/name_m] Zusak.

I am the Messenger is an unusual hero’s journey about an ordinary man who is prompted by mysterious playing cards he gets in the mail to be better to those around him. It’s funny, insightful, heartbreaking, poignant, and incredibly centered around human nature.

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Arch of [name_m]Triumph[/name_m]

I love murder mysteries such as the [name_m]Nero[/name_m] [name_m]Wolfe[/name_m] mysteries by [name_u]Rex[/name_u] Stout, the [name_m]Joe[/name_m] [name_m]Gunther[/name_m] [name_m]Vermont[/name_m] series by [name_u]Archer[/name_u] Mayor, [name_f]Josephine[/name_f] [name_f]Tey[/name_f] and [name_f]Dorothy[/name_f] [name_m]Sayers[/name_m]’ [name_f]English[/name_f] mysteries, the Italian [name_f]Donna[/name_f] [name_m]Leon[/name_m] books, Scandinavian mysteries, and of course, old [name_f]Nancy[/name_f] [name_u]Drew[/name_u], [name_u]Dana[/name_u] Girls, and [name_m]Hardy[/name_m] Boys mysteries.

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I love dystopian or the unreliable narrator type fiction.
The virgin suicides
Fight club
Life of pi are all books which stand out for me. But I have a long list.

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That book sounds interesting

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And Catcher in the [name_u]Rye[/name_u] that’s another book which had an effect on me.