I did posts recently on 50 chapter books to read to kids and 50 of the best picture books for kids. Those were fun and those were a hit! So now I thought it would be fun to share some of the best books for YOU! Or at least some of MY favorite books that maybe you will enjoy as well. I LOVE to read and spend a lot of time reading, so here are some of my favorites!
50 of My Favorite Books:
I’ve got to start off with what I think is my all time favorite-The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. It’s what I like to call a family history mystery. What happened in my mother’s past? It’s got mystery and love story and all of the details of the story weave together perfectly. I love this book and make all of my friends read it.
And as long as we are talking about Kate Morton, her books The Forgotten Garden and The Distant Hours are also amazing! They all fall under that same family history mystery genre and involve love stories as well. She’s a master at writing and I hope she writes more soon!
Now I’ve got to move to a few classics that many of you have probably read, but I can’t skip right now because they are just that good.
First, let’s talk about Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. If you haven’t read this book and you are the hopeless romantic type, read it now! I remember when I read this book that it was so powerful that it affected my mood throughout the day. I found myself sad and didn’t know why and then I remembered something that had happened in the book. That’s good writing.
Another classic that I love every time I read it is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. A sweet and charming children’s book that is entertaining and beautifully written. It’s been a few years since I read it. I should probably read it again soon!
Here’s a book that is perhaps less well known, but one of my very favorites-it’s Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. Now, I have some friends who feel just like I do and adore this book and others who didn’t love it, so I don’t know where you will fall, but there is just so much in this book to think about. It’s simply a story of two couples who form a deep friendship for life. It helps that part of it takes place in Madison, WI where I once lived AND that it’s a mostly true story so you can actually go see the places these people lived!
I just recently reread Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman. I loved it the first time I read it years ago, but I really, really loved it this time. It’s a simple story of a couple living in the very far North Canadian wilderness and it is packed full of life lessons that can be applied to my own life now. Just beautiful.
Want a sweet and cheesy romance? Try Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson. I am warning you-it’s very sappy and it will make you swoon. It’s a very fast read-like 1 day and just silly and sweet. Sometimes you need that right?
And if you like this one, she’s got another one out that is also sappy, sweet and wonderful-Blackmoore.
There is one author that I just love-Lynn Austin-and she’s written about 20 books. I literally just go to the library and grab one of her books because I know I am going to love it. There haven’t been any I haven’t liked by her. These are more family history mystery type books and often go back through 3 or 4 generations of women telling their stories. I love them all, but I think my favorite by her was Eve’s Daughters.
I love a good memoir. Now this one isn’t a memoir because it isn’t a true story, but it feels like a memoir and it’s based on a historical experience. It’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. A sweet love story that occurs during WWII that also explores the difficulties of Japanese Americans in California during that time.
OK, I’ve got to throw two in here that most of you have probably read, but how can I not mention them?
First, The Help by Kathryn Stockett. A well written story that takes place in the South during the civil rights movement, it’s funny and sad and thought provoking and just a great read.
Do you ever read a book and you are just amazed at the talent for writing that the author has? That’s how I felt when I read The Book Thief years ago. It’s narrated by Death. Who thinks of that and what a unique perspective! It’s a holocaust story that puts a now spin on what you feel.
You know Charlotte Bronte and you know Emily Bronte, but did you know that there’s a 3rd, very much less well known sister? Anne Bronte wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. It’s a book that will feel like a Jane Austen, BUT a large part of it is told from the perspective of a man, which makes it new and different.
Want a book that will make you see the world in a whole new way? Try Room by Emma Donoghue. I will warn you that if you are the type that doesn’t like sad stories this one is not for you, but for me it was an eye opening read. It would make a great book club discussion.
There’s a whole series of fantastic books about a woman who was a spy during WWII. The first is The Spy Wore Red by Aline Countess of Romanones and they are based on her real experiences. I love these books (there are 4 in the series). It was fascinating to see what goes on and the books were very entertaining as well.
There are a lot of WWII books out there and they can be sort of depressing, so I enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer because it took a slightly lighter side of the war. It’s a quirky and cute story of a group of people living on an island just off England’s coast.
And of course, one more WWII story-The Hiding Place by Cory Ten Boom. If you haven’t read this one yet, you should. It’s her true story of her experience of hiding Jews during WWII. It’s so touching and uplifting in spite of being about that dark time in the world.
Another very uplifting story from a very difficult time is Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza. It’s about the Rwandan holocaust. It’s horrifying but she tells it in a very faith based way, making it beautiful and eye opening.
I find that a lot of my favorite books are for young adult readers. One that I really enjoyed is The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale.
Another fun, young book that I read a long time ago and loved is Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards. Yes, that is THE Julie Andrews. It felt similar to The Secret Garden to read. Simple, sweet and beautiful all in one!
I guess I better pop a little Jane Austen in here. I’ve read all of her books. Pride and Prejudice is of course amazing, but I’m going to say that Persuasion is my very favorite! If you haven’t read that one, I recommend it!
Well…those are some of my favorites. I read a lot and love a lot of books, but to me, those are some of the very best!
I would LOVE it if you shared some of yours in the comments. I am always looking for good books to read and it’s fun to see what others love as well!
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