I’ve been meaning to write this list for a good long while but I continually put it off. This week, one of my favorite bloggers/podcasters, Laura Tremaine, issued a challenge to her followers to share their top ten favorite books, so I decided that it was time to whittle down my list of books I love to the top ten of all time.
I read A LOT. Once upon a time, I was a middle and high school English teacher, so I had to be well-read. This year with the pandemic, I\’ve read even more than ever before. And, if you follow me on Goodreads, you\’ll see I\’m generous with my 4 and 5-star ratings. If a book makes me happy or makes me smarter, I rate it well.
Here are my top ten favorite books in no particular order and with short explanations. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
- Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume
- I always say this is my favorite of all time. Maybe it is. Maybe it has just been one of my favorites for the longest time. Honestly, Judy Blume is just special and all her books are delightful. Her most recent book for adults, In the Unlikely Event, almost made my top ten, too!
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- This book taught me much about other cultures. It helped me have a better grasp of what it means to love my neighbor. I think everyone should read it! I loved A Thousand Splendid Suns and And The Mountains Echoed, too.
- Southernmost by Silas House
- Silas House is my literary crush. He is smart and funny and just the best Kentucky writer ever. This book makes my list because it challenged and reshaped my thinking in addition to being beautiful.
- Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
- I saw this book advertised in the Chi Omega magazine, The Eleusis. Ruta Sepetys is my sorority sister. I checked it out and was blown away. Since then, I have read all of her books. She packs them with historical knowledge and emotion. This one is my favorite because I learned so much about communist Spain.
- The All-Girl Filling Station\’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg
- I love Fannie Flagg. All of her books are winners. This one is just the first one of hers I read and it hooked me forever! It is part of a wonderful series, which I wished would never end. You can\’t go wrong with Fannie Flagg, though. Trust me!
- A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans
- This was Rachel\’s debut book and I loved her authenticity and down-to-earth approach. Her voice is one that informed much of my spiritual thinking and I continue to miss her wisdom.
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- I read this in high school and was floored by the reality of Bradbury\’s predictions. It was my favorite book to teach, too. I think every American should read this every couple of years, and it should be mandatory in all high schools!
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
- Krakauer was one of the first non-fiction writers that captured my attention. I\’ve read almost all of his books. I enjoyed teaching this one, too. For me, Christopher McCandless was a tragic figure and a cautionary tale worthy of the attention of privileged American teens. You can be rich in the world\’s eyes but still so empty inside.
- Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
- It was almost a toss-up for me as to which Brene Brown book would make this list. She\’s wise and I\’ve loved all of her works, but this one spoke most directly to my heart.
- Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
- I loved the true story of how God\’s grace went before Louis Zamperini to show how beautifully redemption works.