My Top Ten Most-Favorite Books {at the moment & for some time now}

Dang, these lists are hard. ;)  As with my top ten movies post, these are in no order.

The Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien


Obviously. ;)  At first read-through, it was pretty dense--even (dare I say it?) dull in parts.  But after reading a companion to it, reading it again revealed how deeply, spiritually gorgeous nearly every sentence is.  The trick with this trilogy is to read it slowly, allowing yourself time to digest its beauty.  

There are just certain passages and chapters that make me feel so many things. ♥  I love it. :)
  
The Princess Bride
by William Goldman



I deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply love this book.  It means a lot to me. ♥  It has everything: fabulous characters, a crazy amount of humor, adventure, "torture, true love!" ;)  And every time I read it, I discover more depth to it.  (Yes, believe it or not, there's depth to The Princess Bride.)

Ella Enchanted
by Gail Carson Levine


I've read this book so many times.  It was probably my first "favorite book," actually.  Love it very much. :)  

I love how simply and unpretentiously Levine writes this.  She makes very little fuss and bother, but she's not afraid to add the occasional bit of fairytale sparkle.  

Peter Pan
by J.M. Barrie


The first time I read this, I thought it was quite odd and disjointed.  Then as I began rereading it and I started realizing how quintessentially British and charming and humorous and whimsical it is, it became a favorite.  It's practically perfect. ;)

Till We Have Faces
by C.S. Lewis


If I had to pick just one of Lewis's books to delineate as his best, it would probably be this one.  Narnia is timeless and so important, obviously; Mere Christianity was really influential for me personally, and its message is also really important; but Till We Have Faces is so exceptionally written.  And its spiritual depth is staggering.

Ivanhoe
by Sir Walter Scott

For the record I don't know what that pose is. xD

This book makes me so happy. :D  I love the medieval aesthetic and the old-fashioned language and the classic feel and Bois-Guilbert and REBECCA and Rowena and WAMBA and just everyone.  

The Hundred and One Dalmatians
by Dodie Smith


Apparently I love old English children's books that Disney then took and adapted with a liberal amount of creative license. :-P  This is all kinds of fun.  Thoroughly and blissfully escapist. :)  (And the illustrations are fabulous.)

Hinds' Feet on High Places
by Hannah Hurnard


Again, a book that's been incredibly meaningful and influential for me personally.  I love the free incorporation of Scripture verses and song lyrics, and all the different settings--from the mountain valleys to the mountain peaks, and from the seashore to the desert, and from the forests back to the mountains.  And its connection to Song of Songs really gives you a better/different understanding of and appreciation for it beyond the initial impression it makes. 

Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott


This one can occasionally get a little long for me, but I love the characters and the setting and the humor and the basic storyline so much.  I love the development Alcott gives all the characters and the way we get to see the sisters grow up together.  Laurie is precious (and he and Jo definitely don't belong together) and Beth is remarkable and Amy gets too much flak and John Brooke is actually wonderful and I just love them all. ♥  

(Although the only iteration of the story that's actually convinced me of Jo and Bhaer as a couple--including the book--is the '94 movie.  Maybe we should work on that??)

The Horse and His Boy
by C.S. Lewis


All of the Chronicles are wonderful, but The Horse and His Boy is my favorite.  I've listened to this verbatim audio version (narrated by Alex Jennings) so many times, and it's perfect and it never grows old to me.

I love that this one steps away from the Pevensies as children and instead focuses on some other (equally awesome) kids while giving us a glimpse into the Pevensies' Golden Age.  I love Shasta and Aravis and Bree and Hwin so much, and I love their journey from Calormen to Archenland to Narnia.  I love Rabadash and Lasaraleen.  I love the line, "For even a traitor may mend.  I have known one that did."  (*cue all the crying*)  I love the Hermit.  I love Shasta and Aravis's relationship.  I love the line, "Does it ever get caught on a hook halfway down?"  I love Aslan's presence and all his interactions with the characters.

I LOVE ALL OF IT FOREVER. ♥♥♥

What are your all-time favorite books??

Comments

  1. Picking your top ten favorite books??? dang girl, you are brave.

    I don't think I could pick so coherently, but if I did, it would probably look a lot like your list. ;)

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  2. I am feeling very on top of it right now because it seems like whenever I read a list of top 10 books, I haven't actually read any, but I have read 7 of these! Yes! They are all so good. I know for sure that Peter Pan is in my top 10 as well. Ah!!! I LOVE The Horse and His Boy!! (I mean, I love all of them, I can't choose between them, but still). That quote you put as the image is my absolute favorite part. <3

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    1. Haha! I relate to that feeling. But yay!! We've read a lot of the same books. :D Eeeee, happy! Not many people that I know love Peter Pan quite as much as I do, so that's exciting. :) I know, it's so hard to choose between the Chronicles.

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  3. Caddie Woodlawn, The Last Midwife, Not a Swan, The Magician’s Nephew and The Three Musketeers.

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    1. Ooh! I've only read one of those (well, I may have actually read Caddie Woodlawn too), but they all sound intriguing. I haven't read any of Dumas's books yet.

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  4. I soooooooooooooooooooooooo need to read "Til We Have Faces." Must get on that, Jeeves.

    My favorite books, in no particular order: Fangirl, The Chosen, Shadows on the Rock, All the Crooked Saints, The Book Thief, The Silver Chair.

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    1. I should certainly consider it a prudent course of action, sir.

      I think I would have guessed all of those! I'm looking forward to reading All the Crooked Saints at some point.

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    2. I think you'll love it, it's a "you" sort of book <3

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  5. Almost anything L.M. Montgomery.

    Horse and His Boy is definitely on the favorites list. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the Dawn Treader.

    The Faerie Rebels trilogy and the connected Swift and Nomad duology by R.J. Anderson.

    Many Rosemary Sutcliffe books, especially in the Eagle of the Ninth "series."

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    1. Ooh, I haven't heard of The Faerie Rebels or Swift and Nomad. I'll have to look into them.

      I'm planning to read The Eagle of the Ninth soon!

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  6. Ivanhoe is t-posing. Obviously. xD (Not that I even know what that exactly is...I just know it's something "the kids do nowadays". *rolls eyes*)

    Okay but this was a great list, full of titles I heartily approve of and SO many I still need to read. :D

    The Horse and His Boy is so incredibly beautiful and special. <3

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    1. Ohhhhhhhhh, haha. xD (Same, girl. Same. Us oldies.)

      Thank you. :D Yes!! I'd probably recommend any and all of these to you. ;)

      It really is. <3

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  7. Such good choices!!! I love many of these, and the rest I simply haven’t read yet. :-)

    Little Women has been a favorite of mine since childhood (it was one of my very first chapter books!), and I love it for so many reasons. <3

    My personal tip-top favorite books are The Hiding Place, Persuasion, Rilla of Ingleside, Little Women, Emily of Deep Valley, The Blue Castle, some of the Little House on the Prairie books, and Lord of the Rings.

    Catie <3

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    1. Thanks! :D

      I've really enjoyed talking about Little Women with you <3

      I need to reread The Blue Castle. Been needing to for a while, actually.

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  8. Think the Horse and his Boy is one of my favourites too :D I loved LotR when I first read it but find it much harder going now for some reason? Been listening to this audiobook (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uUxRWPLAwY&t=10958s) on youtube though and properly enjoying it again. They've put in loads of the music from the films too which I love :D

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    1. Isn't it so good? :) Huh, interesting! Wonder why that is? It's interesting to me how different people have different experiences reading the same stories, even if they're stories they both like. Ooh, that sounds like a great idea! The film music is so perfect <3 :D

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  9. This post was lovely. You're making me want to reread the Chronicles of Narnia. And LITTLE WOMEN! Ach! That is such a good book!! (Sadly, I am still waiting for a satisfying movie adaption.)

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    1. How do you feel about the casting choices for the Little Women movie currently in production???

      ~ Catie

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    2. Aww, thanks. :) You should! I think you'd enjoy a reread. ;) It is! (I'm sorry none of the movies have passed muster for you yet. :( )

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  10. Miss March I agree ... Little Women is one of my alltime favorite novels (specifically one of my favorite comfort novels, lol),& I have yet to see a movie version that even comes close to capturing the beauty of the book. Honestly I think the book is so rich (and long lol) that you kind of need a miniseries to do it justice!

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    1. I'll be interested to see what you think of the PBS miniseries whenever you get around to watching it ;)

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  11. I love lists! Here goes ... ten of my favorite books of all time, in no particular order. Also, major SPOILER alert for final entry and some minor spoilers in other parentheticals (e.g., I love this particular character because of this character trait, etc.):



    The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald (I love the story and the writing style, and I really appreciate how an old woman is one of the major heroines of the story ... it's sadly a rare thing, in my experience, in books/movies, especially fantasy ones)

    Jane Doe: A Novel, by Victoria Helen Stone (** WARNING: very dark thematic elements and also contains some rather explicit scenes (not 50 Shades of Grey explicit, but way more than any books in the post), so READER BEWARE ** (if you can handle a little of that stuff, though, it's fantastic))

    The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins (just a good, stay-up-all-night thriller)

    The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis, (I love love LOVE Puddleglum's quote about believing in the Sun and in Aslan, even if he can't be sure of them (because he's been bewitched). Also just love the story, obviously!)

    Any of the Amelia Peabody books, by Elizabeth Peters (I'd recommend these books to literally anyone! SOOOO good, engaging, funny, and wholesome!)

    The Associate, by John Grisham (a fun thriller but not too thriller-y read)

    The Golden Compass, by Philip Pulman, and the rest of His Dark Materials books (Note: this has strong atheistic and anti-Catholic overtones, but it's fantasy and as a (recently confirmed ... yay!) Catholic, I think the overall moral bent of this story is actually very much in line with current (not necessarily past) Catholic theology, and most importantly in line with Jesus's teachings. And it's just a really good, fun fantasy series ... highly recommend!)

    The Scarlet Letter (it's just fascinating)

    Animal Liberation, by Peter Singer (and no I don't agree with all of Singer's views, especially on non-animal topics, but I agree with most of what he says in Animal Liberation (which, btw, is the only non-fiction book on this list))

    Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte (I could read this book every day. I absolutely love it. Although I will say that in my mind, as I read I pretend Rochester does NOT keep his wife in one room for years because that's just f***ed up)

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    1. I have fond memories of you reading The Princess and the Goblin to me. :) <3

      I LOVE THAT QUOTE OF PUDDLEGLUM'S, TOO. *cries a little*

      I'm gonna have fun continuing the Amelia Peabody series, I think. ;)

      I think I've heard of the His Dark Materials series. Surprisingly, I don't tend to try that many new-to-me fantasy stories, particularly series, so I doubt that this would be quite "my thing." But who knows. ;)

      I think I'm going to like The Scarlet Letter more the second time I read it. It's been a while.

      Animal Liberation sounds interesting!

      I really enjoyed my last reread of JE. I don't LOVE everything about the book, but the story itself is really good, to me. [Haha! Oh, dear. Yeah, that's true. But on the other hand, wasn't it better than an asylum (at that time)?]

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  12. Delightful list! I've read most of these and like them too. ("Horse and His Boy" is also my fave Narnia book!)

    My top 10 fave books? They are:

    1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    2. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
    3. The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
    4. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss
    5. The Hound of the Baskervilles by A. Conan Doyle
    6. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
    7. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
    8. The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
    9. The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery
    10. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

    The ranking changes a little now and then, but those ten are pretty much it, and have been for quite a few years.

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    1. Thanks! (Ooh, really? I didn't know that. That makes me happy. :))

      Dang, you can even rank them. Impressive! ;) I think I get The Black Stallion and Black Beauty mixed up. :-P Ooh, I like the title "The Beekeeper's Apprentice." I'll have to look into that.

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    2. The Black Stallion = happy book about a boy and a horse stranded on an island who make friends and then go win horse races after they get rescued. Black Beauty = depressing Victorian novel about how mean people are to horses.

      The Beekeeper's Apprentice is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche about him getting an apprentice. I loooove it so much, I met the author and got her to autograph my copy.

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    3. "The Black Stallion = happy book about a boy and a horse stranded on an island who make friends and then go win horse races after they get rescued. Black Beauty = depressing Victorian novel about how mean people are to horses."

      ^^ XD XD Good to know.

      Neat! I'm not big into Sherlock Holmes, but perhaps I'll look into this one . . .

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  13. Ahh, there are so many good books on this list!

    I think you're right about the LotR. I really enjoyed them, but I do have to admit that sometimes I got impatient with the long descriptions/battle-scenes. But like you said, when you take your time and just savor the beautiful writing, without trying to rush, you'll enjoy the series a lot more. :)

    Okay, the Princess Bride is legit one of my all-time favorite movies! I read most of the book last summer before I had to return it to the library, and I liked how it was so similar to the movie. But still, I felt like some of the charm of the movie was missing from it--however, that's probably just because I love the film so much. ;P

    Now you've got me wanting to read so many of the books on here! Especially The Horse and His Boy. It's my brother's favorite Narnia book, too, but it's been so long since I've read it myself that I hardly remember anything about it. I think it's high time for a Chronicles of Narnia reread! ;)

    Lovely post, Olivia, as always!

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    1. Yeah, the battle scenes can get a little tedious. :-P But then the books more than make up for that with all the other beauty! <3 :)

      I do think the book and the movie have slightly different "feels" to them. I love the movie and always will--because, I mean, duh ;D--but the book has, like, literally settled itself into my SOUL. So. But yeah, I get preferring the movie. ;)

      Oh, neat! Yes, a Chronicles reread is practically always a good idea. ;)

      Thank you!! <3 (Oh, and I like your profile picture, by the way. :))

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