My 20 Favorite Books Ever, Literally, Of All Time

Whaddup whaddup.

I’ve decided I’m going to just stop apologizing for not posting on a schedule, because I literally never do it, and this blog is repetitive enough (i.e., me being obsessed with myself under pretense of books) without me opening every single post with a halfhearted sorry for something I’m going to do again within the next 3-5 business days.

Anyways. I am in a good mood today (rare) and I thought, let’s stick with this rare-and-good theme and talk about my favorite books of all time. My children. Those objects closest to my heart.

Sometimes we all need a reminder that I have one of those. (A heart, that is.)

Also I’m going to try to rank these because why not ruin that good mood!!! Why not make this fun happy post difficult and complicated and angering? I do have to stay on brand, guys. If I don’t have my personal self-brand then what do I have.

Alright! Complete mental breakdown here we come!!!!!!


Just One Day (x)

This book should be so! dumb! It’s like. Boring girl is on boring Teen Tour through Western Europe’s most boring destinations when she meets a boring allegedly non-boring hot blond guy and they go to Paris, the admittedly not-boring place that still manages to be where all boring, affluent white couples go to kick off their boring love stories.

But this book is not dumb. There is some stellar character development and it was fabulous and such a pleasant surprise and yes it was a surprise even though I’ve read it approximately 5 times because if there is one thing I know for sure it is that rereading doesn’t count for sh*t and a book can ruin your life with its garbage-ness any day of the week, baby.

Also, sequels? What sequels? This is a standalone.



The Mysterious Benedict Society (x)


I have said it before and I’ll say it again: I. Love. Middle. Grade. Adventure. There is no drama (so no gossip or steamy gazes) or romance (so no instalove or love triangles) or offensiveness (WHICH IS JUST AMAZING NO PARENTHETICAL CLARIFICATION NEEDED HERE).

Just children having near-death experiences and weird riddle-based physical examinations and strange old men in weird suits with narcolepsy. You know, typical great-book stuff.



Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (x)

Here is a statement that you should all just accept, for it would make your life easier and also, I imagine, alleviate a lot of fangirling-related pressures: Harry Potter is a just-okay series.

I know. It’s hard. But take it in. Sweep that nostalgia and romanticization and idealism out of the way. Now admit it: I am totally correct. (This should be made easier by the fact that I am always totally correct.)

However. In contrast to all of these one-hundred-percent true facts, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a good book. Okay, yes, it’s a very good book.

But I still don’t think we needed to freak out over it for over a decade.



Northanger Abbey (x)

I looooooove Henry Tilney. Okay? That’s it. That’s what it boils down to and that’s all I have to say.

However, for the sake of formatting…

I love Jane Austen so much and I would read her grocery lists, if that was a 19th century thing, which I feel like it wasn’t and as a lady of a certain status she probably was not doing the composing of them even if they were real and also it seems like, based on period dramas, literally every household had a chicken coop in the backyard from which they gathered 100% of their culinary needs. There are seriously so many establishing shots of chicken coops before a woman is like, “SIR FREDERICK IS HERE AND HE WASN’T EXPECTED!!!!”

Whatever. What I’m saying is: easy favorite.



The Book Thief (x)

Finally a chance to copy/paste. Sweet sweet salvation.

This is my favorite book that I’ll never reread. Unfortunately that means I’m full-on incapable of doing it justice here in any way. At all. But just trust me on the fact that this book is beautiful, and devastating and human and masterful, so much so that it caught me off guard. The perspective is amazing and I would get quotes from this book straight up tattooed on my body.

Now that that’s over, it’s time for me to resume my life’s work of trying to trick myself into forgetting that Markus Zusak ever published a book besides this one. BUT REALLY, DID THIS ONE FALL OUT OF THE SKY? No goddamn way did I Am the Messenger, the most average book in the mapped universe, emerge from the unholy masterpiece of a mind that birthed the f*cking Book Thief.

I’m doing a really good job of forgetting.




Fantastic Mr. Fox

Children’s books are the best. Roald Dahl is the best at children’s books. Fantastic Mr. Fox is the best Roald Dahl book.

Again, that point should be able to stand on its own without any additional information.

But also this book is like 90 pages long and it’s the cutest little thing and also also the Wes Anderson movie adaptation of it is goddamn perfection.




The Princess Bride

Yet another one that should go without saying. This book is a goddamn national treasure. If you have not read it then why do you hate yourself?

This book is amazing, and so fun and funny, and if you read it then you gain legal permission to watch the movie, which is actually equally amazing and fun and funny and has the best casting ever of all time. And how often can you say that???

Plus, who doesn’t love a good touch of metafiction? Nothing better to get the blood boiling, the adrenaline rushing, and the confusion at an all time high.



The Blue Fairy Book

This is another book I have read approximately two million (2,000,000) times. What nine-year-old does not like strange, dark, subtly sexual fairytales that literally always center on themes of greed and corruption and total babes? And like, a kind of insane number of round-the-world quests and huge noses on otherwise perfect-looking people and the complete indication that ugly people are evil and evil people are ugly with absolutely no exception.

Nine-year-old me was definitely into it. Disney wishes they had approximately 800 descriptions of 800 princesses’ wavy golden hair.

Oh wait, they do have that? Because of all the blonde princesses? Yes, right, got it.



Just Mercy (x)

I wish I could force literally every single person in the entire world to read this book. I would have newborn babies leafing through this bad boy if I could. And also every politician and Republican member of the United States government.

But that kind of fits in the “newborn babies” category.

(Buh dum ch!)

This is an amazingly well-written and powerful book about the injustices and racial/socioeconomic inequality in the American judicial system. It is amazing and so necessary and I dare you to just TRY to get me to stop talking about it for literally one second.



The Little Prince (x)

This is the cutest and prettiest and loveliest lil book, and I would like to live inside it please and thanks. I would very much prefer to inhabit the stars with the Little Prince and his rose and say hi to the pilot once in a while and learn a bunch of gorgeous metaphors about life from the respective existences of my space-neighbors.

Also another great movie you can unlock the right to watch only through reading the book first.

But no complaining because it’s straight up like 40 pages long. No one is too busy for 40 pages. You can handle it. Get those movie privileges.



The Great Gatsby (x)

I talked about this book for what felt like genuine eons seemingly  three days ago. And I love this book, but not enough for that level of discussion. It’s only number ten, after all.

I’ll just, like, stream of consciousness some stuff about this book. (Is it endearing that I’m acting like any other point of this was more than stream of consciousness?)

It’s so beautiful and well-written and the language is just oh man ugh so good heart eyes emoji et cetera and Daisy is actually an amazing brilliant deep round character if you give a sh*t and try to understand where she is coming from even a little bit and yes it’s an extremely overrated thing but also mayyyyybbeeeee overrated for a reason and Gatsby can die yes but did I mention that language though. This is just a straight up amazing book.

The end.


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Blue Lily, Lily Blue (x)

Okay this one I did straight up talk about in my actual last post. Like you can go read that if you really want to.

Sparknotes version: I am in love with Richard Gansey III and most of the other characters in this series are entirely great as well, with two notable exceptions who are almost overwhelmingly blah. (Elise, are you reading this? I love you and I’m sorry but I’m also correct, for reasons mentioned previously.)

This is the best book in the Raven Cycle series by far. Have I read all of the books in the series? No, I – technically speaking – have not, but also I’m still almost definitely right. Because, again – and I cannot stress this enough – I am right 100% of the time.


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East of Eden (x)

I love this book and I’m glad that movie I heard about with Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t seem to be happening, considering I read this for school four years and the film potential was straight up 99% of the in-class literary discussion a bunch of dumb tired fifteen-year-olds seemed capable of having!!! That would just be a straight up bad movie!! Jlaw’s career can end yesterday thanks so much!!

But this book is gorgeous and slow and I love it. I feel like I know all the characters so well and I wanna give each and every one a kiss on the forehead. Especially Cathy, who is a true queen. (F*ck you Jlaw.)

I will, like, never reread this because it is sooooooo long but I like to pretend I would. Because it’s really goddamn good.

Timshel, b*tch.

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I’ll Give You the Sun (x)

I read so much YA contemporary it’s embarrassing. Not because YA contemporary is embarrassing, duh, you can read whatever you want and should never be embarrassed about it unless it’s written by John Green, but because I almost never like it and I still read it all the time.


I love this book more than I love myself and it is the best YA contemporary and I will probably never regret my voracious YA contemporary reading exclusively on the merits of this book. Probably.


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Pride & Prejudice

How is it possible that I have straight up never reviewed this book. People have not shut up about this book in a thousand years, I actually agree with said hooplah, and still I have never joined in the constant fangirly screaming persistently occurring in some corner of the Internet?

There’s no logic to it.

This book is constantly neck and neck with Persuasion for me for favorite Jane Austen. It is not because Darcy is a dreamboat, because he is no Henry Tilney, but because I love Lizzie Bennet more than life itself and her sisters are goddamn great and I love a good sisterly relationship. Also: JANEAUSTENJANEAUSTENJANEAUSTENJANEAUSTEN!!!!


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Persuasion (x)

Speak of the devil.

As mentioned, this ol’ thing switches back and forth a lot with Pride & Prejudice, for reasons that are harder to explain. Northanger Abbey has the best guy, Pride & Prejudice has the best girl, and Persuasion has…????

It’s genuinely really funny and it’s the fastest I’ve ever read a Jane Austen book. It’s, like, bonkers addictive, which is a combination of words that is probably never used to describe 19th century fiction. Also all the characters are really distinct, which…another thing that can rarely be said about Jane Austen.

Sorry, Janie.


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The Penultimate Peril (x)

I goddamn love A Series of Unfortunate Events. It is my favorite series in the entirety of the Earth. Middle grade adventure. Funny. Fun characters. Sneaky. Suspicious. Creepy. Dark. More adjectives of things that I love.

Also the TV series is a gift to this world but you are absolutely NOT ALLOWED TO WATCH without having read the books. I will actually get so upset if I hear about anyone doing this. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO RUIN THE SERIES FOR YOURSELF LIKE THAT.

Whatever. It’s been a while since I reread this one, but to the best of my memory this is my favorite book from the whole thing. A lot of sh*t comes to fruition.



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Everything is Illuminated (x)

I do not cry very often. I would say I cry “nearly never.” So when a book makes me cry, either a) innocent old me has been emotionally manipulated to the point of absolute despondence by some evil author, and will thus be furious and hate the book on principle, or b) the book is really goddamn beautiful and I loved it a whole f*cking lot.

I cried through the last third of Everything is Illuminated, and it was not due to emotional manipulation.

This book is amazing and groundbreaking and unique and emotional and tragic and gorgeous and stylistically immense and overwhelming and magnificent and honestly just perfect. I love it so much it hurts.

I am about to get worked up, whether over how much I love this book or how I want to reread it and can’t due to not having a copy in proximity, so it is time to move on.

To what the crowd has been waiting for.

Me cheating.


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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (x)
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (x)

Okay so I know you may think I’m cheating, but I’m NOT. These two books are so intrinsically the same in my head it is like they are one book. They are impossible to separate. The first one has all the language and the second one has all the characters and HOW DO YOU CHOOSE.

But anyway. There are more important things to discuss than me getting defensive over the hypothetical concept of one of you accusing me of cheating. (I would NEVER. My INTEGRITY is EVERYTHING to me. My TRUSTWORTHINESS knows no BOUNDS.)

Alice (parts 1 and 2) will always be my favorite book because it is the only one that always makes me feel like I’m reading it for the first time. I love the language and it makes me feel so whimsical and the level of imagination and curiosity is just unrivaled and the themes of childhood and time and dreams and…


I love it so much.

LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME! I did it. With minimal brain damage. I would argue that my mind, body and soul are fully intact and also look at this cool ranked list I have now.

Do you have a top-whatever of favorite books?

Or are you admitting that I’m better than you.


54 thoughts on “My 20 Favorite Books Ever, Literally, Of All Time

  1. aravenclawlibrary says:

    I was quite happy to see Harry Potter on there! So because of that, I suppose I shall forgive you for not liking JLaw. 😉 just kitten!

    I also have Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I picked it up at Barnes and Noble for like 9 bucks. It’s one of those huge books that contains like all his Alice stuff. I’ll read it eventually and let you know how it is!

    I haven’t heard of a lot of these books on this list. I’ll have to check them out! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emma says:

    Uh-oh. I’m ashamed.
    *whispers* I’ve only read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland out of these 20. 😭 Please don’t hate me.

    But, I do have a lot of them on my TBR and I’m hoping to read them soon! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      i could never hate you my dear name twin ❤ it is truly a thrill that you have some of them on your tbr!!!! also alice is the most important one anyway

      Liked by 1 person

  3. TheReadersBay says:

    I don’t think I need to comment everytime i read a post of yours that I LOVE YOUR HUMOUR. Like how do you even come up with those sarcastic af lines!?!!
    On top of it, so much of Jane Austen here is making my soul do happy dances!!! LOVE JANE AND P&P. I still have to read Persuasion though!
    And hmm, let me see if Everything is Illuminated makes me cry or not. If it does, I swear I’m going to take your advice on every book I read, and I mean it like every!

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      jane austen is suuuuuch a queen! persuasion is effin amazing and you’ll fly through it
      everything is illuminated is like…super polarizing. a true love it or hate it. i hope you end up on the right side!!! (my side) (the love it side)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Theo @readingandrambling says:

    great list! obviously, i could tell what was gonna be #1 on the list 😂 i’m glad to see some of my other faves on here too, like hp, princess bride and the book thief!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      honestly…..i have a favorites list on goodreads that is exactly 20 books

      the fact that you haven’t read alice is ALMOST made up for the fact that you appreciate mysterious benedict society. almost. not quite though.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. kozbisa says:

    Yay! Another Just One Day fan. I feel like that series doesn’t get the love it deserves and I think it’s better than If I Stay. I’ll Give You the Sun is one of my favorites too. The format of the book, the story, the beautiful writing. There is so much to love. Oh, it was cool to see “Hi Sam” up there. XP

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bookthesimple says:

    I have never read any of your posts before but I literally adore this so yay!


    I can’t believe you don’t love JLaw to the point of hysteria but The Book Thief and Alice and Unfortunate Events and Harry Potter and Jane Austen 😍😍😍 so you’ve got a positive point

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Emma says:

    sooooooo many good ones on here!!! BLLB and Gatsby and Roald Dahl and Book Thief and HP and Little Prince ahhhhh so many memories

    also, a question: the only Austen book I’ve read so far is Emma (not out of narcissism, just bc I happened to have a copy) which I didn’t really care for. I want to try another, though……which do you recommend?

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      god we are just so compatible (and not just in name)

      pride & prejudice is definitely the best to read early on!!!!! persuasion is also fab but i would say def P&P. yay jane austen!!!!!!!!!!! i’m going to go fangirl/scream to myself

      Liked by 1 person

  8. malanielovesfiction says:

    amazing list!!!!! ❤ and EAST OF EDEN!!! I'm so in love with Charles Trask, he disfigured my heart!!!!!! He just loved Adam and wanted to be a farmer with his brother he deserved so much better?????

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      oh my god i know john steinbeck is capable of destroying my heart every. single. time. THAT BOOK IS SO GOOD. & so long but god i hope i get around to rereading it someday

      Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      i only JUST read The Raven King (finally) and that book was excellent but i still think BLLB may be my favorite of the series? i’m actually not sure. good excuse to reread!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • emmareadstoomuch says:

        i had kind of intended to reread them all before The Raven King, but then i bought a copy and didn’t have copies of any of the other books with me and i couldn’t resist reading. but maybe i’ll reread soon??

        Liked by 1 person

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