It’s my birthday so here are my ten favorite books


I threatened to do this. I said in my September wrap-up, hey, I might be self-obsessed enough to post about my own birthday. And I spoke the truth. I am more attention-starved and self-obsessed than anyone can possibly imagine. I am limitless. It’s like a superpower, except lame and vaguely upsetting.


Here is a series of things I love in this world: lists, books, myself, favorites, blogging. Excluding cookies, comedy, and Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again (2018), that about covers it. So I thought, how can I combine all of these things into one perfect birthday gift to my damn self?

Oh, yes. It’s happening.


A while back, I listed my twenty favorite books of all time, but people live and learn and grow and read new books. But also they have class and midterms and not enough time, so they need to make a new list but also it needs to be shorter.

So, without further ado. Here are my ten favorite books ever in the history of the world and everything I have ever read except for books I checked out from the library in elementary and middle school and no longer remember but can’t really imagine would have been all that excellent anyway and probably/definitely not good enough for me to include in a top ten list so exclusive as this one.

Great title, right? Rolls off the tongue.

Honorable mentions here!

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The Little Prince


This book is so beautiful and I love it in English and I love it in French and it’s also like 4 pages long so you can read it a million times if you need to catch up on your reading challenge.

I don’t know. It’s just a lovely story. Also I love flowers and stars and French stuff and children’s books so this is a real dream for me.


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I’ll Give You the Sun


This is one of those books where I feel like I should scream about it all the time and honestly I don’t know why I don’t. Maybe I should just devote the rest of my human existence to shouting about this book?

This book is so beautiful and it made me…feel things? Which never happens?? And I loved the characters, which…also never happens?

All I know is I’m going to write Jandy Nelson a letter every day asking when the hell her next book is finally coming out.

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Six of Crows


Here is the thing about this book: I assumed it wasn’t that good.

I read it in like 2015 and I liked it then, but a) I liked everything I read, b) I definitely liked everything that everyone else liked (#desperate to fit in!!), and c) I was untrustworthy and dumb.

Good news: I reread it recently and it was so f*cking good. Like, unfairly good. @Leigh Bardugo: MORE PLEASE.

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A Million Junes


When I first read this book, I four starred it, and then I reread it and it made me tear up a little bit on a bus and then I thought, “Uh…I think this might deserve 5 stars.”

And guess what? It totally does and is also one of my favorite books ever and has such amazing characters and is so funny and magical and unique and I just love it so much okay?

And also I adore Emily Henry with everything that I am.

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Blue Lily, Lily Blue


I loved this book so much that I had to put off reading the last book in the series for MORE THAN A YEAR! Because it would have just made me too sad, okay!!! (But actually it worked out fine because it was such a good book that it almost healed my sadness. Almost.)

I love this world and writing style and magic system and setting and cast of characters but most importantly, and most obviously, I goddamn love Gansey.

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The Penultimate Peril


Honorable mentions: Literally every book in A Series of Unfortunate Events

This is my favorite series and we all know it and I’d say we don’t have to go over it again except obviously we do because I will take literally every opportunity to talk about this series that I am ever ever given. And also a lot that I’m not given.

The last time I read the series, this was my favorite one. TBD on this reread. (It’s funny because I’ve been doing “this reread” for like 2 years.)

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Pride & Prejudice

Honorable Mentions: Persuasion and Northanger Abbey

I just love Jane Austen so much.

I have an excess of love for her. My heart overfloweth with affection. My favorite of her books changes all the time because how could you ever have just one favorite Austen for your whole life?? You can’t. You have to take turns.

But right now my favorite is Pride & Prejudice.

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Everything is Illuminated


I have never read a book like this and I never will again!!

Unless I someday get around to rereading it. Which is honestly seeming unlikely at this point.

Anyway this book is beautiful and unique and that’s all I have to say about it.

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There


Woomp, there it is.

I imagine that even if this is the first post you’ve read of mine (in which case, welcome and goodbye), or if you have no idea what a book is, or if you have spent your whole human existence residing under a rock and have only recently emerged, you somehow still saw this coming.

I love these books, and I will never stop loving them, and also I will never shut up about them for even one second.

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WE DID IT! We made a definitive ranking.

God I love a list. Is there anything more satisfying in this world. (No question mark because that is one HUNDRED percent rhetorical I know the answer thanks so much.)

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Do you have a favorite book, or a few favorite books? What are they? Have you read any of the books on my list?


84 thoughts on “It’s my birthday so here are my ten favorite books

  1. Carolina Carvalho says:

    Happy Birthday! Hope you have a wonderful day! This just reminded me that I’ve been meaning to re-read the Raven Cycle, and that I should probably get to I’ll give you the sun, which I’ve been putting off for ages because I’m pretty sure I’ll love it, so I don’t feel as curious about it haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      thank you!!!!

      i literally just read The Raven King for the first time and already i am overwhelmed with the need to reread the series. possibly on a continuous loop for the rest of my life.

      omg that’s hilarious but also read i’ll give you the sun!!! it’s so beautiful it’s ridiculous!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike Kott says:

    You definitely are one weird girl. Yes I have read some of your list, mainly The Raven Series (reading the last one now). Yes, I knew that Alice would take the top spot and while it’s not my favorite book, it’s my favorite movie (I have all of the versions, except not the stupid Johnny Depp ones). So there. One question, self absorbed, Why do you always cover your face in pictures? HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I’d have sent you a card but doubt it would get to you at General Delivery, Massacusetts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      so true, mike.
      the johnny depp ones are so extremely very bad.
      and as for the covering-my-face and generalized location: i’m desperately trying not to get axe murdered. and also remain semi-hirable


  3. Eleanor @ On the Other Side of Reality says:


    Ooh man, maybe I should reread SoC. I kind of liked it when I read it, but I definitely didn’t think it was the best thing since sliced bread. Same thing with like half The Raven Cycle (oops??). I loved The Dream Thieves and The Raven King, but I wasn’t a fan of the other two :/

    SOME OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS?? We’ll be here all day. The first few that come to mind are Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg, The King’s Men by Nora Sakavic, and The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

    Eleanor | On the Other Side of Reality

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      omg i’m SCREAMING that you loved The Dream Thieves but not Blue Lily, Lily Blue!!! we are so very different. except The Raven King is very good

      i didn’t really remember how i felt about Six of Crows but then i reread and adored it??? so who knows. omg also mrs basel e frankweiler is sooo good

      thank youuu!! ❤


  4. Sapphire says:

    I've only read Six of Crows and the Penultimate Peril, but these all sound SOOO good!
    (Also, you deserve a round of applause for ranking for 10 favorite books when I can't do my favorite 50 books IT'S SO HARD WHYYY.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      omg omg thank youuu!!! those two books are standouts but also read all of them?? but also i’m biased.

      i know i don’t know why i do these things to myself…..i just love lists so much


  5. Bookchanted says:


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kelly Brigid says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOVE! And omg Six of Crows, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Pride and Prejudice, and the Alice in Wonderland books are the BEST! I can’t live without them! And I need to get to The Little Prince and A Million June’s some day!

    I hope you had an absolutely marvelous day! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      omg THANK you! you have…excellent tastes. & the little prince is so short and sweet it takes like a second to read!! also a million junes is crazy underrated but so dear to my heart??

      ugh thank you sm luv

      Liked by 1 person

  7. may says:

    💕💕💕HAPPY BDAY TO MY FAVOURITE CRITICAL READER!!! 💕💕💕i hope you had an amazing day and you were showered with books bc otherwise whats the point???

    honestly i gotta pick up the little prince, i must, i’ll make it my last resolution for 2018

    seeing six of crows and blue lily lily blue makes this child v happy, you did good, kid

    anyways i love your aesthetic pics and i hope youre out there living your best life and finding your new fav read ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      ILY THANK YOU!!! i was somewhat showered with books but also got some for my damn self. love 2 self gift

      yes omg pick up the little prince it takes 3 mins to read

      omg ik i can’t believe there are 2 ya fantasy books on this list…who am i

      i perpetually hope you’re living your best life and am sending you sm love and also now that i’m thinking about it did you delete the kik app

      Liked by 1 person

      • may says:

        self-gifting is v important, its almost as important as self-love

        omg long story, so i got logged out and all my chats got cleared (thanks kik) and then I DIDNT KNOW WHO REPLIED ME AND WHAT THEY SAID so stress and i didnt want to be a weirdo like ‘new chat who dis’ and so i ended up ditching it for some time but I AM USING IT AGAIN SO YES WILL MESSAGE YOU RN

        to conclude: im a mess

        Liked by 1 person

      • emmareadstoomuch says:

        no that’s so fair but also i’m gd delighted that now we can message again ❤ ❤

        kik is a monster app tbh but i'm glad you're still using it b/c i also am: still using it

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Mike Kott says:

    Okay, seeing all of these slobbering (over you) comments makes me feel I was picking on you (didn’t mean to). Just saw someone’s post on Booklikes where she was showing off some Alice earrings she got. For you I checked Etsy (where she got them) and did a search on Alice. Holy firecracker – all the stuff. If someone owes you a gift, you might check it out, if you haven’t already.


    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      i did not feel picked on but maybe my legions of adoring fans just made up for it

      yes there is a ton of alice merch in this world. perpetual temptation


  9. meltotheany says:

    HOW DID I MISS THIS? Oh my gosh… I love you so much! And happy birthday, beautiful! You are such a bright light in the book community, but an even brighter one in my life! I am so thankful the book world gave me your friendship; it truly is the best gift. I hope you received all the love in the entire galaxy on your birthday (and always), because it is truly what you deserve! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nimika @ wordhaven says:

    the prose of I’ll Give You The Sun makes me want to worship Jandy Nelson and also threaten her to give me a tiny portion from her secret waterfall of metaphors because let’s be real, there’s no way she doesn’t have one.
    also, can we please act like respectful, mature human beings and start a fanclub for our very own richard campbell gansey the third? i just love him so much? the guy is a mashed human version of an aesthetic tumblr and also a dictionary written by a lad from the 80s and honestly, what an icon.
    happy (belated) birthday, emma! may you be showered in lists, books and cookies. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      are you sure you don’t already have access to that miraculous metaphor-waterfall? b/c this comment is teeming with Raw Metaphorical Power.

      this gansey fan club is sounding not only excellent and warranted, but also our duty to grant to humanity. this is what the people need and this is what the people want!!!

      omg thank you. i would say “drowning in lists, books, and cookies = my ideal way to go out” if those items were like. liquid and not solid.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Alice Cimino says:

    I think following your blog is one of the best things I did this year, Emma! I love your humor and writing, you’re a wonderful blogger, and it’s a delight to read your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. malanielovesfiction says:

    When you announced it was your birthday I had a MOMENT because my love for you is so profound. LIKE. EXCUSE ME WHY ARE YOU THE BEST HUMAN BEING???????
    And I also assumed Six of Crows wasn’t very good, bc my sister recommended A Court of Thorns and Roses to me AT THE SAME TIME AS SOC, so I obviously shielded my eyes and assumed SOC would kill my brain.
    However, Kaz f*cking Brekker istg
    Also I’m reading A Million Junes before this year ends bc of your rec and dksjlfdskls I’m so excited, look at the cover just being lovable and nice????

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      omg ILY!!!!!!! YOU RAY OF SUNSHINE!! YOUR HARBINGER OF LIGHT INTO MY LIFE!! thank you thank you

      omg acotar and SoC should never be spoken in the same sentence. a travesty thank god you and kaz found each other

      OMG I HOPE YOU LOVE A MILLION JUNES!! if you do not, please dedicate your life to ensuring i never find out

      Liked by 1 person

  13. thebookcorps says:

    It was your birthday!?? HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I hope you had an amazing day and got many many books as presents!
    I absolutely love this post and may just be stealing it for my own birthday next year haha!
    I’ve heard so many good things about I’ll Give you the Sun, it’s a book I really need to get reading! Also YASSSS I FREAKING LOVE PRIDE AND PREJUDICE SO I’M GLAD YOU DO TOO!! and I’m completely unsurprised that your favourite book of all time is Alice in Wonderland haha!
    Great post 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      THANK YOU!! omg yes feel free to steal it!! all about giving yourself gifts, you know?

      omg yes yes yes read I’ll Give You the Sun!! and shoutout to Pride & Prejudice honestly. i want/need to reread that book asap.

      thank ya ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Marta says:

    AHHHH, I’ll Give You The Sun is on your list, I feel like everyone loves the book and I still haven’t read it and it makes me feel even more intimidated of it. I’ll read it at some point and come back to scream with you all about it (or cry about it, meh, same thing).
    I hope 21 is going to be a great age for both of us and that you’ll read more amazing books that you can add to this list.
    I also love Pride and Prejudice and Six of Crows very much, they’d probably make my top 10 list as well ❤
    Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      i would lovelovelove to scream and cry about I’ll Give You the Sun w you!! honestly can think of very few things i’d rather do. or things that are more on-brand. but truly i get being scared of the hype b/c there is a Lot of it

      yayyy shoutout to 21! i hope your year is excellent and fun and wild and reading-y ❤

      omg you have excellent taste (and i am definitely not biased at all)


  15. Annie Xia says:

    My top three favorite books are 1 To Kill a Mockingbird 2 The Boys in the Boat 3 Fish in a Tree. I haven’t made a definite list of other favorites, but it would include The Miracle of St. Anthony, The Name of the Wind, and The City of Stairs.
    Okay, I read Emma this summer and I WILL BE reading Jane Austen’s other books. I read a post of good recent Pride and Prejudice retellings this week- do you have any favorites?

    Liked by 1 person

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