Okay, yes, hi. It has, once again, been a very long time.
But in this case, our primary objective is not to talk about the fact that I am terrible at blogging. (We all know this by now.) We’re here to talk about something much more important than that.
Last year on my birthday (when I was actually blogging on semi-regular occasions) (emphasis on the semi), I updated my favorites list. I love books and I love favorites (obviously) and I love lists, so that seemed as apt a celebration as any.
But this year…it’s time to up the stakes.
WE’RE TALKING ABOUT EVERY BOOK I’VE EVER GIVEN FIVE STARS, BABY. It’s time.
Except ones from a long time ago. Because who knows whether those ratings are accurate? (They’re not.)
Also I need a way to force myself to write a blog post in the course of a single day, so the time crunch helps. And naturally I picked an insanely long thing to write, because I am self-punishing and also, as mentioned, terrible at blogging.
Let’s talk about my very favorite books!! (Hopefully this post is somehow, against the odds, mercifully short.)
These will be sorted somewhat randomly (by date-ish but not really), and not all of them will be included or have lengthy descriptions. Even I’m not insane enough to try to rank them. Or write 70 paragraphs.
Click the titles to read my reviews, and check out my full five star shelf on Goodreads here!
1-10. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
This is my favorite series. This has been my favorite series since I was approximately 9 years old. I have a loyal heart and that loyalty is to books, sarcasm, and impenetrable darkness. This series combines all three. (Right now, 10 of the 13 books have five star ratings on my Goodreads. Subject to change because everything is.)
11. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This is not a “good book.” Even I don’t think it’s good. Objectively it’s worthy of maybe three stars. However, I have read it multiple times and again and again I have given it a perfect rating. I have no explanation except I am powerless to its charms.
12-13. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close & Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
If this author won the grand prize for being the most pretentious person alive, I would not be surprised.
I’d still love his books though.
14. The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
I read this an absurd number of times in childhood, and zero times in the last 6+ years.
Still an easy 5 star.
15. The Mysterious Benedict Society Series by Trenton Lee Stewart
I reread this book recentlyish with May, the light of my life. I did not reread the other two books, but I’m confidentish they’re maybe 5 stars. (#MayRereadTheRestOfThisWithMe2k19.)
16. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
I just love this. I have nothing else to say.
17-18. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
MY FAVORITE BOOK EVER IN THE UNIVERSE FOR ALL TIME.
I lovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelove this book. That’s all I can say.
In addition to the 34283647283 times I have written extensively about my love for it.
19. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
20. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Possibly the review I am proudest of, and also the one I am least likely to reread. (It’s very long. Very, very long. And uncharacteristically passionate. Since when do I care about things? Not sure. Great book, though.)
21. The Princess Bride by Willliam Goldman
Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.
22. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
I love fairytales, and this is my favorite one.
23. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This book is beautiful and probably perfect, I think, but I can’t remember because I read it a long time ago and I will literally never reread it because I don’t enjoy feeling things.
24. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
If this book was any less than infinity pages long, I would reread it. Especially seeing as it was a massively long book I was assigned for summer reading as a high school underclassman when I was barely reading for pleasure and I STILL loved it.
But it is infinity pages long, so. Bummer.
25. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Come for the whirlwind Parisian romance, stay for the realization that this book is not a romance.
26. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD. (And I am coming to terms with identifying myself as someone who likes the occasional romance.) (Very, very occasional. But still.)
27. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
It’s a French children’s book about stars and flowers that reads like a fairytale. It’s perfect.
28. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Every day I am actively resisting the urge to reread this. Again.
29. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
If every book was about a bookstore/library/bookworm/etc., I would be just fine with that. For the record.
30. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Sometimes I think if I only read centuries-old British books, I’d like everything I read.
Then I remember The Turn of the Screw and I’m like, nah.
31. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
I don’t remember much about this book, but I DO remember it was a graphic novel I actually liked. And that’s good enough for me.
32. The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson
This is the sweetest and I need to reread it yesterday.
33. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
OF COURSE THE SINGLE MOST FUN IN THE BOOK IN THE WORLD IS ON THIS LIST. OF COURSE IT IS.
34. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
The fact that we have a travel book of this breadth and scale written by JOHN F*CKIN STEINBECK…stunning. Lucky us.
35. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
I have loved this book for years, and now it is becoming a movie with Michael B. Jordan.
Sometimes……….things are good.
36. Persuasion by Jane Austen
Honestly a laugh riot.
37-38. Miscellaneous Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling
So occasionally I give into the mainstream. Sue me.
39. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
I simply love the man. (The man being Neil Gaiman.)
40. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Two words: Henry. Tilney.
41. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
In hindsight, I can’t believe I loved this book so much. In fact, it’s one of the ratings that sticks in the back of my mind and makes me want to change it. But I love-ranted about this so hard…there’s no real questioning.
42. A Million Junes by Emily Henry
I love this book so much and I love Emily Henry so much and I love this book so much.
That is all.
43-44. Blue Lily, Lily Blue and The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
I did not expect to like this series much at all, and yet here I am two years later, writing about how fantastic the final two installments are and 20 pages into a series reread.
THESE BOOKS ARE AUTUMNAL AND MAGICAL. And funny. And fun. And beautifully written. And I love them.
45. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Perfect spooky scary magic book.
46. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Perfect spooky scary magic book. (This is an intentional repeat description.)
47. The Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This book is half glorified Sparknotes and you can STILL tell it was going to be the best work of Fitzgerald’s career.
48. The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid by Colin Meloy
I don’t know how it’s possible for a book to be 432 pages long and be nonstop fun for every single one of them, but this pulls it off.
49. Brazen by Pénélope Bagieu
It’s a fun book with pretty art about amazing women you may never have heard of. Truly a gift from the gods.
50. The Annotated Alice by Martin Gardner & Lewis Carroll
So it’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (which I love)…plus Through the Looking-Glass & What Alice Found There (which I love)…plus all of Carroll’s Alice poetry (which I love)…and all the notes and fun facts and insights I could possibly want???
P E R F E C T.
51. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
This is, in terms of thematic work and strategy, the coolest book I’ve ever read.
52. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Beautiful beautiful beautiful book.
Oh, and the contents are nice too.
53. When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry
Earlier I said that I f*cking love Emily Henry. This is true. Specifically, this is true because she writes magical books about funny, real, flawed characters living crazy and realistic and feel-y plotlines and her books are f*cking perfect.
54. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Looks like I should just accept facts already and add Gaiman to my favorite authors list.
55-57. Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery
Recently (by which I mean earlier in this post), I said A Series of Unfortunate Events was my favorite series. This is true.
However, dear Anne is giving it a goddamn run for its money.
58. Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
This year has been a great year for books I expected to love disappointing me and books I read on a whim being some of my new favorites. Sally Rooney has been a highlight of my year.
59. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
The only Salinger I’d ever read was Catcher in the Rye, obviously assigned my freshman year of high school. I didn’t really expect to read anything else by him…but I read this and loved it. I know. Revolutionary take: I loved Franny and Zooey. How unique am I? (This has been sarcasm.)
60. Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell has been an auto buy author for me since I was 14, and even though I have little to no interest in her fantasy books and have lowered many of my ratings of her books upon reread, she will likely continue to be one. Even if only on the merit of this book, which I loved so much I read it twice in two days.
61. Everything is Horrible and Wonderful by Stephanie Wittels Wachs
I read this book YESTERDAY. So this is fresh in the mind. And also one of the most beautiful and heart-wrenching and real books I’ve ever read in my life. I am still very very very sad. (Fun way to spend my birthday and I regret nothing.)
Okay it will now only be my birthday for 39 more minutes so I really need to hurry the hell up.
P.S.: I’m not making any promises about future blogging schedules, but I hope the time until my next post won’t be nearly as long as the time since my last one.
Have you read any of these books? What’s the last book you gave five stars? Also, when is your birthday?!