It’s my birthday so here is every book I’ve ever truly loved!

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.


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!

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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


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

A dream.

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.

Enough said.

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


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.)

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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.

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Have you read any of these books? What’s the last book you gave five stars? Also, when is your birthday?!



33 thoughts on “It’s my birthday so here is every book I’ve ever truly loved!

  1. ilsa @ A Whisper Of Ink says:

    HAVE I MISSED YOUR POSTS?? yes. have i abandoned blogging and fell off the face of the earth? yeah. have i been commenting on scarcely any posts since September? YES. and yet i crawl out of my cave to see you have posted! anyways, i feel inclined to read all your favourite books because i just trust you have the best taste? also i thought you giving five stars was a MYTH but clearly not.

    I feel like I share the same deep-rooted love for Neil Gaiman’s book and their atmosphere because they’re just…*Clenchest fist* perfectly spooky. I still need to read Neverwhere which I’m sure I’ll love. If Blue Lily Lily Blue wasn’t on this list I’d probably have to disown you because AHHHH ITS AMAZING I STILL LOVE IT SO MUCH. also call down the hawk releasing soon?? HOW ARE WE FEELING. i would like to rant about i’ll give you the sun (Which i want to re-read constantly because how could i not) and a series of unfortunate events (Seriously the best series EVER) but this comment is really long and i must retreat to my cave SO. in conclusion, I AM EXCITED YOU HAVE POSTED!!! AND ALSO HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! You’re such a wonderful human and i hope you have/had a wonderful day!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:


      me giving 5 stars is, like…relatively rare??? but i feel like i either hate books or love them so maybe not.

      omg dude yes if you love Neil Gaiman books you will LOVE NEVERWHERE!! it’s gaiman at his gaiman-i-est.

      I LOVE BLLB. also i keep forgetting that there’s a TRC spinoff series……i honestly did not like either adam or ronan until the very last book so i’m like. kinda meh. but will still read the hell out of it. at some point. eventually.


      also yay I’ll Give You the Sun and ASoUE!! like i said. queen of taste.


  2. tasya @ the literary huntress says:

    The Book Thief is a 5 star read for me too! I think I would give Pride and Prejudice 5 stars if only I could understand what’s going on because I absolutely love the movie! I have to constantly open spark notes and wikipedia to help me understand where I am in the story 😦 Persuasion was easier to get through for me. The Graveyard Book is also an almost 5 stars!

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      it can be tough to get into the Austen language but once you do it is…perfect. i wish i could reread the book thief but i think it would destroy me!!!


  3. hogwartswriter says:

    Happy Birthday! I hope it was a good one. Thanks for the book recs.

    Probably the last book I gave 5 stars was Sabriel by Garth Nix. And of course Harry Potter. My love for those will never die. 👌🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Meeghan reads says:

    Happy birthday (belated wishes)!!
    Neverwhere is such an underrated book – I love it so much!!
    Also, I totally agree about Anna and the French Kiss… objectively it’s not great, but there’s something about it that’s just amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      thank you!!!
      i have basically never had any reaction to a neil gaiman book other than Intense Love (minus one or two exceptions…) and this was true for neverwhere

      omg anna and the french kiss…just has so much CHARM…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kay | Hammock of Books says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMMA!!!! Omg I missed you I was so excited when I saw this post in my reader like ahhhhh!!!! Glad you love these books so much 🙂 I love Harry Potter Alice In Wonderland, Six of Crows, I’ll Give You The Sun, Just One Day… so many great books!! And I hated Anna and the French Kiss but everyone has to have that one trash book that they love I know I have some so glad you can love that one haha. Hope you had an AMAZING day and that this year is your best year yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      THANK YOU!!! omg i am SO excited to be able to regularly read your posts again??? (assuming i’m actually back now. which…i think i am?)

      okay QUEEN OF TASTE…and that includes you hating anna and the french kiss b/c objectively i know that book is garbage…and yet……….

      hope everything in your life is going PERFECTLY b/c you deserve nothing less!!!


  6. Rose says:

    OMG OMG OMG, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! This made me smile sm – I missed you and your witty little posts, name twin! I hope you’ve been doing well since we last spoke and I hope your birthday was absolutely spectacular! (Mine’s in eleven days.) So glad to be back so I don’t miss anymore from one of my fave blogs! ❤ ❤ ❤

    And, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Nimona are also two of my fave books EVER, omG, just reading this post makes me want to re-read those gems. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      OMG NAME TWIN!!!! it’s been SO LONG. i missed you so so so so much!! happy early birthday, ily so dearly. can’t wait to start seeing your posts again!! hope everything is perfecttttt with you. (or at least fantastic. otherwise me and the universe will have to have a Little Chat about you having the amazing life you deserve.)

      also, you know my advice is ALWAYS reread Alice. but i am way past due for a nimona reread too!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. May @ Forever and Everly says:

    I’m using the fact that I already wished you happy birthday as an excuse to be commenting so extremely, embarrassingly late — but also HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY again!!! you are the best and you always will be ❤ we absolutely have to buddy reread the rest of MBS (next year?? possibly???)!! this post is basically a big "READ NEIL GAIMAN" sign shoved into my face, and for you, I might have to

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jen Knapp says:

    Aha! What a beautiful post! I DEFINITELY agree with a few books on here. Love me some Neil Gaiman. Love The Phantom Tollbooth. Love East of Eden. Some of my favs are A Thousand Splendid Suns, Beartown, and The Goldfinch. Dec. 8! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      thank you!!! also look, i doooo like books sometimes :p A Thousand Splendid Suns, Beartown, and The Goldfinch are all on my to-read list so this is fantastic!! happy almost birthday woohoo

      Liked by 1 person

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