Whenever someone asks me what my favorite [insert thing here] is, I panic. You mean I’m supposed to choose just one thing? Out of all the things? This is especially true when it comes to the things I love the most in this world. Picking a favorite book, song, travel destination, or candle just feels flat-out impossible to me. There’s just something about naming one, single, all-time favorite that feels too definite; it doesn’t account for the fact that things change, people evolve, and preferences grow. All this is to say, my hesitancy about naming a favorite anything is probably why I never know what to say when someone asks me my favorite books (and why I’ve avoided writing this blog post until now).
Book preference is so absurdly personal. Something about it feels intimate — sacred, even. Don’t believe me? Think back to the last time you professed your love for a book only to have someone say they hated it, or they thought the writing was bad. That shit stings. There’s also some old fashioned, antiquated attitude surrounding books that makes it seem like it’s not OK for your favorite book to be a romance, or a thriller, or a book that everyone-and-their-mother loved. I myself spent many years thinking that way, and it wasn’t until I completely unlearned it that I was truly able to incorporate reading into my everyday routine (I read for about 1-3 hours a day usually).
These days, I truly let myself read whatever genre feels interesting or engaging or exciting to me. I’ve learned to love science fiction, romance, and pretty much everything in between. Now, the only real criteria I consider when reading is how the experience of reading the book made me feel. Did I feel swept up? Did I forget my own world for a bit? Did the language move me, or the plot surprise me? That’s what I consider. So: Here are my favorite books. I probably forgot a lot (and I’ll try to update this post regularly), but these are the first books I thought of when I tried to recall the books I recommended to other people or really stuck with me after. The only thing they all have in common is that I enjoyed the experience of reading them, and that’s quite enough for me.
Interested in reading any of these books? I’ll list them below by genre.
If you’re looking to shop exclusively from independent bookstores, feel free to peruse my Bookshop.org storefront! Otherwise, the below links will be Amazon affiliate links.
If you’ve followed me for a while, then you know I love thrillers. Suspense, mystery, crime… I can’t get enough of it in novel-form. Here are some of my favorite thrillers.
- THE ROAD
- THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO
- WHERE THE CRAWDAD’S SING
- THE PAPER PALACE
- THE NICKEL BOYS