Here are my favorite books (listed in no particular order.) I have three categories of favorites: (1) Golden Favorites (2) Silver Favorites (3) Childhood Relics or Things That I Would Have Loved As a Child.
(1) Golden Favorites
Hopefully this list will expand as I maneuver new genres and titles! I don’t think I have a particular type, but I see a pattern. I’m drawn to the ones that are wildly different, rich with emotion, and written poetically.
1) Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
This is perhaps the only “Young Adult” book I’ve liked in a very, very long time. I found this in the school library sometime in April or May of 2013, when I should have been studying for my AP exams. My friend thought the cover was “ugly,” but I beg to differ — It’s absolutely perfect for this retelling of Peter Pan. I also usually hate romance, but for some reason, I thought it fitting and part of the theme, in Tiger Lily. Perhaps because of the characters. They’re different. Real. Full of raw emotions. (Even though they’re fictional and part of a children’s fantasy classic.) The author enchanted me right away with the vibrantly emotional story and lyrical writing. I knew then, my heart beating wildly, that I was in the hands of my kind of storyteller.
This was my childhood. Nuff said. Oh — and JK Rowling is one of those marvelously talented writers who can appeal to almost anyone, regardless of age. Her writing style, plotlines and voice have that kind of versatility.
For some reason, I didn’t love Inkspell (#2 of the trilogy) quite as much as I loved the first and third. Cornelia Funke is the kind of fantasy writer who breathes LIFE into her worlds. She’s brilliant. I’ve obsessed with her writing. I’ve liked all her other writings too — the Thief Lord and Dragon Rider.
4) The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
I bought a copy, because we were going to read it in school. I ended up staying up until 2 AM. Yes, The Things They Carried is of a different caliber than the stories I usually fall in love with. It’s a war story and it’s raw. And after I finished reading it, I adamantly declared, “Everyone in the world should read this book.” Like my other favorites, it changed some fiber of my heart, touched my soul. I was just a kid stranded in the year 2012, without any ties to war or history or Vietnam, but there’s a quality about The Things They Carried that is so strong it rocks the inside of your soul. You feel extreme empathy for Tim, for his stories, for everyone. I’d like to learn how to convey such extreme empathy. Some critic said something along the lines of “read this book to learn to write.”
I found this in the library in the 9th grade. The thing about hard sci-fi is, sometimes the emotions just aren’t there. It’s all theoretical and flat. Ender’s Game is anything but. I have little in common with Ender in terms of personality, but his emotions and journey effortlessly entangled my heart. That’s soon awesome character development right there. Orson Scott Card is one of the finest sci-fi writers of our time, and Ender’s Game is a timeless book. I hope to pick up some of Card’s plot-spinning, characterization and…and…well, there’s so much to learn! Everything is so awesome. Ender’s Shadow is just as good!
6) The Book Thief by Mark Zusak
A recent favorite. It’s an incredibly touching story with a message about what it means to live.