Top 10 favorite books

A top 10 list of favorite books: it’s a tricky little devil. I mean, what should the criteria actually be?

The options seem endless…

  • Books I’d be happiest to re-read
  • Books I’ve actually re-read and been glad about it
  • Books whose bindings have fallen apart due to repeated readings
  • Books that had the most impact on me
  • Books that represent who I’ve been at various phases of life
  • Books that represent who I am right now
  • Books that represent each of the genres and styles I love best
  • Books that spark the most joy
  • Books I’d want with me on a desert island
  • Books I keep recommending to others, over and over
  • Books that are my favorites of the past decade
  • Books that have been on my favorites list for more than a decade

You see my dilemma.

Depending on which of these sets of criteria I choose, the list is gonna shift. Some books will always be there because they’re my very top favorites (I’m looking at you, Young Men and Fire and The Right Stuff), but others will appear or vanish, depending on the criteria.

So, after discussing this conundrum with the Dear Man and a good friend, I took their advice and went with:

  • Does it feel like a true representation of who I am?
  • Does it spark joy? (aka, Do I light up when I talk about these books?)

Based on those criteria, here’s my current list…

Young Men & Fire by Norman Maclean

Run by Ann Patchett

The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

All the President’s Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

News of the World by Paulette Jiles

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

So now I’m wondering how you decide your favorites. What criteria do you use? Which books always always always make the list?


Reader, librarian, & happy little geek

2 thoughts on “Top 10 favorite books

  1. Choosing ten favorite books would be impossible for me! I don’t even know what criteria to use. LOL. I’ve only read one of the books on your list — THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK — and it’s definitely one that’s stuck with me through the years. I don’t know if I’d call it a favorite, but it’s one that made an impact for sure.

    Glad to have found your blog!


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