Top Ten Picks: Favorite Books Of All Time

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's been 4 months since I started this meme. 16 topics later, I have finally managed to get to this list. It's a difficult one, and I told myself I might never actually do this, but thanks to the ladies over at Broke and Bookish -- who shares the same love for top 10 lists as I do -- I felt it's about time to do it. I have to admit, I really had to push myself to do this, but I think I managed. If you've been following this meme for a while now, these picks -- and the reasons behind picking them -- may not be such a surprise to you. Here are my all-time favorite books, in no particular order whatsoever.


1. Harry Potter series
by J.K. Rowling
Though I have always been a bookworm ever since I was a kid, it wasn't until I read the first in the Harry Potter series that I fell in love with reading. It was also the one that pushed me to start thinking about writing, talking about writing, and, yes, actually writing. Its characters, the story, and the world that surrounds the series are magical, unforgettable, and special to me, and for all the things it has inspired me to do, I don't think I ever loved books as much as I loved these.

2. Lord of the Rings trilogy
by J.R.R. Tolkien
I will always be biased and pick the Harry Potter series as my ultimate favorite, but yes, I do believe the LOTR trilogy started it all. It is the king of all fantasy series; the existential one, that others could only dream of following. It is one so epic that it continues to gather fans 73 or so years later. If you haven't read it or haven't seen the movies, I highly recommend you do so.

3. Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Bronte
This has got to be my favorite in the Classics genre. I only was able to read this in 2008, and I am so happy I finally did so. I love the writing. I love the characters, Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. I like the overall story. I like that it talks about the sense of belonging to a family or a group, and about being independent and being your own as an individual. I also like the fact that one of its biggest themes is love; accepting someone no matter what and who they are.

4. The Secret Garden
by Frances Hodgson BurnettI fell in love with it when I first read it as a kid, and I am still in love with it until now. Everything about it, I adore. From its gothic feel, the romance, the mysterious garden itself, its beauty, the nature that surrounds it, the enormous mansion, to the wonder of getting lost and finding yourself again -- those and among so many others. This is to me, simply magical, beautiful, and timeless.

5. Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott
I read this as a kid as well, but didn't find the appreciation for it until I read it again when I was a freshman in high school. It's a classic novel that talks about life, love, and family. This book also shows the constant struggle that women had in the past, and that some still do until today. I just think it's realistic, but through the lovable characters, the book manages to become heartwarming and inspiring all at the same time.

6. The Thirteenth Tale
by Diane SetterfieldThis is a book for book lovers, and ultimately, for lovers of words. I am both, and so this debut novel was especially inviting for me. It is a unique, mysterious, addicting, exciting novel filled with lovable characters, intricate descriptions, and events that will keep you guessing until the very end. It definitely has the Jane Eyre-Gothic feel and atmosphere to it -- the story, the settings, and the writing -- and it simply can do no wrong in my book. I absolutely loved it.

7. The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
I am beginning to sound like a broken record for this one, but I swear, anytime someone asks me to recommend one book to them, this is the one that always comes first to mind. I can't help it; this was simply a wonderfully written novel. To me, it is one of the most unforgettable stories I’ve read in a while. And despite the fact that it is incredibly heartbreaking, I honestly don't think it would have had the same impact that it had if it was done differently. The message that came along with it, was subtle yet strong. It was heart wrenching, yet also strangely uplifting at the same time. It made me not only think, but really feel and empathize with these characters.
The Book Thief is just everything a good book should be; original, engaging, inspiring, uplifting, and haunting all at the same time. This book is nothing less than amazing.

8. 100 Love Sonnets
by Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda is my favorite poet of all time, hands down. And my favorite poem, if I could even pick just one, would have to be Neruda's Sonnet 17. This book, 100 Love Sonnets, features his absolute best works, and I can not help but fall in love with it every single time I read it. I feel as though it is an entirely new experience every time I pick it up; I never get tired of it, and probably never will. It's just beautiful. If you have read it, I'm pretty sure you know exactly what I mean.

9. A Walk to Remember
by Nicholas Sparks
Regardless of how I think of Nicholas Sparks and his novels nowadays, I still give him full credit for writing A Walk To Remember. I read this so long ago, but it still feels the same exact way every time I reread it. It's just a beautiful story, about two inspiring people in love. And it's a simple book really, but it's one with such great and profound meaning that inspires me, at the end of the day, to become a better person for my loved ones. A Walk to Remember has two of my favorite characters of all time, Jamie Sullivan and Landon Carter, and to me, their story truly is the sweetest and most realistic love story I know.

10. A Little Princess
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
For me, this is a special and an important book growing up because it really taught me a thing or two. Mainly it taught me about compassion, kindness, and simplicity, through the story's main character, Sara Crewe. She taught me that I should be thankful for the things that I have, and not complain when things don't go my way. This one is a true classic; one I have two copies of and one that I still read every once in a while.


So which books will make it into your own list? If you would like to join in, and I do hope you do, all you have to do is:
1. Do a post, listing all your answers. Like I already mentioned, you do not have to include pictures, descriptions, or explanations, but if you would like to do so, feel free!
2. Please sign the Mr. Linky box below with the specific URL of your post.

This is a really exciting week for Top Ten Picks, and I am so very excited to hear from you and see your own lists as well!


  1. Ooh... this is a tough one. I may have to think about it for a while.

    And hey... another The Thirteenth Tale fan! I'm not sure if it would make my list, but I did really enjoy it. It's one of those books that seems to be overlooked. I'm not really sure why, though, because it's good!

  2. Great list! Surprised to see The Thirteenth Tale on here! Great book! :)

  3. I LOVE lists! And I always enjoy reading yours!

    Harry Potter is definitely my all-time favorite. I'm always on the look for another book that will pull me in the way that those 7 did.

    I've read most of the rest of these too and enjoyed them, as well! Also, I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who loves Pablo Neruda!

  4. I love these lists! Some excellent picks :)

  5. You have some great selections, which clearly means you've got great taste! :)

  6. Yay for Harry Potter and Jane Eyre!

  7. I've read and love everything on your list except for Pablo Neruda's sonnets. So, obviously, I've added those to my TBR.

  8. @La Coccinelle: I picked it because I really connected with it personally. We all have different reasons for liking something :) And looking forward to reading your list again this week!

    @Holly: Yes, it's a great book and all, but honestly I think I put The Thirteenth Tale here because I really connected with it personally :) Shows how we really all have our different reasons for liking something. :)

    @Jess: I'm always on the look out as well. While I found others that I loved so much, I honestly don't think there will be another HP out there! And that may be actually okay with me :)

    @gautami: Yay!

    @Girl Friday: Thank you :)

    @readerreads: Don't know about that, but thank you? Haha :)

    @Amanda: Yay for you loving them too :D

    @Avid Reader: Oh I think you will love Neruda. He's just effortless and his words are beautiful!

  9. Hey, I finally got around to making my list! This was a tough one. How do you condense 30+ years of reading into a list of just 10 books?

  10. I totally agree with the to four books but the others I have never read.