Top Ten Picks: Books You Have To Read At Least Once

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

This is a weekly feature here in this blog where I would be posting just about that -- my top 10 picks! Every week, there will be a different and specific topic given. I will then choose 10 of my favorites from that given category, create the list, and post them up here!
As usual, for the 3rd week, Mr. Linky will be posted below, as everyone is welcome to join!
Here are my top ten picks, in no particular order:

Top Ten Books You Have To Read At Least Once

1. The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories
Hans Christian Andersen

This one's definitely a given. These were the bedtime stories that captured my imagination when I was a young girl. They were the ones that urged my sister and I to venture towards the world of reading. We started from tales and short stories about princesses, fairies, and kingdoms -- which took us into such great heights that we know we would never be able to reach without this wonderful stepping stone.

2. The Little Prince
Antoine De Saint-Exupery

I know it's a children's book, but back when I was around six or so, this was the first book that told its story using a lot of metaphors. I remember feeling very 'grown-up' because of it.
Until now, I still remember so clearly about the story of The Little Prince. In fact, every once in a while, I still take my copy -- I actually have two -- from my bookshelf and read it again. There's just something about it still. Something special. Who would have thought that such wisdom would come from such a tiny little book?

3. Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte

I have to be honest, I only read this classic in 2008. It's odd too because I have actually read the rest of the Bronte sisters' works except for this. I don't know what took me so long to pick it up and give it a try. It's ironic too, that of all of the sister's works, Jane Eyre ended up as my favorite.

4. Where The Red Fern Grows
Wilson Rawls
Old Yeller..
Homeward Bound..
Marley and Me?

If you liked those above
If they were able to make you cry
If they broke your heart
and they made you see things differently..
then Where the Red Fern Grows is the perfect -- if not an even better -- pick for you.
I loved this children's book, and so far, everyone I know has fallen in love with it too. Let me warn you beforehand though; keep the tissues close.
If this story doesn't make your heart burst with happiness, then tear it right after, I don't know what will.

5. Catch-22
Joseph Heller

Simply put, this novel is a masterpiece. It is one that deserves to be described with superlatives; funniest, scariest, greatest war novel ever, etc.
However, I know this might not be a book for everyone. If you don't appreciate satire, sarcasm, and irony, then you probably won't like this. Nevertheless, I still recommend you read it. Try it out. I wonder how it would affect you.

6. Little Women

Louisa May Alcott

Of all the books that Louisa May Alcott wrote, this is most definitely my favorite. Everytime I read it again, I still feel the same way about its story and its characters as how I did when I first picked it up.
I will not write a long explanation for this one, because if you have read it, you would know exactly why it is here. If you have not read it yet, I highly recommend it. This is one of the few classic novels that I believe, is still relevant up until today. To me, that is a rarity.

7. The Lord of The Rings
A trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

I understand the main 'complaint' with taking on this wonderful trilogy is that the writing is a little bit harder to understand. Yes, this is true. In fact, I didn't read the entire series until about two years ago, long after the movies have already come out.
Nevertheless, I can not recommend these books enough! If you liked the movies -- which I did -- you will love this 10x more. Seriously, it's that good.

8. The Catcher In The Rye
J.D. Salinger

I remember we were asked to read this in my junior year in high school, and I didn't really like it. In fact, it bored me so much I almost -- almost -- opted for Sparknotes.
I picked it up two years after that though, for a book report in college and read it again. I was surprised that not only did I enjoy it the second time around, but found so many new things about it that I loved.
For me, this is the ultimate coming-of-age story, that everyone should definitely try reading at least once. If the first time doesn't work out for you, maybe try it again like I did ;)

9. The Book Thief
Markus Zusak

If you are looking for a book with good prose&writing, intriguing&interesting plot, a unique&different perspective, and lovable&genuine characters; then this is the book for you. It is haunting, compelling, heart warming as it is heart breaking, inspiring, and thought-provoking. I can not recommend this enough.

10. Harry Potter series
J.K. Rowling

Here's Jillian again, rambling on about the Harry Potter series. Haha. For this, I apologize, but I can't help it. This is my favorite, and I still highly recommend this to everyone of all ages. Try it out, keep an open mind, and hopefully you'll love it as much as I do!

There you have it for my picks for this week.
Again, if you would like to join in the fun, all you have to do is:
1. Do a post similar to this, listing all your answers. The books for this topic does not necessarily have to be a favorite of yours, just as long as you believe everyone should read it at least once. You do not have to include pictures or descriptions, 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.

Important: Your last day to answer this topic is on April 12. On April 13th, the topic will change again.

Can't wait to read yours :)


  1. Definitely agree with you on the Harry Potter series! =)

  2. I am going to read Book Thief this year.

  3. It's always interesting to learn what books are important to others. Great topic, Jillian.

  4. +JMJ+

    I'll have to give this a lot more thought, since I hardly ever give recommendations. (A funny thing for a "book blogger" to say, but it's true!)

  5. Great topic for this week! I had a thought on a future topic - the Top Ten worst books you ever read! Just an idea... I think it could be funny to see what some people thougth was awful.

  6. I can't even begin to tell you how much I loveee The Book Thief! I'll definitely do a post like this later in the week; I'll leave the link!!

  7. Alright, I posted my list...this was harder than I thought it would be, picking only 10. I guess it depends how you define books that everyone should read. I've read everything on your list except The Book Thief, but it is on my wishlist.

  8. Need to read a few of these, but I love The Lord of the Rings, Jane Eyre, and of course, Harry Potter. I'll be getting my post up soon! :)

  9. Hey, Jillian-- I'm worn out from getting my fictional characters up last night! Maybe DeLynne and Izzy will help me with this one! Love this meme!


  10. @Elisabeth Marie: It never fails! haha :)

    @MarceJ: Yes, highly recommended!

    @Kim, Too: Thank you! And I agree. Some books on my list might not even make it to others', and vice versa as well. It's pretty interesting.

    @E: Haha, take your time.

    @OutnumberedMama: Thank you! Oh, and I love your idea -- worst books. I was actually thinking about that too, but thought I should start with something positive first ;) I might just do that next time though!

    @Cate: I agree, I can't even explain how much I love that book. And thanks, can't wait to see your picks!

    @Heather: It was a bit challenging, huh.THanks for joining!

    @Natalie: Can't wait to read yours!

    @Cozy Book Nook: Haha! Picking just 10 favorite characters must have been horrible for you as you said. But I'm looking forward to all of your -- and possibly Delynne's and Izzy's -- picks this week!

  11. I don't think I could narrow it down to ten...

  12. This is so cool. Excellent theme. I love lists so this was interesting to me.

  13. Mine is up! You won't believe your eyes, Jillian!! Actually, I can't believe my eyes!

  14. Lovely list! I created one as well! :)

  15. Very nice list. I loved reading Jane Eyre, I think it was one of the best books I read in 2008. I am still planning to reread it very soon, if I find the time. :)

  16. Definitely Catch-22!

  17. Great list. I really enjoyed The Book Thief. I'm reading Jane Eyre now. For one of my challenges I have Catch 22 or Catcher in the Rye--I can't remember which one I read, but remember LOL so that my Dad came in to see what was going on. And Harry Potter? Of course! I recently started my 100 best books list, so I am always looking for new books or ones I have forgotten. (queen bee)

  18. DeLynne and Izzy added their picks too! check it out!

  19. @ds: It's alright, most have trouble limiting themselves with a certain number! Even I had a bit of a trouble as well!

    @Jazz R.J: Thank you! Join us this week or next time :)

    @Lesa: Haha @Izzy "Forget Shakespeare, read Alice!" LOL! :D Oh and I've already said this, but yeah, I have to say I was pretty surprised you kept it to 4!

    @Lily Child: I am going to go and read your picks nooo0ww, can't wait!

    @Nina: Thank you! I loved Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. They're my favorite :)

    @maytagger8819: Yes, I loved that book -- truly unique!

    @Kim: Glad to know you enjoyed The Book Thief -- it is truly one of my favorite books. And oohh now I'm curious to see what books are in your 100 list!

  20. I thought that was funny too!! a pro and con shakespeare in the same list!! I was going to comment about it but decided to give readers a chance to comment first. I did tease DeLynne and Izzy about it in an e-mail though. heehee

  21. Jillian, Yes, we 3 do tease one another alot.

    Izzy suggested something along the lines of Out#ed Mama, Top 10 books you weren't able to finish. I have a few I think I should finish but just can't for different reasons.

  22. Okay - I just got this one in under the wire! I had to give it some thought and deleted three choices as I thought of others. I kept it at ten this time!

  23. yay for HP and the BOok thief. Both are incredible in their own ways, I think. And I think you convinced me to pick up Catch-22 which is just sitting on my bookshelf!