Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Top Ten All Time Favorite Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. There is a new subject each week and this week's topic is Top Ten All Time Favorite Books From the Last 3-5 Years.

The Pearl That Broke It's Shell by Nadia Hashimi

This is my favorite book of 2014 and one I recommended to a lot of people. If you liked Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns, you'll like this story about two young women in Afghanistan who experienced freedom through the practice of bacha posh (families without sons can temporarily make their prepubescent daughters into sons) only to have to go back to traditional restricted roles when they grew up and married.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

This is another favorite from last year. If you love books about books or bookstores, you'll love The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. He is a widowed curmudgeonly bookstore owner in his 30s whose life is changed overnight by a surprise he finds in his store.  He gradually becomes part of his community and touches the lives of those around him. I enjoyed all the references to literary works and A.J.'s snarky voice.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

If you haven't read this book yet, now is the time to pick it up as it is going to be a movie this summer. I thought it would just be a tearjerker but there is humor and romance too and a story that definitely made me think. If you loved The Fault in Our Stars, you need to give this book a try.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

To my surprise I really liked this book about two teens with cancer and it even stood up to rereading. I think it is a story that has appeal for adults as well as the teen audience it was written for. When I showed the movie at the library we had the biggest crowd since I showed The Help. My book group also got new members after we read this.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

I think this is the best YA fantasy novel I've read in years. The whole series is fantastic really. So often the first book in a trilogy is good, the second is okay and the third is appalling but that was definitely not the case here. The series has excellent character development and a detailed setting. There are also unexpected twists which I appreciated.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

This is a beautiful story of two misfit teens who fall in love. Eleanor comes from a broken home with lots of abuse and poverty and she puts up with bullying at school. Park comes from a more loving family but has a complicated relationship with his father who just wants him to be like his older brother. Eleanor and Park bond over music and comic books and they are two people who march to their own drumbeat. Another book for fans of John Green, I consider this to be Rainbow Rowell's best work to date.

On Sal Mal Lane by Ru Freeman

I wanted to read this book because it is set in Sri Lanka but I was charmed by the writing and characters. I love that the author tells the story through the viewpoint of the kids on one street in Colombo. 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Some readers might find it challenging to get into this book but it is so worth it. Two young women who become friends during WWII and the narrator (one of them, with the code name of Verity) has been captured by the Nazis and is recounting her story. "Verity" is an unreliable narrator and the story has some unexpected twists. It is powerful and touching if you stick with it to the end. This is another teen novel I'd recommend to adults.

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

It is a time slip novel and my favorite Susanna Kearsley book. Author Carrie McClelland is doing research in Scotland when she starts to experience the memories of a young woman who lived in Scotland in the 18th century. There are dual story lines (modern and historical) romance and mystery. I think fans of Diana Gabaldon might enjoy this.

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

I think I've reread this book three times now, once in audio which is also excellent. It is at times heartbreaking to see all that Kimberly and her mom went through as immigrants from China but the story is ultimately uplifting. The author was inspired by her own family's experiences.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

This charming story is set in 1960s Savannah, Georgia and the main character is a young girl whose mother has just died and her father no longer wants her. Instead she is sent to live with her great aunt who showers her with kindness and friendship. A really sweet story with some fun characters and a beautiful setting. Readers who liked The Secret Life of Bees and The Help may enjoy this one too. I've read the print version and listened to the audio which is also fantastic.


  1. I love this list! I agree with so many of your selections, especially Saving Cee Cee, Winter Sea, E&P, TFiOS, and Girl of Fire and Thorns. I still need to read a JoJo Moyes book (can you believe I haven't?!?!) and I just won a copy of Code Name Verity, so hopefully I can read that one soon. I'm glad to hear it's one of your favorites. Great list, Christina!

  2. I read and enjoyed Eleanor and Park, but I'll admit that Fangirl edged it out as my favorite by Rowell.

    Interesting list and I see several books I need to add to my TBR pile.

  3. A resounding yes to Eleanor & Park and The Fault in Our Stars! Loved both of those!

  4. Great picks! The Fault in Our Stars & Eleanor & Park are such great books. I think I enjoyed Fangirl a bit more, though I haven't read Landline or Attachments yet! I Hope you have a great week, I'm a new follower! :D
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian


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