My About Me section briefly mentions some of my favorite authors. There are, of course, more as well. But I find it helpful to single out some of my favorite books too. I’ve noticed that I tend to like sampling lots of different types of individual art, rather than become obsessed with one specific artist or writer. I’m the same way with music. My playlists are cluttered collections of many random songs. Occasionally I’ll get really into a specific band or author and then proceed to consume everything they produce. But for the most part, I like my art to be akin to a beer flight – lots of different tastes and flavors that allow me to figure out what I enjoy the most.
So without further ado, here are 5 of my favorite books in no particular order:
Five All-Around Excellent Books
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
I love this book so much that I decided I was going to close my eyes, let the book fall open to a random page, and wherever my finger landed, that sentence would be tattooed on my body. Luckily for me, I ended up with “Perhaps you are different from others”, which I thought was very fitting, and also lovely. Especially since it would make a much less cool story if I had to redo those actions five times to find a good quote.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
“124 was spiteful. Full of a baby’s venom” is one of my very favorite openings from any book I’ve ever read. I was required to read Beloved in high school but from that first sentence I was hooked and I kept coming back to it over the years, even taking a class on Morrison at Bucknell University. It’s a classic for a reason.
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Leslie Knope had the right idea when she tried to filibuster a city hall meeting by reading from this book. As a child, a teenager, and an adult, this book has remained a favorite of mine. Its whimsy, sweetness, and wit is guaranteed to cheer me up. It has a very special place in my heart. Also, I hardcore wanted Tock to be my best friend.
The Likeness by Tana French
Tana French in general is great, but The Likeness specifically is wonderful. It definitely has a The Secret History vibe, which is another amazing book and part of the reason why I think I like it so much. I find myself rereading it once a year or so. Cassie as a character was a great inspiration for my own detective character.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
This book took me completely by surprise. It’s not often that I go to read a more contemporary novel. In fact, when I saw it on Book of the Month Club, I was genuinely confused as to why I was drawn to it. But I was, and I’m very glad for that. There were unexpected turns, humor, lightness, and also a pretty grim darkness. It was perfectly balanced, and I found myself extremely drawn to Eleanor, the main character. Goes to show what happens when you branch out and try something new.
I highly recommend all five of these books. Naturally, I have like…30 other favorite books as well, but I figured that would be overkill. So for now, please enjoy these amazing works of fiction.