I figured since, last week, I did the bottom five, I should probably give you my top five. It’s only fair. To make it easier — since I really do have a hard time choosing what I truly, truly love (is that just me, or does your favorite list change from year to year?) — I think I’m going to pick one book from each year I’ve been blogging. (Yeah, that’ll be six, but I have to narrow down my favorites, somehow.)
America’s Women, Gail Collins (2004-2005): This was actually a book group read for my in-person book group. And I was blown away. Not only by the subject matter — Collins delves into history (or herstory?) in a very in-depth way — but by the fact that this book was so readable. Up to this point, I wasn’t that interested in history books; history was boring, history was dry. But, this showed me that history could be interesting, fun, and memorable.
The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan (2005-2006): One of the things I’m proud of is getting on the Percy Jackson bandwagon before he got really big. I picked this up on a whim — even with the horrid hardback cover — at my library, and couldn’t put it down. It’s not deep, but it is clever and I thought, from the outset, that Riordan’s use of Greek mythology was brilliant. I’m just glad that my girls (well, M and C) love it as much as I do.
Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher (2006-2007): I don’t usually write letters to authors. (Well, unless I want to interview them, anyway.) But I finished this book — I won the ARC in a giveaway — and I was blown away. Literally. It’s one of those books that changed the way I see people, affected me deeply, and I needed to share that with the author. It’s not for everyone, but I do recommend it, and loan my battered ARC out, whenever I feel it’s right. Because it’s an amazing book.
Dracula, Bram Stoker (2007-2008): I avoided Carl’s RIP challenge for years, because horror and mystery are not my “things”. For some reason, though, this year I decided to sign up for it, and I picked Dracula as one of my reads. (Possibly chalk it up to being interested in vampires due to Twilight…) I was amazed. Completely and utterly blown away. I was reminded that I did, once, love horror (I went through a Poe phase), and that it’s not the gore that I love but the mood. That spine-chilling, goose-bump inducing mood. And Dracula has that in spades, which thrilled me to no end.
My Life in France, Julia Child (2008-2009): I love food books, and so I knew going in that I would like this one. I wasn’t prepared, though, for just how awesome Julia Child was. Determined, focused, funny, amazing. I loved her joy, and how that joy — of love, of life, of food, of France — came through in her stories. It did lose a little steam near the end, but by that time I was invested: I am, unabashedly, a Julia Child fan. And I would happily read this book over and over again.
My Most Excellent Year, Steve Kluger (2009-2010): I adored this book. Hands down. As much as I adored The Casson family books by Hilary McKay. (They should be on this list; but the reasons why are similar to the reasons for this book, so I excused them.) I fell in love with the characters, and I want to move in next door to them and be their friend. I want them to take me in, and let me bask in their awesomeness, their quirkiness, their uniqueness. I was charmed the entire time I was reading about them, and I feel that, somehow, my life is better for having visited their world. It’s become a comfort read, something to pick up when I’m feeling down, because I know, without a doubt, that I will be happier when I finish reading.
So, what are some of your all-time favorites?