My Top 10 Favorite Books

In the end, we’ll all become stories.

Margaret Atwood

My mental health has been a little bit up & down recently. Honestly, I haven’t been in the mood to write in months, but I know that it’s an important coping mechanism and outlet for me. So, I woke up today in the mood to write something, but not anything heavy. I’ve been wanting to do this post for awhile now, so what better time to do it then right now. Those who know me, know I read a ridiculous amount of books. Reading is my favorite thing to do, along with cooking. I truly love to share my love of books with people. So I figured I’d let everyone know my top 10 favorite books of all time. And I hope it’ll make you want to read them too. Because, after all, there’s nothing like a good book to take your mind off of things. So let’s get started!

10) Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell. I have 3 copies of this book because I love it so much. It’s by far my favorite thriller of all time. Jewell is one of my favorite authors, I’ve read every single one of her books (all 13!) because I love her style of writing so much, and all of her characters are so well written and developed. Then She Was Gone is about a 15 year old girl who disappears, never to be seen again. Then her mother meets a man whose 10 year old daughter reminds her a lot of her missing daughter. She soon begins to question everything. What really happened to her daughter? Who is this man she knows so little about? And why does his daughter remind her so much of her own? There are so many twists and turns. I didn’t see the ending coming at all, I remember sitting there for a long time after I was done just thinking about everything I just read. If you like thrillers and mutli-layered characters, this is the book for you. My favorite quote: “Stories are the only thing in this world that are real. Everything else is just a dream.”

9) It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover. This was the first Hoover book I ever read, and I fell so in love with it that it sent me into a month where I read nothing but her books. And let me tell you, every single one of them destroyed me, and I still think about them. I heard about this book on social media because it was blowing up everywhere. Once I read what it was about, I knew I had to get my hands on it, and I’m so glad that I did. It Ends with Us is about first loves, current loves, and the ones who broke your heart. It’s about abuse and trying to walk away from it. It’s about becoming a wife and a mother. It’s about a woman, her new love, and her old love. It switches between her life now and her life 15 years ago. It’s a heartbreaking, real and emotional romance novel with all-too-human characters. This book will absolutely break your heart, but it will also but it back together again, and the last line of this book will leave you breathless. If you like books that make you cry, this is the one for you. My favorite quote: “There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”

8) When All Is Said by Anne Griffin. I read this book about 2 years ago, and I think about it often. I was in the library one day and randomly picked up this book in the new releases section. I usually read reviews before I choose a book, but this particular book I just decided to read without looking at anything. To this day it’s unlike any other book I’ve ever read. It moved me in ways I didn’t know were possible, and it made me cry a lot. When All Is Said is about a single night. A story of a lifetime. If you had to pick 5 people to sum up your life, who would they be? If you were to raise a glass to each of them, what would you say? And what would you learn about yourself, when all is said? It’s an incredibly moving, emotional, and deeply woven novel. You will fall in love with every single person and your heart will hurt for them. But you’ll also feel so much happiness. I think that this is a book that every single person should read, it’ll change your perspective about how we live our lives and the people that we meet along the way. The only warning I’ll give is that this book takes place in Ireland, so some of the vocabulary and dialect is different. But if you don’t mind that, please do yourself a favor and pick up this book. My favorite quote: “I’m here to remember- all that I have been and all that I will never be again.”

7) All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Brynn Greenwood. I can’t praise this book enough, it truly changed me forever. I remember standing in the library crying because I didn’t want to return this book, because I loved it so much (I’m a book nerd- I know lol). All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is about a powerful & consuming love between two very unlikely people. This love takes place against the backdrop of a midwestern meth lab. I think this book challenges all we know and believe about love. You will be uncomfortable reading this book, that’s a promise. It dives into some pretty tough subjects, and some things done in this book are wrong. But it’s so honest & intelligent that it’s hard not to fall in love with the characters. Like I said before, this book absolutely changed me. The way that I think about family & love & relationships is completely different now, and I’m grateful that this book gave me that. I encourage everyone to make the choice to challenge the things that we believe in, by reading this book. I just love it so much. My favorite quote: “In the meantime, the things that hurt other people healed me.”

6) One Day in December by Josie Silver. This is one of the books that I quote the most in my every day life. It’s just such a good love story. This book is so special because it not only explores the love between two people romantically, but the love between friends and family too. One Day in December is about love at first sight, a love triangle, and about hurting the people that you love the most. It’s also about understanding and forgiveness. It’s 10 years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, and roads not taken. Do you believe in love at first sight? You will after you read this book. Do you believe in soulmates? I promise you will after the last page is read. It’s so incredibly beautiful. Silver manages to make her characters so warm that they make their way into your heart and stay there long after you’ve finished the book. If you feel like reading a good old fashioned, heartwarming love story, go get this book right now. You won’t be able to put it down, and it’s so worth it. My favorite quote: “There comes a point where you have to make the choice to be happy, because being sad for too long is exhausting.”

5) Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I’m sure you’ve heard about this book before. It’s one of the most popular and best selling books in recent years, and it’s being made into a movie in 2022. I didn’t want this story to end. I read it in one day on vacation a few years ago. This book takes place in North Carolina in 1969, so the vocabulary can be pretty tricky at times, but as long as you focus and pay attention, it really isn’t that hard to understand. I remember sobbing at the end of this book. I know that when a book makes me cry that hard, it’s a special one. Where the Crawdads Sing is about so many different things. It’s a coming-of-age story that celebrates nature and what it takes to survive on your own. It’s also at times a murder mystery. My favorite thing about this book was its unwavering tribute to nature. Owens is able to incorporate wild life, trees, plants, and the seasons into her book so naturally & wonderfully. It’s truly captivating. There’s a reason this book has spent the last 164 weeks on the best seller list. Please, read this moving and breathtaking story. You will love it forever. My favorite quote: “Faces change with life’s toll, but eyes remain a window to what was.”

4) Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. So if you read my blog on a regular basis, you know how much I love Backman’s books. I read this book while I was in a bad reading slump. I was finding it hard to get through books, which usually happens when I’m dealing with my bouts of depression. I can say without a doubt that this book brought me out of my slump. It was the first book I finished in months. So I know that it’s a really good one. And it’s one that holds a special place in my heart. Anxious People is about a bank robbery gone wrong, and all of the craziness that follows. It’s about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears, and eight very anxious strangers that find out they have more in common than they think. It’s a book that makes you laugh, makes you cry, and makes you think- the perfect combination in my opinion. It’s quirky, heartwarming, and it dives deep into human nature. I can’t say enough amazing things about this book. It is 100% a must read. Run- don’t walk, to get it. The story will resonate with you, especially if you’re an anxious person. My favorite quote: “We need to be allowed to convince ourselves that we’re more than the mistakes we made yesterday. That we are all of our next choices, too, all of our tomorrows.”

3) A Good Neighborhood by Therese Ann Fowler. I’m already getting emotional just thinking about this book. I won’t lie to you, this book is so incredibly sad. And honestly, there isn’t a happy ending. But it’s real, honest, and raw. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into by reading this book. It destroyed me, and it’s another book that will forever alter the way that I think about certain things. It’s rip-your-heart out emotional. I haven’t been the same since I finished this book over a year ago. But I recommend it to everyone I come across. It is an amazing book. A Good Neighborhood is about an American neighborhood on the brink of change. It’s an exploration of prejudice, and what it means to be innocent. This book asks big questions. What does it mean to be a good neighbor? How do we live alongside each other when we don’t see eye to eye? It’s a moving story about class, race, and an all-consuming love. The ending is heartbreaking, hopeful, and inevitable. It is a story for the ages, and it’s a story every single person living in America should read. Don’t wait, go get this book as soon as you can. My favorite quote: “How unfair that the past was irretrievable and yet impossible to leave behind.”

2) Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover. I read this book this past May, and it quickly jumped to my second favorite book of all time. It’s my favorite one of Hoover’s books, and in my opinion one of her more underrated ones. This book means everything to me. I am literally going to name my first born son Samson after the main character because I loved him so much, he’s my favorites book character ever. While reading this book, I really felt like Hoover was holding my heart in her hands. I felt that I grew “heart bones” in one sentence and then I felt them break in the next. I cried nonstop for probably the last 75 pages of the book. Heart Bones is about a love between two people from very different backgrounds. It’s about courage and growth, patience and trust. It’s a powerful, unique, moving, and unforgettable love story. It is unputdownable, I read it cover to cover in less than two days. I’m tearing up just thinking about the story. It broke and healed my heart bones. And my heart bones will never be the same. I hope yours won’t be either, after you read this one. My favorite quote: “You can fill your life with nice things, but nice things don’t fill the holes in your soul.” “What fills the holes in your soul?” “Pieces of someone else’s soul.”

1) Us Against You by Fredrik Backman. I’m sure if you know me, or at least read my blog posts, my all time favorite book is no surprise. This book holds an extremely special place in my heart, and I truly think that it’ll stay my #1 book forever. There’s not one day that goes by in my life where I don’t think about this book. It’s a sequel to Beartown which I also love, but I think Us Against You is 10x better. I don’t necessarily think you have to read the first book to understand the second, it’s easy to follow along. But I do think it’ll move you more if you read the first one. Us Against You is about the ways loyalty, friendship, and love carry a small hockey community in Sweden through it’s darkest days. It’s about how families recover, how a community heals, and how people grow. Right from the first page, your attention is captured- “It is a story about hockey rinks and all the hearts that beat around them, about people and sports and how they sometimes take turns carrying each other.” There are so many intertwining stories wrapped up into one incredible, captivating, once-in-a-lifetime novel. I felt I lived with the characters throughout the story, and I still feel like I live with them now, They are unforgettable. Backman weaves so many complex social issues into his stories, and he so eloquently expresses what makes humans so wonderful and what makes us so horrible too. I just can’t say enough incredible things about this book. There’s a reason it has my heart and my #1 spot. I’d read it every single day if I could. My favorite quote: “Sometimes people have to be allowed to have something to live for in order to survive everything else.”

So, there you have it, my top 10 favorite books of all time. That was emotional for me, thinking back to all of the amazing books I’ve read. Books have always moved me very deeply, and that is something I’m so extremely grateful for. I think it makes me a better person. I hope this post makes you want to read some of these books, because that’s all I really want. To share my love of books with other people, in the hopes that they’ll love them too. Happy reading! 🙂

My honorable mentions:

3) The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

2) Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

1) The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

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