Bookish Things

My Top 5 Favorite Books Of All Time

My love for reading began at a very early age.  I remember my older sister would read to me a lot when I was younger and when teachers started assigning books to read in elementary school, I read them all.  One of my favorite books when I was little was Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark by Alvin Schwartz.  I found the pictures and the stories to be really creepy and loved them.  I mostly read short stories and many of Judy Blume’s books although the only one I really remember is Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret-haha. But the first book I actually fell in love with was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.  I read this in middle school and just ate the whole thing up. I enjoy reading mixed genres, though I do favor classics.  So here goes, my top 5 favorite books of all time.

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Lumos doesn’t miss an opportunity to appear in a photo, here he is posing with my fave books 😀 The spines are all bent and pages falling apart (I even spy a never returned library book!) But I’ve read and re-read them countless times so they’re bound to have some wear and tear.
  1. Harry Potter-All 7 books hold the number one spot (although, if forced to pick, The Half-Blood Prince is my fave)-J.K. Rowling

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    “I am not worried, Harry,” said Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water. “I am with you.”

These books mean so much to me.  When I was in middle school I didn’t have many friends and I wasn’t in a particularly happy place, but reading these books filled me with so much happiness and wonder.  I only read up to The Goblet of Fire and didn’t start reading them again until after I graduated high school.  I have re-read these books more times than I can count and each time they are just as amazing and powerful to me.  They inspire me to be a better person.  They demonstrate the importance of friendship and love and how every human deserves love and respect, no matter our differences.  We are all living, breathing creatures that deserve to be treated equally.  It doesn’t hurt that the books are filled with magic and fantastic characters.  I credit Harry Potter with creating my love for reading and all things magical.  I will re-read these books until I’m old and gray.

2.  Les Miserables-Victor Hugo

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“To love or to have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life. To love is consummation.”

This book was assigned by my high school english teacher in the 10th grade.  I fell in love with it and read it unlike many of my classmates.  This is one of those books that I love re-reading because of the importance of it.  It shows the struggle of the lower class, Jean Valjean’s journey of redemption, a love story, not only between a man and a woman but familial love, and an epic battle; this book has it all!  It’s a book so full of beauty and sadness that I just love it so much (how many times do I have to say how much I love it!).  And the themes written about in this story, though written so very long ago(1862), are still relevant to our lives today.

3.  Dracula- Bram Stoker

“But my very feelings changed to repulsion and terror when I saw the whole man slowly emerge from the window and begin to crawl down the castle wall over that dreadful abyss, face down, with his cloak spreading out around him like great wings.”

So Bram Stoker’s Dracula was the first ever vampire book I read, and what ultimately started my obsession with them. I already liked creepy books, but never had I read a story such as this one.  It’s not particularly scary but it can be very creepy.  It is a love story even though you may not realize it at first because of the title.  The characters are fighting for the ones they love, as Dracula attempts to destroy them.  I fell in love with Jonathan, Mina, Van Helsing and even Dracula himself.  I loved how the female characters in this story are so strong and take initiative in many of the adventures that lead to the climax of the story.  If you’re trying to test the waters with scary books, I highly recommend Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  He was the man that created the character of Dracula.  Though Dracula has been re-made so many times in film and stories in very corny and over the top ways, nothing beats the way Bram Stoker originally portrayed him.

4.  East of Eden- John Steinbeck

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“Monsters are variations from the accepted normal to a greater or a less degree.  As a child may be born without an arm, so one may be born without kindness or the potential of conscience”

This book turned out to be an unexpected and amazing read.  It begins fairly slow,  as the narrator describes the landscape of his hometown (Salinas, Ca).  Though the descriptions are beautiful, I didn’t know what to expect.  I kept going, and I’m glad I did, because this book is absolutely amazing.  It’s a story that covers multiple generations.  We see children grow and age and have children of their own.  We see their struggles and mistakes and how they affect them in the long run.  This book left a huge impression on me and taught me that our actions control our destiny, not what people think or expect from us based on preconceived notions they may have about us, but what we choose to act upon.  Because there is always a choice.

5.  On the Road- Jack Kerouac

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“I was beginning to get the bug like Dean.  He was simply a youth tremendously excited with life, and though he was a con-man, he was only conning because he wanted so much to live and to get involved with people who would otherwise pay no attention to him.”

And last but not least, On The Road finishes up my top 5 favorite books of all time. In this book  Jack Kerouac tells about his own stories and adventures on the road through his fictional character Sal Paradise.  We meet curious and interesting characters that actually existed.  And as we see everything through his eyes, his lust for travel and obsession with Dean Moriarty become contagious.  I found myself wanting to get out on the road and experience adventures of my own.  I love that it’s based on actual events and that these people actually lived and breathed.  They had really big ideas and wanted more from life.  All these events happened in the 40’s-early 50’s and it’s intriguing to see that people did not appreciate the conformity they were expected to agree with and follow.

Of course this is just my top 5.  I have a lot of love for all the books I’ve ever read.  Maybe next time I’ll write about my next 5, that would make up my top 10 favorite books.  But for now I’ll leave you with these.  Have you read any of these? Do any of them make your top 5?  Let me know what your top 5 favorite books are, I’d love to know 🙂