Thursday, October 8, 2009

Top Ten Favorite Books

Top Ten Thursday Button

Gosh-I hardly know where to start, and I'll warn you, this post is kinda long. I just have so much to say about the books I love. I love to read. Love it so much that when I find a book I really like I will basically ignore the world that day and finish it all that same day. I love getting a brand new book and seeing all the pages I get to read. I'm always sad when I get to the end of a book---I get so excited to read a brand new story, and then it's over so soon! Anyway, now that I've revealed how much of a nerd I am (actually, it gets worse; just wait till you see the list) here are my top ten books.

10. True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Ruth E. Avi. I first read this book in fourth grade. Actually, my fourth grade teacher read it to our class and everyone, boys included, loved it. She read a lot of books to us and I had a hard time picking a favorite (Call it Courage, Banner in the Sky, Indian in the Cupboard series...all brilliant) but this one won out cuz I've re-read it the most. I even re-read it that same year with my mom. It's such an exciting book---seriously, all little girls should read this. And, I just found out it's being made into a movie. Yea!

9. The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss. Brilliant stories, fun words, silly rhyming. What's not to love? I'm not joking when I tell you my family quotes Dr. Seuss frequently (probly not hard to believe considering my blog name). I wrote a paper on the story/poem "Too Many Daves," in college. My brother sent us a picture from his mission of somebody wearing pale green pants like the ones in "What Was I Scared Of," and I still can't figure out why the south-going Zax didn't just let the north-going Zax leap-frog over him becuse that would've solved all their problems. It was hard to pick a favorite Dr. Seuss book, but since this one contained multiple stories it won out.

8. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. I love the stories Shannon Hale writes. The fairly tale aspects she includes are always something new to me and so fun to discover when I read her books. The places she writes about are described so well that it's easy to imagine them as you read along. And the mother figures in her books are such wonderful woman; strong and honest and supportive, really such great examples.

7. Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. One of my earliest memories is of my mom reading these books to me and my three older brothers. It was so fun to sit near her for a half hour or so and just enjoy these stories. Although, I'm fairly certain that my fear of panthers stems from these books cuz I remember Pa being chased by one in Little House in the Big Woods. I don't care if there aren't panthers near where I live, they're still scary! And I was always amazed at how much Almanzo Wilder would eat (Farmer Boy) and it always made me hungry.

6. The Goose Girl series by Shannon Hale. I just read the fourth one in this series last week and couldn't stop put it down. Seriously, I was almost tempted to miss the BYU football game I was so into it. But, since I knew I'd be meeting Pat, T and April, I decided to put the book down for awhile:) The characters in these books are so engaging and fun to read about. I think Shannon Hale did a wonderful job making these new stories from fairy tales. The last one, Forest Born, was so exciting and interesting. I think any girl age 10 and older should read these series.

5. The Work and the Glory series by Gerald Lund. I won't lie---I was obsessed with these books. As in, I've read them all multiple times. It truly was a big reason why I got so into Church History when I was younger. That doesn't mean that when I lived in Nauvoo I looked for Steed Row, or that I actually think Nathan went with Parley Pratt on his mission to Canada---I'm not that obsessed. But those stories made church history more alive to me.

4. Another series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. This books may have scored higher on my list if I had not just re-read #3 and #1; honestly, they're all interchangeably wonderful. Anyway, I had been talking about Twilight with my then-12 year old nephew and he told me about this new series that he really liked, even better that Twilight that he wanted me to read. I was kinda reluctant, but after he gave me the first book he kept texting to me to see if I had started it. Well, being the awesome aunt that I am, I finally started reading it on a road-trip I was taking with some friends. Coudn't put it down. LOVED it. Riordan did a great job making Greek mythology fun and engaging and I seriously laughed out loud in all five books. Multiple times. When I was reading it on the road trip, my friends kept asking me why I was smiling or laughing or whatever...I felt kinda nerdy when I showed them what I was reading, but I got over it. They are great books. I bought the fourth and fifth ones the day they came out and had them finished that same day. Shocker. I also shared them with a good guy friend last year, this one was 28 years old, not 12, and he also loves them.

3. Enna Burning by Shannon Hale. (I know-could I have more Shannon Hale books on here? Clearly, the woman is amazing.) I was assigned to read this book in an LDS Literature class I took my senior year at BYU. I'm not entirely postive (my last couple years there are kind of hazy) but I think it was taught by this woman's husband. If not, I know I took a class from him---just maybe not that class. Either way, I loved it. I loved the imagery, and the relationships in the story and how easy it was to cheer for the heroine. I didn't know at the time that it was part of a series---but this will always be my #1 favorite in that series cuz it was the first I read and I learned to love the characters through it.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I will ALWAYS love this book. It's one of the few I had to read in high school that I didn't hate. I love Scout and Jem's relationship, and I think Atticus is amazing. And have you seen the movie? Cuz that's just as wonderful. When I grow up I wanna be Miss Dubois; a mean old lady who sits on her porch with a gun on her lap and yells at little kids, "Don't you say 'hey' to me, you ugly little girl, you say 'Good afternoon, Miss Dubois.'" Classic. I wanted to put this book at number one so I appeared semi-scholarly, but I had to be honest...

1. Ella Enchanted by Gail Levine. SUCH a good book. It's so sweet and sincere and I just adore it. I could read it over and over...oh wait, I have. The movie was horrid! Seriously, the most awful attempt at book to screen I could imagine. I'm still angry about it. But, to calm the anger, I can always go back and re-read the book. The whole story just feels so genuine.

Alright, I kind of cheated with putting whole series on, but how could I pick a favorite?! And there are so many more I could include (Nancy Drew? Chronicles of Narnia? Not to mention the books that are in the back of my bookshelf---the ones I don't want anyone to know I own cuz they're so cheesy but I continue to re-read them semi-often). I also really enjoy reading biographies...but I usually don't re-read those once I've finished them and every single book on my top ten has been read by me multiple times. Except Forest Born, but that's cuz I just finished it last week.

Check out http://www.itsabeautyfilledlife.com for other Top Tens.

39 comments:

JennyMac said...

I always appreciate good book recs. Thanks for such a great list.

Kristina P. said...

My supervisor's name is Shannon Hale. I've never heard of any of her books.

And the only one I've read is To Kill a Mockingbird.

Oh, I did read the first two Work and the Glory books. They weren't my thing.

Melissa Bastow said...

I love Ella Enchanted!!!! I read it back in my pre-reading days (seriously, back then I would read a book a decade, if lucky) but Ella Enchanted was so good, I read it non-stop. And yes, the movie is nothing like the book - other than the names.

I also love the Percy Jackson series. And I plan on buying the whole set to let my kids read once they get old enough. And I hope that the movie they're coming out with does the series justice.

Kazzy said...

Looks like I got me some reading to do. :) My boys LOVED the PERCY JACKSON books!

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

I loved Ella Enchanted also. I shoud re read it. Also a big Dr. Suess fan. Great list, thanks for sharing.

sara said...

I hear you on the work and glory books. I totally feel like I owe anything I know about church history to those books. I Ella Enchanted for road trips. It's short enough to finish in one roundtrip.
Nice selection, but I feel slightly stupid that I've never heard of Shannon Hale. I'll have to look those up.

rychelle said...

next month is my turn to suggest the read at book club. i needed some good recommendations. thanks!

JD said...

pretty good list. top 10 of books or movies is a hard list to compile. i lack the courage to do so.

Rachel Sue said...

Apparently I'm going to have to get a hold of some Shannon Hale. And the other books look so interesting as well. The only one I've read is the Sneeches, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Ella Enchanted.

Homer and Queen said...

To Kill a Mockingbird is the only one I have read!!! Some good picks for McFly...are you coming to the BYU-UNLV game?

Jennifer said...

I haven't heard of any of these books - except the Dr. Seuss and Harper Lee! Crazy! I need to do a read - and who cares if one or two are at a 10 year old reading level? PERFECT! LOL! And wait. You're saying the book is better than the movie, Ella Enchanted? Woah. I looooved the movie! Now, I have to find the book!

Thanks for playing this week! :-)

Marcie said...

Now I really want to know what the cheesy ones are ... the ones you won't admit. Bring it on.

April said...

I LOVE To Kill A Mocking Bird! My all time favorite! I have never heard of any of the other books, but I have a new fav now because Melanie J recommended it, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Ohhh, The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck (the movie not so good). BTW, I'm glad you tore yourself away from your reading so we could meet up at half time!

Machen family said...

Love the Little House on the Prarie books, Kill A Mocking Bird and Dr. Seuss. My favorites include My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok, anything by Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein, and the Harry Potter series. It looks like I'm going to have to buy Ella Enchanted, I have heard a lot of good about that book.

The Kooky Queen--Rachel said...

I read all the Little House books but the time I was 10!!! I loooooooooooved them! I need to get them for my girls. :)

Chris and Sara Waldron said...

Great post! You make me want to go read right now. I totally agree with you on Ella Enchanted. LOVE the book, can't stand the movie. (At first I thought it was because it was the 3rd chick flick we watched on Christmas one year- after Cinderella Story and Princess Diaries 2). Also love To Kill a Mockingbird, Work and the Glory, Little House on the Prairie, anything Dr. Seuss. And I'm anxious to try the others! (By the way, why on earth was Belle of Nauvoo not on here?!)

April said...

Ok....correction, I have heard of the Little House on the Prairie series....yesterday was a loooong day AND I am blonde!

Sue Q said...

I loved the Little House books when I was a kid -- still do, of course, but when my sister and I read it as a kid, she decided when she grew up that she wanted to BE Laura Ingalls Wilder. She married a Uintah Basin farmboy, so I guess she got her wish! My favorite book out of the whole series is "Farm Boy" -- can you imagine ALL THAT FOOD, at every meal, every day? Wow.

annie valentine said...

Thank you thank you thank you.

wendy said...

I love books too and the sad thing, is now that I have started blogging, I have lessened (is that a word??) my reading time.
I have read those by Shannon Hale that you listed....so dang cute.
I do love Anne of Green Gables.......and Ride the Wind .......(can't remember the author, Lucia St. Clair??...a true story ficitionalized (is that a word) of a young girl captured by the Comaches and grew up married the Chief, had a son...Quannah Parker (who is documented in the annals (is that a word) of American Indian History. I love it love it!!!

Erin said...

I love to read. I wish my library had a bigger selection. I'll have to see what they have on this list...

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I've only read To Kill a MockingBird and the Work and the Glory Series from your top 10!

Apparently I need to get on top of it! Because I am an AVID reader!!!

Tiffany said...

Remember how Jennie Johnson's dad looks like Atticus Finch? Love that book. And Jennie's dad.
and did you have Mrs Jacobsen in 4th grade? And did you know that her 1st name is Mariba?? Interesting name. anyway...I'm thinking you and I were in 4th grade together but I don't remember these books! I remember that she read us Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing, but that's it. weird. I think I'm going to have to read Shannon Hale--never have before.
and don't feel weird. I've read the work and the glory each a million times too. :)
Good post!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

You have some really good ones on here! I love finding new books as well. I think I am going to have to check out Shannon Hale now!

R Max said...

I like Shannon Hale books too except for "The Actor and The Housewife" which totally made me wanna puke.
I've read all but the last of Percy Jackson and my Seuss fav is "The Lorax".

I could read all day everyday but my children won't let me.

T said...

my daughter is making a movie of the Pale Green Pants at her computer class!

Becca said...

Love your choices. I've read most of them and love them all. Now I have 2 more for you to try that you will for sure add to the list (and if not, I want to hear why!)
These is my Words (ahh, swoon, Captain Jack)
and
The Book Thief
Let me know what you think.

Smart Helm said...

I think you and I would get along. I loved almost all the books you listed. Shannan Hale is a gifted writer although I like her earlier books better. Book of a Thousand Days is AWESOME.

I LOVE YA cuz there is no gratuitous ess eee ex and its well written.

blueviolet said...

I LOVE To Kill a Mockingbird! I also love it on film. Now you're making me need to read it again!

JennyMac said...

Hi again. I have something for you. Put on your party shoes and come to my Sunday Night Awards Show.

Mayhem and Moxie said...

After reading this post, I have confirmed that we are in fact soul sisters. There isn't a single book on your list that I don't love and adore, Barbaloot.

Should we ever meet in real life, we will never run out of things to discuss.

-Francesca

Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...

Great books and great reviews. I'm a big reader too so I love hearing what other people like.
The thing I like about Shannon Hale is her books are great and she is great. I've been to a few of her signings and a book club with her and she's just so nice.
I'd love to reread a few of those on your list, and I've never read Little House on the Praire. But I own them now so I thought I'd read them to my daughter.

Machen family said...

The shot is from Pirates of Penzance with Kevin Kline!! The BEST. You must watch if you haven't already.
AND I went out to buy Ella Enchanted for Elise after your review

Buffy Dayton said...

Hi Barb, it's me, your long lost sis-in-law. I know it has been a while. I feel like I haven't even talked to you in FOREVER! Just wanted to say "Hi" and I miss you, and I like your book list, and don't go to my blog cause I STILL havent posted anything cause I am lazy, and are you coming for piano lesson tomorrow, and I love you, and did I mention I miss you, and your pretty, and my kids miss you, especially Mia....okay that is enough, thank you goodbye!

Emily said...

I can always look to you for a book that I know I'll like. Great taste you have!

Connie said...

I HAVE to read before I go to sleep. I have read all of
Shannon Hale's books. They're fun! Also the Little House on the Prairie, Mockingbird, Work & Glory...great list! Have you read anything by Leif Enger? He's good.
Happy Reading!

Boy Mom said...

Some great choices girl! I really liked Ella Enchanted, glad I didn't see the movie.

Shelley said...

I'm impressed with your list.
Like several before me, Little House On the Prairie provides me with great memories too.

Heidi Ashworth said...

sounds like I should check out this Shannon Hale chick. Sadly, it's either read books or read blogs. What's a girl to do?