Top Ten Countdown: Books

Want to know which books are the best ever written?

Which ones you should absolutely make an effort to read at all costs before you die?

Out of the kindness of my heart, I have made a Top Ten for you!

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10. The Hobbit

 

Honestly, if J. R. R. Tolkien had not gone on to write The Lord of the Rings, I don’t know that I would have included this on my list.

But he did.

So let’s not depress ourselves with thoughts of a world without Frodo, alright?

My point is, I’m not sure if I added this to list solely because I love The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit is its adorable prelude, or because it can stand on its own.

Personally, I think it can. 

Yes, it’s simplistic. Childish, even.

After all, Tolkien wrote it for children.

But as some of you know, I am an advocate of teenagers and adults reading children’s literature. There are so many gems we would miss out on if we obeyed the dictates of labels like “YA” and “adult” and “children’s lit.”

I say read kid’s books. There’s almost always something in there for you.

The Hobbit is no exception.

Not only is it fun and lighthearted, but it is truly beautiful in its simplicity.

9. Go Set A Watchman

Yes, this made it on the list.

Even though I wrote an entire post on why I hated it after reading it the first time.

But, ultimately, I love Scout – or Jean Louise. I love Atticus. I love Jem. And Uncle Jack. I love Maycomb County. I love Harper Lee’s blunt prose and dry wit and looking at the world through her unique – almost cynical – lens.

8. Gone With The Wind

I feel almost embarrassed, putting this here. Like maybe it doesn’t quite belong?

For one thing, it’s a well-known romance. Not normally my thing.

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For another, it’s huge. Like The Lord of the Rings huge. Like Les Miserables huge. They paid those guys per-word, right? No wonder they’re a thousand-plus pages long.

Not to mention dense and, at times, quite boring. Gone With The Wind, that is. Be not offended, lovers of Lord of the Rings and Les Mis!

But it rocked my world. And for a book to do that, there has to be something special about it.

7. The Hunger Games Trilogy

I know, I know. This is a bit of a copout. I’m sorry.

I just… can’t separate these three books.

I love them as a whole.

The Hunger Games I loved by itself.

Catching Fire? Eh, notsomuch.

Mockingjay is… well, Mockingjay is a different matter altogether.

But all three? Together?

Perfection.

6. Little Women

What a beautiful picture of family, of childhood, of home, of friendship, of sisterhood, of love.

I come from a large family myself, so I can relate, on so many levels.

According to modern readers, Little Women breaks a great many rules. Like the one about infodumping. Remember that one?

They would probably say that it has no cohesive plot, that there is nothing holding the story together, and that it has no point. That Alcott rambles.

That might be true.

But I reject these criticisms.

This story is true, if nothing else. Alcott has captured the heart of a family in a way that I believe no one else ever has.

And if you can’t appreciate that, you’re not a critic worth having.

This heartwarmingly simple story rings true. And that is enough.

5. North To Freedom

More popularly known by the name I Am David, I saw the movie by the same name long before I knew that it was based on a book at all.

The movie is well crafted – and it features Jim Caviezel before he ceased to have some spark of life in him. So that’s certainly a win for everyone.

But I still maintain that a movie can never quite capture the essence of the book it is based upon.

And that’s okay. Books and movies that tell the same story can be appreciated as separate stories – and appreciated better than if we constantly compare the two.

However, I would hate to see anyone miss out on the amazing story that is the book, simply because they have watched the movie and so think that they have seen everything there is to see.

The book offers so much more.

4. Julie of the Wolves

Oddly enough, this is the only Jean Craighead George book that I like.

I read this book as a young girl – which, honestly, doesn’t mean that I recommend doing that; I read a great many books at a young age that little girls should not be reading – and have since read it over and over again as a teenager.

The raw beauty of this book is so gripping. Every emotion is a color, and the metaphors are breathtaking.

The way Miyax lives in harmony with nature is simply beautiful.

Can I be adopted by a wolf pack, please?

3. To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird, sadly, was not a book that I had the pleasure to grow up with.

I was vaguely aware that a book by such a title existed, but my knowledge did not extend much further than that.

Imagine my surprise and pleasure at meeting this amazing piece of literature.

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Actually, I thought the first chapter was boring and predicted hating the entire book.

Excuse while I go laugh maniacally at myself for a few moments.

Honestly, I don’t have sufficient words to accurately describe my feelings about this book.

It’s a classic for a reason, folks!

2. The Lord of the Rings

I think we can all agree that J. R. R. Tolkien was nothing short of a genius.

We may or may not be able to agree on whether he was not the most boring writer to have ever lived.

At nine years old, I struggled for six months to wade through The Lord of the Rings. So, at that time, I probably would’ve agreed with those of you who say that it’s too boring, too long, and you’d rather just watch the movie.

I would’ve rather watched the movie as well. It was the bitter disappointment of being told that I was not allowed that provided the impetus behind my reading it in the first place.

All these years later, I have read The Lord of the Rings over and over again and it has never been a waste of my time.

It is a truly beautiful book. Action, emotion, beauty, romance, history – it’s all there.


1. Till We Have Faces


I am not actually a fan of C. S. Lewis.

Now those of you who grew up reading The Chronicles of Narnia are disgusted with me.

And those of you who think he’s the boring author of books expounding upon Christianity  are beginning to think my opinion might be valid.

Not to mention that it is currently my favorite book.

Till We Have Faces is unlike anything else C. S. Lewis ever wrote. Obviously every author has a particular voice and there are moments that are clearly recognizable as classic Lewis.

But this is not a kid’s book. And certainly not nonfiction.

It’s actually a retelling. Of a Greek myth.

Pysche and Cupid, to be exact.

It would be better if you experienced for yourself, so I won’t say anything to try and convince you.

Discover it for yourself. Tell me what you think.

What is your favorite book? Have you read any of the books on this list? What did you think of them? Do you ever read kid’s books? Do you ever read books that are intended for an audience that you are not apart of?

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12 thoughts on “Top Ten Countdown: Books”

    1. IT IS VERY CONFUSING AT FIRST. I was only eight the first time I read it??? #Fail

      But if you love me at all you will give it another try some time and realize it is amazing and want to join me in petting it forever????

      Liked by 1 person

  1. 10. YES THE HOBBIT (Seriously, there are a bunch of books written for younger people that are amazing and should be read by all ages.) I HAVEN’T READ THE LOTR TRILOGY YET, BUT I WILL EVENTUALLY

    9. I haven’t read Go Set a Watchman, but I really want to. I absolutely adored To Kill a Mockingbird when I read it last year, so it’s only a matter of time.

    8. AHAHA YES GONE WITH THE WIND! It is super long, and I also don’t usually read romances, but I completely loved it. Even if I hated some of the characters at times… 😛

    7. I borrowed the last two books in the Hunger Games trilogy from a friend, and because someone else wanted to borrow them from the friend very soon after that, I sort of rushed through them. I don’t remember them as well because of that–though I really enjoyed the first one! (Also, before the Hunger Games ever existed, Little Kit used to have an obsession with pretending to be an archer who lived in the woods whenever she spontaneously performed a play. Which was often.)

    6. Little Women is one of the best books ever written, certainly. Who cares if it breaks those rules? Like you said, it’s heartwarming and amazing anyway. Besides, can I just say how much I love the fact that Jo didn’t end up with Laurie? (I know, I know, probably 75% of Little Women readers disagree with me.) I just really liked that Alcott didn’t make her marry her male childhood friend as would be assumed, since a lot of my best friends when I was younger were guys and people saying that me and X were in love or me and Y were in love annoyed. me. so. much.

    5. I’ve never read or heard of North to Freedom–what’s it about? I’m guessing slavery in the US and/or the Civil War, from the title.

    4. I haven’t read this book in a really long time; I probably read it when I was too young, too. I remember loving it, though, so I should probably re-read it.

    3. YES YES TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD IS FANTASTIC (and I may have to quote you on the “It’s a classic for a reason, folks!” line. That’s great and also totally true.)

    2. What you did with LotR was exactly what I did with Jane Eyre, haha. It took me a year to read it, although technically I didn’t really read any over the summer. That’s beside the point, though. I reeaaaallyyy need to read The Lord of the Rings trilogy sometime soon.

    1. I’ve heard of it, but I’ve never read it. The only C. S. Lewis I’ve read are the Chronicles of Narnia, but I’ve never actually finished the series. Now I’m frantically dodging spoilers and telling myself I’ll finish them someday, but I think I might know what happens in the end. But I hope it doesn’t. *adds Till We Have Faces to TBR*

    …that was a long comment, eep. But I agree with a lot of the books you have up there. 🙂

    Like

    1. FIRSTLY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: long comments are my favorite thing in the world – to not apologize for them or I may be tempted to hit you gently on the head with a brick (or maybe something softer??? I’m really not violent, I promise.)

      10. You muuuust read The Lord of the Rings!!! GO DO SO. IMMEDIATELY.

      9. As you could probably tell, I had somewhat mixed feelings about Go Set A Watchman. It was a complicated, difficult, and oddly emotional/nostalgic read for me. SO PREPARE THYSELF FOR THAT.

      8. Make that aaaalll the characters???

      7. Oh, you have to read the last two! Especially Mockingjay – it has become very special to me. 🙂 YAS THE FIRST BOOK IS PERFECTION IS IT NOT??? Come flail with meeee!!!

      6. Bahaha! That is liked my wail every time I read Little Women – “Whyyyyy did she reject Laurie???? Nooooo!” That said, I hear you: it would have been predictable and that can be annoying. But still. They were perfect for each other! And she’s like, “We’re too similar” and I’m like, “It worked for Anne and Gilbert, didn’t it?????”

      5. It takes place in post WWI Europe, actually. David is an eleven year old boy who escapes from a concentration camp and has to go to Denmark to be free. It. Is. Amazing. Go read it.

      2. Jane Eyre was rather dense at times, wasn’t it? What was it with those authors??? Again, YOU MUST READ THE LORD OF THE RINGS!!!!

      1. I actually am not a huge fan of The Chronicles series??? Don’t get me wrong, I think they are cute and funny. Just not… the best thing ever or anything. The Last Battle is my favorite – it’s the last book in the series??? So read that one if you can!

      Boooookssss!!! Thank you for flailing with me, Kit! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay! (And I totally agree with you. I won’t apologize for long comments again. XD)

        10. I’LL TRY TO READ IT OVER WINTER BREAK, IS THAT GOOD?
        9. I will. Hopefully I’ll survive without any significant damage to that very important thing called a “heart” that pumps blood through my body…
        8. Okay yes very very true. *wants to re-read GWTW now but is in the middle of NaNo, sooo*
        7. *falls over* buuut my adopted favorite character dies in Mockingjay and why did that have to happen ergh
        6. ANNE+GILBERT=YES. Completely. But isn’t Bhaer great, too? (Okay, he’s a little old, but he and Jo together are adorable. If you like musicals, and Little Women, you’ll love the Little Women Broadway musical with Sutton Foster, especially–well, all of it.)
        5. I love reading WWI and WWII books (saying that makes me sound like a horrible person but there are so many amazingly-written ones). I’ll definitely try to read it and after NaNo, I’ll check if it’s at my library.
        2. Dense indeed! I think we’ve just somehow evolved to have lighter reading. (If that’s true, though, books are pretty light as is. What on earth will happen in the future if books get lighter? Both topic/etc.-wise and physically… 0.0)
        1. I will read it all someday! Before I get spoilers, hopefully. I get what you mean, too. I remember liking them a lot, but it’s been a while and I don’t remember them particularly well.

        No problem! 😀 Books are fantastic beings that are wonderful to flail over, even if they might occasionally be disturbed by the amount of excitement over their peaceful souls.

        Scratch that. Did I seriously just describe books as peaceful?? They’re murderous feels that trap unsuspecting readers.

        Like

        1. Good! The brick threat always works!

          10. I AM CONTENT.

          7. Your adopted favorite character???? #bewildered And who might that be, may I ask??? (Whispers: FINNICK???? FINNICK IS MY SMOL SON… *distant weeping*)

          6. Gah, I didn’t know there was a musical!!!! I love musicals!!!! *dies*

          5. Agreed.

          4. Bahahaaha, yaaaas!!! Floating books ftw!!!!!

          *shakes fist at books* You shall pay for the damage you have done my poor heart!!!!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. 10. O.O I thought you meant the other meaning, CONtent as opposed to conTENT, and I was so confused for a moment. (Am I making any sense?)
            7. Prim. Rue was my favorite, until [SPOILER] happened. I adopted Prim because she was pretty similar, until, well, [SPOILER] happened. Sooo since I haven’t read the books in a while and it was near the end of the final one, I haven’t adopted anyone else to replace her. (Gosh, anyone reading this who hasn’t read those books, who are the people I’m trying not to spoil it for, probably think I’m doing a terrible job at it and already know what happened.)
            6. YES YES IT’S ON YOUTUBE GO LOOK IT UP NOW THERE’S A SOUNDTRACK WITH ALL THE SONGS AND BHAER IS JUST ADORABLE AND EVERYONE IS AMAZING AND EEEEE *is listening to it atm actually*
            4. XD

            The ironic thing is we (readers in general) don’t seem to stop reading, despite all our complaining. It’s a somewhat confusing (and PAINFUL) endless cycle.

            Like

            1. 10. Totally making sense! Sorry to be ambiguous there!

              7. Ahhhh. I didn’t like either one, personally, but Katniss’ reaction to [SPOILER] was so heartbreaking I almost/did cry.

              6. Squeee! I shall go forth and listen to it immediously (yes, thast is a word because I say so and I am ruler of all)!

              We be masochistic souls, I’m afraid…

              Liked by 1 person

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