All Time Favorite Books

Looking for some books to add to your reading list? Here is a list of books from all different genres that you WILL love!

These are books that have stuck with me for years. Some of these are young adult fiction or even children's books but the stories have stayed with me for most of my life. Like friends. Reading has long-time been one of my favorite activities, just getting lost in a an amazing plot and getting pulled in by the characters thrills me. No matter what was happening in life, these books and their inhabitants have always been there for me.

The Beautiful and Damned

 by F. Scott Fitzgerald

: This was my first peek into the writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald, I read it the summer after ninth grade and was immediately pulled into the struggles of day-to-day life of Anthony and Gloria Patch. As this New York City couple awaits an inheritance from Anthony's grandfather, they spend their time living recklessly and struggling with money and alcoholism. Fitzgerald explores the rich, young, and careless socialites of The Jazz Age, giving us a glimpse into the dark depths of society.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

 by Betty Smith

: My edition of this classic novel was printed in 1943 meaning it belonged to my great-grandmother and then my grandmother (she was born in '44). This is one of my favorite coming-of-age stories following the life of Francie Nolan as she grows up in the slums of Williamsburg. The reader follows the day to day life of Francie and her family as they struggle to survive through heartaches and uplifting moments, showing us what growing up was like over sixty years ago. Every young women should read this story and even grown-women should reread it as a wonderful reminder of the growing up years.

The Moment of Psycho

 by David Thomson

: In case you don't know, I am an avid classic movie watcher and one of my favorites in the classic movie world is Alfred Hitchcock. I've studied Hitchcock films and watched them over and over and over. I might be 

too

 into Hitchcock films. 

The Moment of Psycho

 is one of the best books I've read on Hitchcock and his films. Thomson dives into the making of the notorious 

Psycho

, a movie no Hollywood big-wig supported the famed director in making, that broke all of the constrictions previously set. 

Psycho

 was made in only a few months, it's star dies in the beginning, and does not have a happy ending (which movie-goers were used to at the time). Hitchcock even changed the way people viewed the movie in theaters. Thomson shows us, as the reader, how Hitchcock changed the way films are made and viewed today.

The Mystery of the Ivory Charm

 by Carolyn Keene

: I picked this book to represent all of the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories because it was the first one I grabbed off my bookshelf. I've been reading Nancy Drew stories for as long as I can remember and most of the books that I had were my great-grandma's, my grandma's, and my mom's and someday they'll be my girl(s)'s. First written in 1930, the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories have been loved generation to generation and also ghost written by many authors. Who is Nancy Drew? She is an amateur detective, following in the footsteps of her lawyer father, Carson Drew, who has a heart for helping those in need. Nancy's adventures take her all over her fictional town of River Heights, surrounding towns, as well as daunting New York City. Along the way she and her cohorts work to solve dangerous puzzles that often get them into sticky situations such as kidnapping, car chases, and judo moves. I still reread this childhood favorite, although now I can finish them off in about an hour, but regardless I still find them exciting.

excerpt from

Inkspell

Inkspell

by Caroline Funke

: This is the second book in the

Inkheart Trilogy

 but I actually skipped reading Inkheart (the first book) and have never read Inkdeath (the third). Yes, it was a bit confusing the first time I read it since it's the second in a trilogy but the characters and plot were so enthralling I pushed through and by the third time everything made sense to my Seventh Grade brain. The novel takes place in a world where books, and their peoples, come to life and can be "read" in and out of stories. In the first novel, Dustfinger, a fire-eater from The Inkworld, was read into a strange and different world, leaving behind his wife and children. In

Inkspell

 he finds a deceptive storyteller who is able to read him back into his world of origin, but in the new world, he a became acquainted with a young boy, Farid, also torn out of a story, who became his apprentice. When Dustfinger escapes back to his homeland, leaving Farid behind, Farid searches for the one family who can get him back with his teacher in The Inkworld, Meggie and Mo. This thrilling adventure is truly the definition of a spellbinding story with all of the twists with each page turn. If you're a fan of adventure, love, loyalty, wonderful words, and danger this is a wonderful book. And just because you're an adult, doesn't mean you can't pick up this book.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

 by Kim Edwards

: I read this book in middle school, although it is an adult-level book and I remember it bringing me to tears on my first read through. This family drama follows a doctor and his wife, beginning the day their twins are born. What should have been a wonderful day turned out to be horrific to the family. One of the twins, a girl, was born with down syndrome and the doctor decides to have the nurse take the baby to an Institution and tell his wife that they lost one of the twins instead. The nurse instead keeps the child and raises her as her own, loving her like her own, unbeknownst to the doctor. The story follows the lives of both the families, and their connection from the decision the doctor made on one fateful night. This is a beautiful story that everybody should read, it's heart-wrenching but heart-warming and written to perfection.

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

 by E. L. Knoigsburg

: Written in 1967, this young adult novel follows the adventures of Claudia and her youngest brother Jamie. Claudia is a resourceful young girl who lives in a comfortable, well-taken care of home outside of New York City but despite life's amenities she feels suffocated and decides to runaway and invites her little bother Jamie to join her, only because he's better with money and the only brother she can stand for long periods of time. Where would a young girl and her brother runaway to? Naturally to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Once they establish their routine of hiding in the museum at night and learning from it during the day (Claudia simply would not let their minds turn to mush because they ran away) they discover a mystery behind a statue that was said to be a lost work of the famous artist Michelangelo. This mystery leads them to the doorstep of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler who reveals the truth to the two young adventurers. This book has been passed down in my family and is pretty beat up with a missing back cover and just yesterday as I prepared this post, the front cover came detached. But I love it and reread this adventure at least once a year, it's the kind of adventure every kid dreams of taking.

Taken at the Flood

 by Agatha Christie

: I chose this book to represent all of Agatha Christie's novels. I love all of her books and I am on a mission to read every single one of them. And there are a lot. The mysteries Christie concocted are captivating and most of them seem so "common," making them absolutely chilling stories. Each character Christie created is unique and unforgettable: Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Tommy and Tuppence, and many more. I will always view Christie as the Queen of Mysteries and any mystery or classics reader needs to include Christie's novels on their 

Books To Read 

list. Some of my other Christie favorites: 

Murder in Mesopotamia

And Then There Were None

Murder at the Vicarage

, and many more.

The Book Thief

 by Markus Zusak

: Now a major motion picture, this is yet another book that I read in seventh or eighth grade (I picked out some good reads in middle school...I was going through some anxiety issues and these were my source of escape). The novel takes place in 1939, in Germany. It's the time when Nazis are burning non-propaganda books but to young Liesel, this is unacceptable. She begins stealing books, saving their lives, and with the help of her foster father she learns to read and to love the books. Not only did Liesel own forbidden books, her foster family is in even more danger as they are hiding a Jewish man in their basement. This intense, enduring story pulls the reader into Liesel's little world through the hopes and dreams and adventures of this young girl.

High Society

 by Donald Spoto

: Grace Kelly is one of my favorite women of the past. She was talented, humorous, well-loved, and just beautiful. 

High Society

, named after one of her films as well as the life she lived, is my favorite Grace Kelly biography I have ever read (and I have read many). Spoto promised Princess Grace that he would wait 25 years after her death to publish this memoir of her life, and he kept his promise. Spoto shares never-before-published interviews and quotes as well as the deepest, darkest secrets of Her Serene Highness of her life before royalty. Grace Kelly grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with three siblings (two older, one younger) in the high society of Philly. She grew up to became a well-loved actress in Hollywood, working with some of the biggest stars of her time including Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, and Alfred Hitchcock. At age 26 she left her successful Hollywood career to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco where she took up royal duties and raised a family. She died in 1982 of injuries sustained in a car accident. Spoto takes a wonderfully intimate look at the life of this Hollywood and Real-Life Royal.

excerpt from "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" found in Collected Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Collected Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald

 by F. Scott Fitzgerald

: In his time, F. Scott Fitzgerald was known for his short stories, although today he is mostly known for writing 

The Great Gatsby

. Each of Fitzgerald's short stories explore the heartaches, triumphs, failures, dangers, and realities of society in the 20's and 30's. Each story is full of amazing words and phrases, you should see how much I have highlighted/underlined/circled in each and every story, that take you back to a time of glamour and struggle. Some of my favorite stories in the collection are "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," "The Ice Palace," and "The Jelly Bean."

Sold

 by Patricia McCormick

: Although this is sold in the young adult section at bookstores, the content is very much adult-themed but a book that all young adults (upper high school levels) 

need

 to read. 

Sold

 is written almost like a diary, each chapter is barely more than a page long, and written as Lakshmi, the main character, speaks. Lakshmi is thirteen, living in a small village in Nepal with her mother, baby brother, and abusive step-father. Her step-father sells her to a visiting women who says she will get Lakshmi a job as a maid in the city as a way to support her family and her step-fathers gambling habits. The women instead takes the young girl to a brothel where Mumtaz, who rules the cruel house, holds back much of the paltry wages Lakshmi makes being abused and raped by the brothel's clients. The many violent and gruesome seasons paint a horrific picture of this all too common reality. This novel presents the world with the realities that young women have to face day-to-day and brings to light the issue of human sex trafficking. It is a truth we cannot hide from.

excerpt from

MWF Seeking BFF

MWF Seeking BFF

 by Rachel Bertsche

:

MWF Seeking BFF

 follows the author's year-long search for a true BFF in her hometown of Chicago. Through her search she meets numerous characters, learns new skills, tries new foods, and goes out of her comfort zone in order to meet more ladies on her "girl-dates." Bertsche shares the comical adventures of her 52 girl-dates along with the latest social research on making new friends as an adult. Her light and humorous writing shares with us the truth that most married women are afraid to admit: "Popualr culture has made it okay to yell 'I want a man!' from the rooftops, so why are we still embarrassed to say, 'I want a best friend'?"

What are your favorite books? Have you read any of my favorites? Reading is such an important thing in my life and it should be important in everybody's life. It expands your horizons, teaches you new things, and helps your escape from reality. One of my

20 Before 21 Goals

is to read

at least

 one book per month but I'll probably read more, I already have this month. Reading at least one book per month should be everybody's goal, trust me, you won't regret it!

Love,

Abby