Recently, I was nominated by a friend on Facebook to list my top 10 favourite books.
This got my brain going, but I quickly realized that it’s incredibly difficult to narrow down my favourites to less than a dozen. On average, I would say that I read anywhere between 75 and 100 books in a year – sometimes more.
I read everything. My go-to favourite genre is definitely historical fiction, and I read as much of it as I can get my hands on. But thrillers and “whodunit” suspense novels are also great for a weekend at the lake, and you really can’t go wrong with a good girlie book on a cozy weekend at home.
After thinking about it long and hard, I have put together a list of my favourites – as of right now. Ask me again in a year, because this list is ever changing…
#10: Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. Published in 1891, this “tragedy” was years before its time. It’s a book I go back to every few years, but it’s not a happy read (so if you’re looking for a pick-me-up, this is NOT the book…).
#9: The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I just recently re-read this series, and highly recommend it – whether you’re a child or adult. Learning about pioneer times as a young girl really sparked my interest in history, and Wilder tells the stories so well!
#8: The Dr. Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell. I will admit that some of her more recent novels in the series don’t have the same “wow” factor as the earlier ones, but they are still definitely worth reading.
#7: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. I picked this book up on a whim last fall, and I’m so glad I did because the story is truly incredible. Krakauer is a journalist on assignment, which was supposed to be about climbing Mount Everest. Instead, he writes about a horrible disaster that leaves seven people dead – including his guide.
#6: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. This is one of those novels that really left an impression on me. It chronicles the years Ernest Hemingway spent with his first wife, Hadley Richardson, from the time they met until their divorce. The best part? The story is told from Hadley’s perspective.
#5: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. This is another oldie but goodie. I read it at least once a year – sometimes more often if I can swing it – and usually follow with the film adaptation (the Kiera Knightley version, of course!).
#4: The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory. Known as the author of The Other Boleyn Girl, Gregory has written about a dozen other historical fiction novels – including the above about Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s first wife. My favourite is The Constant Princess, as it sheds some light on the life of a truly remarkable woman.
#3: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. This novel is dark, it’s eerie and it is absolutely one of my favourites. I read it around Christmas every year (don’t ask me why), and it’s a tragic story about how love can endure the most awful circumstances. It’s also a story about how that love can drive a person mad.
#2: The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. If I had to choose, I would definitely say that Outlander – the first book in this tremendous series – is my favourite. But, I usually read them together, in order, once a year.
And #1 goes to: Middlemarch by George Eliot. This book will always be my favourite, because of the way the author writes about relationships. Her plot is relatable to everyone – no matter when you read it. The book was published in the 1870s, but it could have been written today.