Top Ten Tuesday Rewind: My All-Time Favorite Books

Posted April 19, 2011 by in Top Ten Tuesday / 10 Comments

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s TTT is a rewind, to give those of us who may not have participated in past TTT’s a chance to share our lists now.

I’ve decided to list my all-time favorite books, although I’m going to cheat a little:  some of my favorite books are actually a whole series, but I am going to count them as one book here (otherwise my list wouldn’t consist of ten books, it would be more like forty).

These are my top ten all-time favorite books (in no particular order–except for the first one–because that is just too hard):

The Handmaid's Tale1.  The Handmaid’s Tale — Margaret Atwood
I first read this book as a teenager when my mother had to read it for a college course she was taking.  Atwood immediately became one of my favorite authors, and I have read this book probably three or four more times since then.

2.   The Dark Tower series — Stephen King
This is my favorite series ever.  I am not a huge fan of King’s horror books (I’m not a huge fan of horror, period) but this series is like nothing he has ever written before or since.   It is more Science Fiction/Fantasy (I don’t know that it can be neatly fit into a certain genre), and it is amazing.  I would love to reread it at some point, after I’ve gotten through the monster TBR pile I have going now.

3.  The More Than Complete Hitchhiker’s Guide — Douglas Adams
I have read this series three times?  Maybe four?  Every time I reread it, I laugh just as much as I did when I read it the first time.  This book will never get old to me.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings4.  Maya Angelou’s memoirs, starting with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
I finally read this entire series last year, after reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings years ago.  Wow.  Angelou is an amazing woman who has had one heck of a life.  She’s inspiring, tough, tender and funny.  These are by far the best memoirs I have ever read.

5.  The Lacuna — Barbara Kingsolver
Prior to this book being published, my favorite book by Kingsolver was The Poisonwood Bible.  The Lacuna has taken that book’s place.  I thought The Lacuna was so great that I have recommended it to everyone I’ve come across since I read it last year.  I am completely in love with it.

6.  The World According to Garp — John Irving
For those of you who follow my blog, or pay attention to what I’m reading when I post about it on Twitter, you will know that I just read this book last month.  I cannot believe I waited so long to read it.  I loved it.  There are few books that will really make you go through every emotion when you read them, but this is one of those books.  I was entirely sucked in by it.

Walden7.  Walden — Henry David Thoreau
I try to read this once a year.  I am so in love with the idea of living simply and peacefully.  No TV.  No phone.  Just me, some good books and the calming sounds of nature.  But I have to be honest:  I love nature, but from a distance.  I can do without a TV and a phone, but I could never live in a cabin without running water, a nice bathroom and something to keep the bugs away.  Haha!  So I read this and live it through Thoreau.  It’s a great book.

8.   Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles
I have read quite a few books/series about vampires, but Anne Rice’s books take the cake.  I have yet to find someone who can turn being such an evil monster into something so desirable and truly romantic.  (Forget Stephenie Meyer… she doesn’t even come close.)  Rice is a fantastic writer and once I started this series, I couldn’t stop until I’d read the whole thing.  I will definitely be rereading these in the future, as well.

9.  White Oleander — Janet Fitch
I love the characters in this book.  Especially the mother.  Enough said.

10.  The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates, 1973-1982
I can’t exactly put my finger on why I liked this book so much.  I read it last summer and devoured it.  JCO is a very private person, so even in her journals she doesn’t give too much of herself, but what she did write down touched me in some way that I have a hard time explaining.   I really wish I could get my hands on the rest of her journals.

So, there you have it.  Those are my all-time favorite books at this moment.  With all of the books I will be reading in the future, I’m sure this list will change dozens of times, but at least five of them will always remain.

I would love for you to share your favorite books with me, so leave a comment and let me know…  I’m always looking for new recommendations.  Happy reading!



  • I just finished reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy last week and it is my new favorite!!!!!! I can laugh just thinking about it. Wonderful list. Handmaid’s Tale is very memorable, too.

    • I actually waited so long to see the Hitchhiker’s Guide movie because I was afraid it wouldn’t do the book justice, but it was pretty good! I’m glad you read it!

  • I read The Handmaid’s Tale and I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings in college. Very memorable books. Maya Angelou actually came to my college for a poetry reading. I did not know how significant she was at the time. I have always been glad that I went.

    • Oh, wow. I am so jealous. It’s great that you were a part of that.

  • I never knew the journals of Joyce Carol Oates were published-that sounds like a must-have. Good list!

    • I think the one I have listed is the only one that was published. I think. The rest of her journals are housed at Syracuse University. I’d love to get my hands on them.

  • Great list with lots of variety. I love Handmaid’s Tale. However, I’ve never been able to like Walden. Maybe it is time to give it another shot.

    Here is my list

    • I really like the ideas of Thoreau, Emerson and some of the other Transcendentalists. Civil Disobedience is another of Thoreau’s works that I enjoy reading.

  • How could I not know that you’re an Anne Rice fan…or have we discussed it before? She is my favorite author and Queen of the Damned is my favorite book. I’ve read it FOUR times! I’ve read Interview, The Vampire Lestat, and Tale of the Body Thief twice. If you can believe it, I’m still not finished with the series. I left off with Memnoch the Devil and I’ve also read Pandora from the new tales of the Vampires. I think I told you that I’m not big on reading series’ books one right after another, which is why I haven’t finished them yet. I do own all of her books, including her Jesus books and her new Songs of the Seraphim series, and I really need to pick up the next one in the Vampire chronicles, The Vampire Armand. Have you read her Mayfair Witches series? I loved The Witching Hour, but was not fond of the second and third books, Lasher and Taltos, although you have to read them if you want to know how the story ends. Another favorite is The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned. It’s an excellent stand alone novel.

    I also loved White Oleander. Janet Fitch holds a special place in my heart because she shares a last name with my beloved high school English teacher, Mrs. (Pat) Fitch. I credit her with sparking my passion for historical fiction.

    Can you believe I haven’t read The Handmaid’s Tale? Another one I own and have not read. I need to correct that forthwith!

    • We have had a conversation about how bad the Queen of the Damned movie was. I also read the first book in the series about Jesus, but couldn’t get into it. I haven’t read the Mayfair witch series. I actually got so into the Vampire Chronicles that I read them straight through without stopping or reading anything else in between. I was so sad when I got to the end of the last one and it was over. And as much as I respect her decision, I was heartbroken when she announced that she’d no longer be writing those kinds of books.