What are your all time favorite books?

NPR announced this week the finalists for their best ever YA fiction poll. Everyone has ten votes. (The full printable list of finalists is also available.) I’ve submitted my votes but as I narrowed it to ten, it got me thinking about my all-time favorites.

I have a revolving list of my top-five books. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta, A Little Wanting Song and/or Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, A Room With a View by E. M. Forster, Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli and Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones are all common members of that list. Carolyn McCullough, Justina Chen, Scott Westerfeld and Sarah Beth Durst are also regular occupants.

For the poll in question my votes went to:

  1. Abhorsen Trilogy / Old Kingdom Trilogy (series), by Garth Nix (literally nothing to fault in this series)
  2. Fire and Hemlock, by Diana Wynne Jones (total no brainer–maybe my favorite book of all time)
  3. Graffiti Moon, by Cath Crowley (my favorite read of 2012 so far)
  4. Grave Mercy, by Robin LaFevers (not for everyone but the more I think about this one the more I like it)
  5. Leviathan (series), by Scott Westerfeld (my favorite new series)
  6. Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins (my second favorite 2012 read)
  7. Saving Francesca, by Melina Marchetta (no brainer–if I could have, I would have voted for all of her other books on the poll too)
  8. The Queen’s Thief (series), by Megan Whalen Turner (I, like many of my friends, am obsessed with this series. It is everything you could ever want in a series. Ever.)
  9. Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly (also not for everyone but gosh it’s brilliant)
  10. The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater (no brainer–my favorite read from last year)

If I had more slots my votes also would have included:

  • Anne of Green Gables (series), by Lucy Maud Montgomery (I loved this series but it doesn’t need my love–we all know it’s good)
  • Earthsea (series), by Ursula K. Le Guin (I have problems with the later books but A Wizard of Earthsea was like my Harry Potter. It’s why I write. It’s why I love fantasy. It also is already really popular all on its own.)
  • The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (series), by Patricia C. Wrede (Don’t even talk to me about the last book.)
  • Harper Hall Trilogy (series), by Anne McCaffrey (Again, a classic that will get lots of play with or without a win)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones (Can’t have an author appear twice with only ten slots)
  • If I Stay, by Gayle Forman (I actually should have voted for Where She Went but I ran out of slots.)
  • Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta (My list can’t be all Melina Marchetta and Diana Wynne Jones.)
  • Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli (I don’t consider this one YA but I do love it. Since it’s already canon anyway, I think it will be fine. If Love, Stargirl had been in the poll my decision would have been harder.)

But that’s just me. What about you?

Do you have a perpetual top five favorite books or authors? What books would you pick from the NPR poll?

4 thoughts on “What are your all time favorite books?

  1. Thanks for posting about this poll! I listen to npr in my car, but I hadn’t heard about it.

    I picked:

    1.) Anne of Green Gables -just started reading the series this year…how did I live without it?
    2.) Crank- not a book I would have normally read, but I won a copy, and I so surprised how well done and eloquent a book about addictive could be.
    3.) Delirium- I just like it :)
    4.) Harry Potter – ditto
    5.) The Hunger Games – ditto
    6.) I Capture the Castle – ditto
    7.) The Last Unicorn- really underrated, it was my intro to fantasy
    8.) The Perks of Being A Wallflower- took me back to the ’90s, I loved the ’90s
    9) The Princess Diaries- I discovered Meg Cabot’s books a few months after my dad died and the humor in her writing really helped me through that time.
    10.) Twenty Boy Summer- I don’t read a lot of girly contemporary, but this one was really moving.

    If I’d had more votes I’d picked:
    To Kill A Mockingbird (even though I kinda consider this general fiction and not YA, oh well)
    Howl’s Moving Castle
    The Absolute True Diary of a Part-time Indian
    Treasure Island

    There are a lot of noms that I haven’t read, all and all this proves that I need to read more!

    1. Good choices and good point Yvonne. A lot of the books listed were ones I’ve been meaning to read or have heard about but just haven’t had a chance to actually read yet.

  2. Great picks! I absolutely loved Revolution. I just read it a few weeks ago and I was so hesitant about reading it but I loved it! I’ve had The Scorpio Races for a while. I guess I should really pick it up and actually read it! :)

    1. Yeah Revolution was not what I expected in a lot of ways but with the great writing and compelling story it won me over right away. And you MUST pick up The Scorpio Races–it’s truly wonderful.

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