Hello dear reader and welcome back. Belle and I have decided that the next few posts should be dedicated to our top ten favorite books and our top five favorite book series at this point in our lives. We figured that it would be a good way for you to get to know our reading styles and for us to make some suggestions to our readers in case you have not heard of any of these stories. So without further ado, I present to you my top ten favorite books.
10. Lore Olympus
I know that I’m starting this list off with a controversial pick but hear me out. For those of you who don’t know, Lore Olympus is a web-comic created by Rachel Smythe. It is a re-imagining of Greek mythology in general, however, it focuses heavily on the relationship of Persephone and Hades.
Many of you are probably thinking “but there is no actual book copy of this story and also it’s a comic”. To you, I would say that there is soon to be a physical copy of part of this story, which I am excited to get my hands on: even though I cannot see the detail, I find the art to be beautiful. I too used to be a “graphic novels and comics aren’t books” person. As time has gone on, however, I realize that just because there is mostly artwork in a book, this doesn’t mean that there is less story there.
The reason I love this story is that not only is it a re-imagining of the original myths (which I adore), but I find it extremely interesting to see what Rachel has changed so that they are a little more palatable to the norms of today. If you know the myths, you know that the major Greek gods and goddesses are siblings and that Persephone is Hades’s niece. In general, there is a lot of incest relationships in Greek mythology. However, Rachel has re-imagined it so that it appears that only Zeus, Hades, and Posideon are related. This leaves it open so that there aren’t the icky relationships that the original myths show. Also in the original myths, Persephone is taken against her will to the Underworld by Hades. In this version, she is there of her own will. I, for one, find it fascinating that you can make these sorts of huge changes and it still stays true to the spirit of the myths. I highly suggest you check it out if you are interested in Greek mythology.
9. The Starless Sea
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern is the next book on the list. This book is one of the few on this list where I went into a “reading hangover” afterward because the world that was created was so intense. I don’t want to spoil this one too much because I think this is one book that you should go into blind, but I will say that if you like magical worlds where everything seems to be interconnected in some way then this is the book for you.
8. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
So this is the first book on this list that I had to read back when I was in high school and it struck a chord with me. This book by Douglas Adams was one that I had to read at the end of my senior year of high school. It was a really good book to read at this time in my life because of all the mixed feelings one has when they are getting ready to graduate. I am grateful to my AP Lit teacher for choosing this to be one of the last ones we read. For those of you who have not read this, the randomness and absurdity of some of the situations in this book make it a really fun read. It is one that I recommend if you are looking for something that will make you laugh when you feel like a lot of things are spinning out of control.
So this book is one that I was able to finish after going through a pretty significant reading slump. Anthony Horowitz is the author of this book. If you can’t tell by the title, this book is a bit of a retelling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works. Again this is another book that you should go into blind. All I’ll say is that the twist is one that I quite enjoyed when I read it.
6. Pride and Prejudice
This is another work that I had to read for AP Lit in high school but is also one that I have reread several times now. Jane Austen’s work doesn’t need much introduction and explanation due to its position as a classic. I know you may be wondering why this book is on my list and not just on Belle’s. I read this book long before Belle developed her love for the classics (there is a pretty sizable age gap between us). Also, this seems to be the only true classic that I have fully enjoyed. If you are looking for a classic that is very engaging to read, this would be my recommendation.
5. The Martian Chronicles
This book by Ray Bradbury is another book from high school. However, this one I had to read much earlier than my senior year. This is the actual first book that I ever had to read for school that I enjoyed. This is an anthology of different stories about Martians and humans going to Mars and how they end up affecting the planet. It is a haunting story that makes you think about humanity and how we treat the places where we live.
4. The Lost Symbol
In this book by Dan Brown, we again meet Robert Langdon as he goes on yet another adventure and tries to stop those who are trying to endanger the world in one way or another. A few things that I should address. As much as I love the books that are in the “series”, I do not count them as a series of books. To me, each book is a self-contained story and they don’t build off each other. There may be references to previous events but you don’t necessarily have to read the books to understand what is going on. That is why you won’t find these books in my top five series list that is coming out later.
The reason that this book is my favorite out of all the others is since I was intrigued by the references to American history and the Freemasons. Admittedly, I do not know a lot about world history so being able to connect the dots back to things that I know was a nice change when reading this book.
3. Howl’s Moving Castle
This novel by Diana Wynne Jones does have some differences between the movie of the same name. However, this is one case in which both the book and the movie stand on their own and I cannot recommend both highly enough. However, we aren’t here to talk about the movie so we will get back to the book. There is one scene in the book that makes me giddy every time I read it. If you ever read it yourself, it is in the chapter titled “In Which Sophie Expresses Her Feelings with Weed Killer.”
Even though this is another book that I have reread several times at this point, I will say there are still some things that confused me. Especially when you get to the end it can feel a bit disjointed. All in all, this book is one to read and if you are looking for a fun fantasy story that is easy to read, then I highly recommend you check this book out.
2. The Book Thief
This is yet another story that I have read multiple times. Markus Zusak created a story that was both beautiful, gritty, and tragic all at the same time. I do not typically read much fiction set around The Holocaust. However, this story is the one exception that I will make. I love the perspective from which this story is told. It was one of the first books to read where I was taken in by this subversion of the narrator. The ending gets me every single time I read it. I know a lot of people critique this book because of how it can feel like it is going in circles at times. However, I never really noticed this being a problem to me. If anything I think it helps the story overall but that’s my opinion. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a beautiful story that will make you cry.
1. The Night Circus
The top book on my list is another book by Erin Morgenstern. The world in this book is so beautifully crafted and the story, even though it’s a slow burn, is wonderfully told. This is the one fictional world in which I wish that I could live. I believe that this book is the closest thing to walking through a dream. For those of you who don’t know this story, I don’t want to ruin your experience with it so all I’ll say is that if you want a book that makes it difficult to come back to reality then this is the one for you.
Thank you for reading along as I talked about my top ten favorite books. I hope that you have found a new book to look into from this list. Please let us know some of your favorites as well. Both Belle and I like to see people talking about the books they love. Tune in next time for one of Belle’s top book lists. Until next time dear reader.