I know I just said I’d be taking it easy on blogging until the New Year, BUT this is my 200th post and I’ve had this one in the works for a while.  I’ve made a list of my 200 (+more) most favorite books.  Just in time for your last-minute shopping.  Keep in mind that these were my favorites at the time I was reading them, which is why there are no modern books in the PB-YA categories.  Also, I didn’t provide links because I have no time to do that with only four days until Christmas.  I trust you all know how to use Google.  Finally, the books are in no particular order within categories except A Prayer for Owen Meany in the first one.  Owen would be my desert island book you see.


All-time Favorites

  1. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
  2. Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger
  3. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
  4. Mila 18, by Leon Uris
  5. Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  6. The Sixteen Pleasures, by Robert Hellenga
  7. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
  8. Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver
  9. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
  10. My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult


  1. Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
  2. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
  3. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
  4. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  6. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
  7. Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
  8. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
  9. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  10. Persuasion, by Jane Austen

Literary Fiction

  1. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Euginides
  2. Here on Earth, by Alice Hoffman
  3. Midwives, by Chris Bohjalian
  4. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
  5. The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd
  6. Behind the Scenes at the Museum, by Kate Atkinson
  7. Blue Shoe, by Anne Lamott
  8. The Flanders Panel, by Arturo Perez-Reverte
  9. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffeneger
  10. The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood
  11. The Lace Reader, by Brunonia Barry (I couldn’t keep this list to 10 no matter how hard I tried!)

Historical Fiction

  1. The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory
  2. The White Queen, by Philippa Gregory
  3. Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier
  4. Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse
  5. The Virgin Blue, by Tracy Chevalier
  6. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See
  7. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer
  8. Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden
  9. Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
  10. People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks

Romance/Chick lit

  1. Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon
  2. Otherwise Engaged, by Suzanne Finnamore
  3. Something Borrowed, by Emily Giffin
  4. Le Divorce, by Diane Johnson
  5. Good in Bed, by Jennifer Weiner
  6. The Promise, Danielle Steele
  7. The Godmother, by Carrie Adams
  8. Sushi for Beginners, by Marian Keyes
  9. Dancing on Thorns, by Rebecca Horsfell
  10. Love Walked In, by Marisa de los Santos


  1. Lord of the Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. Wicked, by Geoffrey Maguire
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
  4. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
  5. Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling
  6. The Hunger Games Trilogy (I realize that, technically, it’s dystopian, but I’m putting it here), by Suzanne Collins
  7. The Witching Hour, by Anne Rice
  8. The Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
  9. It, by Stephen King (Horror yes, but also, mercifully, fantasy)
  10. Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King


  1. Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris
  2. Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
  3. Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt
  4. The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls
  5. Naked, by David Sedaris
  6. Night, by Elie Wiesel
  7. A Year in Provence, by Peter Mayle
  8. The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner
  9. My Life in France, by Julia Child
  10. On Writing, by Stephen King

Picture Books

  1. Fox in Socks, by Dr. Seuss
  2. Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss
  3. Bartholomew and the Oobleck, by Dr. Seuss
  4. The Sneetches, by Dr. Seuss
  5. Eloise, by Kay Thompson
  6. The Poky Little Puppy, by Gustaf Tenggren
  7. Hansel and Gretel, Brothers Grimm
  8. Curious George, by H.A. Rey
  9. Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell Hoban
  10. The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter

Children’s Books/Middle Grade

  1. The Hundred Dresses, by Eleanor Estes
  2. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing/Fudge series, by Judy Blume
  3. The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White
  4. Ramona series, by Beverly Cleary
  5. Hurry Home Candy, by Meindert Dejong
  6. The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  7. James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl
  8. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, by Robert C. O’Brien
  9. My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George
  10. Pippy Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren

Adolescent/Young Adult

  1. Forever, by Judy Blume
  2. Deenie, by Judy Blume
  3. Blubber, by Judy Blume
  4. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
  5. Sweet Valley High series, by Francine Pascal
  6. The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
  7. That was Then, This is Now, by S.E. Hinton
  8. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
  9. Flowers in the Attic, by V.C. Andrews
  10. My Darling, My Hamburger, by Paul Zindel

Bonus Category: Spirituality

  1. The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle
  2. A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle
  3. Traveling Mercies, by Anne Lamott
  4. Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, by Marcus Borg
  5. The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagels
  6. Jesus and Buddha: the Parallel Sayings, by Marcus Borg
  7. Illuminata, by Marianne Williamson
  8. Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom
  9. The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch
  10. A Course in Miracles

Do you see any of your favorites on this list?

Categories: Authors, Books, Children's Books, Picture Books · Tags: , , ,



  1. You definitely got my attention when you put “200” and “books” in the same title! 🙂 And yeah, I’m definitely with you on a lot of these. Cool post! And congrats on your 200th.

  2. Hi, your blog was on the Jolly By Golly blogfest list, but your link didn’t work. I Googled it and found your blog. No blogfest post? Congrats on this being the 200th post, and Merry Christmas to you!!

  3. I don’t have time to digest your digest at the moment, but I’ll be back tomorrow to take a better look.

    Thanks so much!

    And Happy Post #200!!! Woot!

  4. I marked some of your historical fiction favorites as to-read on GoodReads. Thanks!

  5. Oooh! Great post Julie. And some great picks … I completely agree with A Prayer For Owen Meany! I will be gathering some ideas for my next book selection!

  6. Yes, I do see some favorites. Congratulations on your achievement!

  7. I have very similar reading tastes! Have you read The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson? Fantastic, that was #1 on my fave list for I believe 2008.

    • I haven’t read The Gargoyle, but I’ve had it on my wishlist at bookmooch forever. It’ll come up one of these days. I’ve heard from others that it is really good.

  8. Brilliant post! I really like the way you split your favourites up into categories. It’s a good way of doing it, and I think it’s very helpful to those who are interested in learning more about the books.
    I do see a few of my personal favourites on your list, and some by some of my favourite authors too.
    Congratulations on writing your 200th blog post! 🙂

  9. Blubber, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Huckleberry Finn. You do read a LOT!!!!!!!!!

  10. Wow that’s a big list. I have been meaning to read The Book Thief and The Time Travellers Wife for ages. Must get to that soon. I haven’t read Eat, Pray Love but I did watch the movie of it the other day, very good.

    Happy Christmas Julie, all the best.

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