I’d Rather Be Reading – Favorite Books and More

Posted August 10, 2018 / Book Lists, Features / 2 Comments


Rachel recently shared the book I’d Rather Be Reading: A Library of Art for Book Lovers, which is a nice coffee table book with essays about reading and pieces of bookish art. I definitely hope to get my hands on a copy at some point!

In any case, the book brings up a lot of questions about bookish preferences and challenged one of the contributors to name their top 25 books. I thought this would be a really fun “book tag” of sorts, so here are my answers to many of the questions Rachel shared and answered.

What are you reading right now?

As of July 18th when I’m writing this post, I am reading three books in different formats. I started CRAZY RICH ASIANS by Kevin Kwan as an audiobook, have been slowly working on THE WICKED KING by Holly Black as a physical book/ARC, and just started reading my egalley of KISS ME IN PARIS by Catherine Rider. I’m behind on my Goodreads challenge so I wanted to blitz out the aforementioned egalley and get ahead (it’s only 200 pages).

What was your favorite children’s book? Why?

I can think of a lot of examples for this one, but the one that sticks out the most is HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON by Crockett Johnson. I loved that so much and read it multiple times, which was kind of rare for me. It’s a short book (kind of an advanced reader picture book almost?), but I loved the premise – Harold draws his world with his purple crayon.

What book do you most often reread? Why?

I’m not a big rereader, which I’ve discussed at length on here… but I think the series I am most likely to continue to reread forever is HARRY POTTER by JK Rowling. I’ve only read the full series twice but I imagine rereading it forever, in any form I can – the physical novels, the illustrated books, and audiobooks.

What book would you want with you on a desert island? Why?

I definitely struggle with this kind of question because of my previous answer – I don’t reread books enough! I can’t think of a lot of books that I’d be able to read over and over without getting sick of it. I get burnt out with contemporary fiction so maybe a fantasy book, like HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE? Sorry it’s such an obvious answer, but it’s a huge book with a lot of fun elements that I could reread as needed maybe. If I could bring three books, I’d bring one fantasy, one contemporary, and one super long book.

What book would you recommend to a friend? Why?

I try to cater my recommendations to certain people or situations, but one blanket recommendation is always A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY (trilogy) by Libba Bray. I feel like these books really hold up even though they’re older. There’s something for everyone: fantasy elements mixed with historical fiction, some great romance, twists and turns… I love them all so much.

What is your favorite biography? Why?

I don’t read many nonfiction books but this is something I want to change in the near future. I tend to enjoy autobiographies or memoirs by funny people, and usually they’re in audio form. My inclination is to say it’s a toss-up between BOSSYPANTS by Tina Fey and YES PLEASE by Amy Poehler. The latter was a bit more fun because it had a scrapbook vibe to it.

What is your favorite holiday book? Why?

I loooove books that take place during the holidays. The writer I can absolutely always count on for these is Jenny Hale. She writes a new one each year that I gobble up as close to Christmas as possible, since they usually have the best setting for it. My favorite one of her is A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER.

What is your favorite summer read? Why?

Ugh I love summery books too. Anything set in a beach town over the course of a summer vacation is going to make it on my list. I have to be a loser here and avoid picking one book. Sarah Dessen writes the ultimate summer stories, especially the ones set in Colby, NC. I think ALONG FOR THE RIDE is my favorite but I’m overdue to reread a few I used to love too.

What is your favorite mystery? Why?

I’ve been trying to get more into these! I usually go more for the thriller-style mystery? I consider books by Ally Carter or Sara Shepard to toe the line between mystery and contemporary fiction. I love those the most! But my favorite, highest rated mystery story would have to be SHADOWLANDS by Kate Brian… no spoilers on what the rest of the trilogy is like though 😉

What book did you think made a better movie than it did a book? Why?

I am 100% certain about my answer to this one: ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes. I don’t know why, but that book didn’t really do it for me. The movie, on the other hand? Cried like a baby and loved it so incredibly much. Louisa was so much more charming onscreen instead of on the page. I don’t feel like reading the other two books because I didn’t care for her too much, but would absolutely watch movies if they made them!

What book most influenced your life? Why?

This is tough! I think, aside from saying Sarah Dessen for the millionth time, I’ll go with the PRETTY LITTLE LIARS series by Sara Shepard. I talked about it a lot here because I went through a big dark period with reading when I was in college. These books – all 16 of them! – were basically the only ones I read, without fail, each summer and winter vacation. The series influenced my life because I would never have kept up with reading during those years; it feels special and important to me.

What is your favorite classic?

I’m not a big classic kind of gal but I feel like my go-to answer is always THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald. There have been so many movies and other adaptations from this book, but nothing compares to the source. We analyzed the hell out if it in high school so I’m shocked that I genuinely enjoyed it afterwards.

What is your favorite coffee-table book?

I don’t have any of these out on my actual coffee table right now, but a few come to mind. I have a tendency of buying these books for the purpose of putting out as decorations, and then I never actually read them. I think some of the LAUREN CONRAD (BEAUTY) books are always cute to look through.

Name your twenty-five favorite books

I have 89 books on my Goodreads favorite shelf, but clearly a fraction of those would really be considered all-time favorites. There are some books I’m tempted to pop on here but I would certainly need to revisit them before knowing if they still hold up. This list is subject to change 😉 I’m also including the first book in a series to represent the entire series.

(Alphabetical by author, not ranked)

  1. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  2. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
  3. I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
  4. Results May Vary by Bethany Chase
  5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  6. 99 Days by Katie Cotugno
  7. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
  8. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  9. The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison
  10. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
  11. Dreamology by Lucy Keating
  12. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
  13. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
  14. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
  15. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  16. Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke
  17. Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer
  18. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  19. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  20. After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  21. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
  22. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
  23. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  24. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
  25. The Program by Suzanne Young

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