1. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
These are classics! I seriously cannot get enough of them– I read them over and over and over and love them every single time. I am just finishing up the series for the first time this year, and– no joke– after book 7 is over, I will start again on book 1.
Must-read: everyone, all ages
2. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
This book is seriously one of the best-written young adult books I have ever read. In my life. Period. I love so many things about this book: the language, the characters, the structure, the humor. It gets a 10 out of 10 from me.
Must-read: anyone who loves YA or a clever, quirky romance
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A Printz honor book narrated by Death himself, this is “just a small story really, about, among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.” I love books that are about the joy of words– and it’s even better when you mix in unforgettable characters and gorgeous writing full of incredible imagery.
Must-read: YA lovers, people who love words, anyone interested in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust
4. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
The brilliance of this story is in the masterful writing. Every single page will leave you in awe, plus the story is so real and deep, and it makes you think about things like miracles and family and loyalty and guilt.
Must-read: lovers of literary fiction, adults who want a great story, parents
5. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
This book is richer than chocolate. It has magic and competition and romance– and it avoids all cliches. It is a sensory extravaganza.
Must-read: people who love Harry Potter and are ready for magic from a grown-up perspective, anyone who values great imagery
6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
TIME’s 2012 book of the year! This YA book will make you laugh and cry and think. It’s a cancer book– but not one of those cancer books.
Must-read: people who love YA, philosophy, and incredible characters
I’ll leave you with those six for now. As I think through this list, I feel full. They are that good.