Monday, June 9, 2014

Ashley's 15 Top Fave Books

This is a really hard post for me to write.

I'm not being dramatic here.

It's just really hard to declare my favorites. Why? Well, there are a couple of reasons. 1) I read a lot of books. Like a lot a lot. So therefore I sometimes forget "my favorites" for various reasons like having read a bajillion books between a fave and being old and busy with important and not important things and also being preoccupied with things like trying to remember how long it's been since I've forced my kids to get the drift. 2) I have a lot of favorites. I like lots of different kinds of books. It's hard to commit. 3) I'm fully aware that my list won't make any sense because I read lots of genres, and I like things within genres, but not everything in the genre, and it all just starts to sound slightly schizophrenic. And it's overwhelming to go through all those things and come up with favorites and narrow them down.

So here it is in no particular order. Judge as you will. Thanks to for all the links.

1. To Kill A Mockingbird. I feel like I don't even need a description here. If you haven't read it, you are absolutely missing out on one of the best books of all time.

2. Memoirs of a Geisha. This was one of those books that absolutely rocked my world, bringing light to something so foreign and interesting that afterward I went on a binge and read everything I could about geishas, both fic and nonfic. I'm a lay expert now, I must say.

3. Savvy. This is all that a good JFic should be. It is insightful without being too overbearing, funny and outlandish but still relatable. It's awesome.

4. John Adams. This is nonfic at its finest. David McCullough is remarkable in his writing, research, and presentation. I learned more about U.S. history while reading this book than in any of my honors history classes combined.

5. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. I have read this book many times both by myself and to my children. It has such a great message and Kate DiCamillo has created something completely magical with this story, which I love.

6. Diamond Ruby.This was a goodreads winner of the year a couple years ago and I feel like it's one of those hidden gems that those not in the know might have missed. It's as awesome as Water for Elephants and The Help and all those faddy books that came out about the same time. Don't be put off when you find out it's about baseball. It really isn't.

7. Peace Like a River. This is beautifully written, deep yet accessible. Not only that, but it's a great story. 

8. The Fault in Our Stars. If you have not yet been swept up in this novel, you should read it. It's heartbreaking and poignant.

9. The Dovekeepers. This is one of the most beautifully written modern books I have read. The story is based on true events, so it carries a weight and beauty to it. It has awesome female characters.

10. Code Name: Verity. I have chosen to put this book on my list not only because it is one of my favorites, but I also have a special connection to it as I was close to my Granny who also served in the Women's Royal English Navy during WWII. Some say it is slow going at the beginning-don't let that stop you. It's worth the read.

11. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. This book was incredible. Well-researched, well-written, and highly inspiring.

And now for some cheating. Because sometimes a series is good enough to love the whole thing as a fave.

The Flavia deLuce series. The first one is The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. You'll love Flavia, I promise. She's cheeky, smart and fun.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. The first one is The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. These books are wise, quiet, and interesting. There are a lot of them and so I feel like I know the characters really well, which is fun. I actually reviewed the latest book on this blog a few months back. Check it out here.

The Giver Series. The Giver is a classic, and the others in the series are just as good, if not better. My personal fave is Messenger, but read them all. Lois Lowry is an incredible writer.

The Pendergast series from Preston & Child. These are just a fun, exciting read. If you want a pot-boiler with low commitment and cool characters, Pendergast is your man. The first one is Relic. They don't have to be read in order, although obviously there is an underlying story line through all of them.

So if you're looking for something fun to read this summer--or anytime!--check out one of these faves of mine. Also, if you have any comments about any of these books, or any suggestions for me based on these books, I'd love to hear them. Comment below!


grandmom k said...

Ashley .. this is a fun site though I'm exploring, getting acquainted. I've read and loved your #1,2,4,7,9,11 and #1 Dectctive Agency series.
Books are and have always been a passion.
I have couple of my favorites that you might like:
"The Immortal Life of Hennrieta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot, "The Rent Collector" by Cameron Wright, Two in the Far North" by Mardie Murie. If you like mysteries a canadian author Louise Penny is excellent. I am also an Anne Perry fan. Few things are as rewarding as reading a good Book THANKS

Ashleey Rayback said...

Hi grandmom k,

Thanks for your suggestions! I have read "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" and thought it was fascinating. I have not read your other suggestions, but I've put them on my list since we obviously share some similar book interests and I would love to check them out. Thanks so much for commenting.


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