Today is my 28th birthday. To celebrate I am sharing 28 of my favorite stories. It was incredibly difficult to narrow down 28 books. Majority of this list is fantasy, but some titles might surprise you.
1. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
I first read The Haunting of Hill House for a school project. Like most books I read, I liked the title and knew nothing about the book or author. I have read The Haunting of Hill House a few times. It remains one of my favorite book because it is scary. If you haven’t read any of Shirley Jackson’s work, The Haunting of Hill House is a good place to start.
2. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn’s Jones
I adore Howl’s Moving Castle. So much so, I refuse to read the rest of the series. If you have not read Howl’s Moving Castle you need to add it to your TBR and then watch the movie, another one of my favorites. This edition was apart of a box set, all the covers match and it pleases my reader soul.
3. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Twilight sucked me down the rabbit hole of YA vampy fiction, but also brought me to Interview With a Vampire. Twilight gets a lot of hate, even from those who greatly enjoyed the series. There are various reasons for the general dislike, some hold more merit than others. Regardless, I love this book. It is one of the few I have read multiple times. #teamedward
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You can find the Twilight used at most second hand stores. If you want your own copy of Twilight, click here.
4. interview with The vampire by Anne Rice
I received Interview With The Vampire for Christmas in the beginning of my vampire reading phase, which let’s be honest never ended, and was told I needed to learn where it all began. I sadly have no idea where my physical copy is, but the memory of the book lives on in my heart. If you are a fellow vampy reader, Interview With The Vampire is a must read.
5. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
I, like most millennials, grew up with Harry Potter. I do not have much more to say about this series that hasn’t been said. I love them. If you have not read the series and are interested, watch the first two movies and start reading with book 3.
6. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Beautiful. Amazing. Lovely. As soon as the white bird appeared in Strange the Dreamer, I knew it was a new favorite. I love love love love this book so much. I enjoyed the squeal as well, but favor Strange the Dreamer. If you like libraries, lore, bookworms, and god/goddess this book if for you.
7. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
I thought Dobby’s death was hard, then there was the long list of GRRM’s characters. ASOCAF is not exactly a thrilling read, but the deaths, dragons, and theories kept me interested. I have formulated my own ending, as I imagine most readers have, and made peace with the fact this series will never be finished. If you are a fan, I think you should too.
Surprise! I own this series in a box set AND a hardcover editions from Doubleday book club.
This box set is on sale for $28, a few dollars cheaper than the Kindle bundle. If you are interested in owning A Song of Ice and Fire, click here.
8. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray
I love this series. I am waiting patiently for The Gemma Doyle Trilogy to be adapted by a streaming services. I know if I keep waiting it will happen.
9. The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
I did not read these as they were released, but was well aware of them. I read a few, like most young readers my age, but got swept away by Twilight I wasn’t interested any more. I read the whole series a year or two ago when I was reading the books on Times 100 Best YA list. I did not love the ending, but enjoyed the journey. I think the series as a whole is fun and like Snicket’s voice. If you interact with this story at all, at least watch the Netflix series.
Since I collected most of these as a child, I had all but the last few and book one. If you are interested in reading, they are easily found second hand. If you seek the only book one, click here.
10. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Another book I had not read until reading down Times 100 Best YA. I love this movie and book. Honestly, it is creepy. If you read the ebook there is a clip of the Rat’s Song and it is unsettling-but don’t worry it is linked below.
Coraline is a favorite because it is truly a creepy YA/middle grade.
11. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
The Bear and the Nightingale is my go to winter reread. I am always engrossed in the enchainment of the world Katherine Arden created. I love love love everything about The Bear and the Nightingale. Another book I have a hard time writing about because I enjoyed it so much.
12. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
Simply amazing! I did not read this series or any of Riordan work until adulthood. They are fun for any age if you enjoy Greek mythology. I love the interest I see in younger reader to research Greek mythology and mythologies of other cultures as well. Rick Riordan is a treasure for creating not only these novels but the universe of mythologies he and his label Rick Riordan Presents explore.
If you want to read this series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians is very easy to find second hand. But if you prefer an ebook or online shopping, you can find book one here.
13. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
I have danced around this book for some time, I read it this year and it became one of my favorites. But like ASOIAF, I don’t know if I will ever get to read the ending. I am okay with these unfinished series. I read The Name of the Wind as an audiobook, I highly recommend the audio.
14. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
I never posted my review of Midnight Sun, probably never will. I loved it so much I had nothing to say other than read the book IF you were interested 12+ year ago. If you are a lover of Twilight, you will probably enjoy Edward’s take on events. If you are meh about everything, skip it. Midnight Sun lead to me rereading the series twice. It is not the best series out there, I know, but it brings me joy.
15. My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
My Father’s Dragon is book one in a trilogy. I have not read past book one. Not because I disliked the story, but like Howl’s Moving Castle, I didn’t need anymore information. While I do not know how this story ends, it is probably worth finding out. My Father’s Dragon is a fun children’s book, I think they only one I have on my list.
16. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Loved the book and loved the movie. I enjoyed this whole series actually, so much so you will find another from the series next. I like the concept of Ender’s Game and Ender as a character.
You can grab you copy of Ender’s Game here, but I see it often used in resale copy and online used as well.
17. Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card
Another take on Ender’s story, told from the point of view of his friend Bean. Who quickly became my favorite character.
High recommend following this read order of the series:
- Ender’s Shadow
- Ender’s Game
- Shadow of the Hegemon
- Shadow Puppets
- Shadow of the Giant
- Speaker of the Dead
- Children of the Mind
I believe the majority of the series is available on Kindleulimated, but if you seek your own copy of Ender’s Shadow click here.
18. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini
Khalid Hosseini is easily in my top five favorite authors. A Thousand Splendid Suns is my favorite book by Hosseini. I love all of his work because each tells a raw realistic story. Be warned, A Thousand Splendid Suns is not a light read.
19. The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini
The Kite Runner was the first book I read by Khalid Hosseini and it has stayed with me since i finished it. I don’t like The Kite Runner as much as his other novels, but it has a special place in my heart for being the first book I read by Hosseini.
20. Dracula by Bram Stoker
It should not be shocking to find yet another vampire story on my list. Dracula is of my favorite books simply because I enjoyed the free audiobook on LibriVox so much. The dramatic reading gave Dracula a new life. I started listening to a newer audio verison on audible and it was a little creepy. If you are seeking some laughs, check out the LibriVox verison, if you want spooks, check out audible.
21. The Arc of a Scythe series by Neal Shusterman
Once I had finished book one, Scythe, I knew I had found something special. Neal Shusterman writes stories that pull you in and make ponder. After finishing the series, I went down a Shusterman rabbit hole. Neal Shusterman is gaining his place on my favorite author list.
22. Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Eye of the World is book one in the Wheel of Time series. I am happy I finally started reading this series, even more excited it is a series on Prime. Which I am enjoying. I know this book will probably be replace by the series as a whole or a certain book in the series once I am done reading them all, but for now Eye of the World is one of my favorite books.
23. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
I love this book! If you read one off this list, read this one.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is about a boy with autism who wants to know who murdered his neighbor’s dog. Throughout the story you get a peak to how his mind works as he learns more about himself and his family.
I enjoyed the perceptive of the main character and found many of the scenes funny. I have yet to find a book like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time..
24. Fahrenheit 451
One of the few classics I think everyone should read at some point in their lives. I love this book for a few reasons, one being it is about books.
You can find this book almost everywhere. If you seek a copy, try a second hand shop or a friend. If you want to order online, click here.
25. The Crucible by Author Miller
One of my favorite plays because of the madness of the characters. A fun one to read or listen to, or better yet watch the movie.
26. The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
I am so excited this series is being adapted by Netflix! I loved these books as a younger reader and more so as an adult reader.
I did not like Extras, but still enjoy the concept of this series. I think it is worth reading before the show releases.
27. The Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown
I love the chase of the Robert Langdon books. They are quick reads I feel like everyone has read by now. They are lower on my list because I like other books more.
You can find a copy of The Da Vinci Code everywhere, or at least I see it more often than other books on my list. I have seen it at the grocery store and many second had shops.
28. The Hate u Give by Angie Thomas
I love THUG! If you read any book of this list, read this THUG. I fell in love with this book, and become a dedicated reader of Angie Thomas.
Like other books I love, they are hard for me to explain why.