Hello everyone and welcome to another article. today's article is going to be my 25 favorite books of all time.
This is an updated article I did actually cover my favorite books in my previous article.
So this is pretty much just from scratch all of my favorite books of all time and there are quite a few differences on this list from the books I had on the list previous article.
25 of My Favorite Books of All Time
I tried really really hard to keep this very concise but I still ended up with like 25 books these are my favorite books of all time in no particular order because it was difficult enough trying to whittle down just 25 much less ranking them in actuality order.
1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari
the very first book on this list is a non-fiction book it is sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. This book is pretty much about the history of the human species and looks at our journey from being like hunter-gatherers and where we came from and how we built civilizations it covers human history in the most fascinating and beautiful way and is also probably my favorite non-fiction book of all time.
if you're interested in human history if you're interested in where we come from why we have religion why we have certain economic things this book just beautifully weaves together the most interesting information in the most concise way possible.
the second book on this list is Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. I read this book a couple or a few months ago it tore me apart it was so so heartbreaking and beautiful it is about a young woman named sunder who lives in Korea she's about 16 years old and she becomes pregnant.
she ends up rejecting the man who got her pregnant because he's not a very nice man and then she's married to a Christian pastor who then takes her on this voyage to japan during the time of Korean occupation this is a time when it was very very very hostile for Koreans to live in japan.
and this story is like this intergenerational epic that follows her life and the life of the people around her over the course of many years it is one of the books that I wept reading and it's just so beautifully written and I was like writing down quotes from it the whole way through and it was just a stunning novel.
3. Lost Flowers Of Alice Hart
I read this as a library book just after we moved back to Australia after living in japan but 'the lost flowers of Alices heart' is a story about a young woman.
she starts off as a child in the story her name is Alice's heart it sort of follows her life and it follows the story of her overcoming her trauma there are three very distinctive and brilliant settings in this story its sort of set coastal Queensland
I think from memory and then there's like the sort of country setting and then there's like the outback of Australia this sort of very traumatic thing happens to Alice when she's very young and she goes to live with her grandmother.
and her grandmother lives on a native flower farm and they use the language of flowers to sort of communicating and she ends up using the language of flowers to process her trauma it's a story that is so atmospheric the imagery is just beautiful.
4. The Graveyard Book
If you've read a lot of the articles on my blog then you will have noticed that over the last sort of two years I started reading Neil Gaiman's books and then I absolutely fell in love with his books so in addition to this book.
I also have two other Neil Gaiman books on this list and they are 'Coraline' and 'instructions' which is a picture book.
that's really lyrical and beautiful by him kicking it off with 'the graveyard book'. this is a story about a young boy named bod who his name is short for nobody effectively bod's whole family gets murdered by this scary antagonist whose name is jack and god who's a teeny tiny little toddler sort of totals out the door by accident and then up the hill and finds refuge in a graveyard and so the ghosts of the graveyard let him in and they end up protecting him from this antagonistic murderous figure.
but overall a beautiful middle-grade story I love this so incredibly much and I think it is a beautiful brilliant book.
5. The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel
The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel by Neil Gaiman
and then the next two by Neil Gaiman honestly I could chuck a whole bunch of his books on this list I'd also include 'the ocean at the end of the lane' which is a brilliant story but like can I really have four in your gaming books on this list like that doesn't seem fair.
and then the other one is Coraline. caroline is a story about a young girl who is in this flat which is within a larger house it's a very creepy old house she's on her school holidays her parents are working they're not really paying attention to her she gets very bored.
and then she discovers a hidden door in the house she goes through it's a portal fantasy and then she meets her other mother who is this very demonic scary lady with buttons for eyes that book is pretty much a novel about learning that to be brave is to feel scared and do the brave thing anyway.
and then the final one manual gaming is 'instructions' which again is a picture book I listen to this picture book like the audio version of it.
so often it is pretty much a cute little picture book that is just the instructions for growing up but it's very fantastical and it's. it's written in the second person is just so lovely and I love it very very much.
8. The Magic Toyshop
I'm going to talk about the magic toy shop. this brilliant little book is a novel about a young girl named Melanie whose parents die in a plane accident it's a coming-of-age story it's a bildungsroman she gets taken out of her like quite comfortable childhood in the countryside in England and she has to go live with her creepy estranged uncle Phillip who owns a very scary uncomfortable toy shop.
I've mentioned this before please don't go into this expecting it to be a fantasy there's no actual magic in this it is a gothic story it's a beautifully written book it's quite short there's quite a bit of allegory in it this book for Bluebeard the fairy tale.
9. The Bloody Chamber And Other Stories
The Bloody Chamber And Other Stories by Angela Carter
and then the next inch Lakata one is 'the bloody chamber' which is another book I have spoken about a lot on this blog. the bloody chamber is a collection of fairy tales they're not like fairy tale retellings but they're sort of like original stories that are very heavily inspired by fairy tales.
the first story in here the titular bloody chamber pulls from the fairy tale of Bluebeard and I had never read that fairytale before reading this version and good god it was creepy very very decadent writing very flowery purple writing but this is the stuff that I really really really love.
10. The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography
The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography by Edmund Gordon
the next book on this list is not by angela carter but it is about angela carter and it is Edmond Gordon's the invention of angela carter. this was another library book I borrowed and ended up just absolutely loving it is a biography on angela carter's life and I learned so much about her backstory and her influence on the time she spent living in Japan.
there were so many cool amazing things that she did that are like weird little crossovers with like my own life because I lived in japan she went to the University of Adelaide to be a teacher I studied at the University of Adelaide that was one of the personal reasons I liked the book but overall just a really really compelling and well-written biography I thought it was really strong I loved it.
11. The Handmaid's Tale
I thought it was beautifully written it has some very potent imagery you could tell that Margaret Atwood sourced from a lot of history in writing the story if you don't know anything about the handmaid's tale.
it is a dystopian speculative sci-fi work it's quite upsetting to read honestly and it was written I think it came out in like 1986 and it is terrifying how relevant this story feels even now like it feels like it was written last year. so in the plot of the story, we have this like the main character whose name is Alfred that wasn't the original name that's the new name that's been given to her and she is a handmaid and the handmaids in this country which used to be the united states of America.
but because it's a dystopia the country's sort of fallen apart and there's a new regime of handmaids sort of existing to bear the children of the elite of this society so ofra gets placed in a house with a wealthy well-wealthy governor and his wife effectively is there to get pregnant with his child and then give her baby away because for some reason the wives of the society cannot become pregnant and it is her story of what it is like to to go from being a person to become a non-person in this incredibly oppressive system.
it was so believable and strong and brilliantly written I just loved the story and I thought it was really quite harrowing in a very important way so I thought it was excellent.
12. Never Let Me Go
okay moving on to 'Never Let Me Go' by Kazuo Ishiguro. this is another speculative sci-fi sort of story and this is an excellent novel that I read when I was in year 12. and I friggin loved it. I cried very much this is a very harrowing heartbreaking story that makes you think about life morality and just because we can do something doesn't mean we should be doing something every time.
I try to talk about this book it's so difficult because I can't tell you the thing that makes this amazing because you need to find out while you're reading it but effectively it starts out with this character whose name is Kathy H, and she is remembering her life and she sort of goes back in her memory to this time when she was in boarding school and it's it starts off as like an English boarding school novel and follows on from there there's a lot more to this story than that but just trust me it is amazing and excellent.
13. Harry Potter
the next one on my list is the old favorite harry potter. I look I love the story there's never a point where I'm not going to love this story this will always be the most important story to me because I kind of learned to read off of these books and I read and re-read and re-read these stories throughout high school they were the thing that got me through high school and the reason that I love writing and the reason why that fantasy is my favorite genre.
and I'm sure you all know the story about harry potter but these books will always have a special place in my heart makes it a bit challenging when you don't ethically agree with some of the beliefs of the author.
14. Norwegian Wood
I was not gonna include this book on the list but I'm bringing it back the two books by Haruhi Murakami on this list are 'Norwegian wood' and 'the wind-up bird Chronicle'.
I do also quite like 'killing commendatory' which I think is a really good entry-level hokie Murakami text it has a lot less adult themes in it there's some like really confronting stuff in Haruki Murakami's work so if you don't like really really graphic sex scenes or like pretty violent stuff then but you want to read Haruki Murakami I'd probably start with 'killing commendatory' from memory I think that one's pretty safe but in terms of his other books. the books I like the most by him are again Norwegian wood and the wind at bird chronicle a few facets I find kind of problematic particularly with.
this one Norwegian wood however despite that the imagery in this story is so beautiful it's so beautifully written Norwegian wood is a story about a young man named Toru Montana day he is sitting on a plane and he starts remembering his university days and these were during the 60s during a time when there was a lot of like student protests in japan and he sort of remembers these like quite traumatic things that happened the first girl he fell in love with and relives in his brain in the past tense um what happened during his university years.
15. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki Murakami
and then 'the wind-up bird chronicle' which is more of a speculative story it's there's a lot of like like dream sequences and tunnels and weird beautiful magical realism in that particular story it's very dark cannot expect a very structured plot that goes from here to here it's a lot more weaving and you sort of just have to read this book slowly for the joy of reading.
the plot of the wind at bird chronicle is that this man living in Tokyo he is married his cat goes missing and he's like looking for the cat and then his wife goes missing and it's sort of how his world starts unraveling and these like these really creepy antagonistic forces who are coming in and then weird stuff starts happening and it's set in Tokyo during the summertime.
and I just got I love the imagery that Hiroki Murakami uses it is so impactful and atmospheric.
okay moving on the next book is 'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley. this book is the book that invented science fiction it was written by a 16 to a 19-year-old girl.
then victor Frankenstein effectively is in university he creates a monster who doesn't have a name he's called demon or wretch but he the monster is not Frankenstein he's never called anything specific but he's animated from like grave robbed body parts victor realizes what he's done it's an abomination it's the worst thing in the world and sort of his life entirely falls apart from there this is a framed novel it's a story within a story.
what I found really interesting about this book is that it has really potent and beautiful natural imagery in it there's a lot of like nature versus industry and god versus man sort of allegory in here and there's a lot of like Christian allegory as well with like dr victor Frankenstein like playing god and creating adam which is the monster who then turns into Lucifer as he becomes eviler and does evil stuff beautiful story I wrote like two essays on this during uni can you tell I focused on liturgical imagery, really beautiful story I love it endlessly.
17. Educated: A Memoir
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
it is 'educated' by Tara Westover. this is another nonfiction story it is an autobiography I was so moved by this story and just thought it was absolutely excellent. this is the story of a young woman who grows up in more rural America but she is the daughter of a large family of Mormons remembering that correctly who believe the end of days is coming.
they're preparing for armageddon they're very very religious they don't believe in school or doctors or these sort of societal structures that keep people safe and so this is tara's story of her childhood and what she goes through and how she sort of gets herself out of the situation and claws an education for herself despite never going to primary school high school she graduates from.
I think it's Cambridge university or like one of the ivy league universities and it sort of goes through the breakdown of her relationship with her family and how she got out of the situation I was listening to the audiobook and I just couldn't stop listening I loved it it was beautiful so interesting and it was really really good.
18. Howl's Moving Castle
the next one is 'house moving castle' by Diana Wynne Jones and also 'charmed life' by dana Nguyen jones. these are middle-grade kid's books and I love them so incredibly much.
'how's room castle' is my favorite film. I love it very very much and this book is stunning as well if you like the movie please go read the book there are a lot of contexts you get about the world and about how specifically that you don't get from the movie did you know he's actually welshed like like this is actually a portal fantasy and he welshes and the first time I read that part of it I was like because I thought it was like an entirely secondary world I didn't realize that this was very very cool love this book I think.
what I really like about both of these stories the most is the like magic systems and the world-building albumin castle is about a young girl named Sophie hatta she's the eldest of three which means she's prone to bad luck and misfortune and she is cursed by the wicked witch of the waist to look like an old woman and to feel like an old woman goes out into the wastes where she becomes the cleaning lady to a very flamboyant and sort of self-indulgent and kind of selfish wizard named howe I love the characterization in the story and it is just so very good.
19. Charmed Life
and then 'charmed life' is about a young boy named kat and his sister Gwendolyn their parents die in a boat accident cat survives because he clings onto Gwendolyn and she's a witch and witches cannot drown and then they eventually go to live with this wizard whose name is chiromancy.
and they go to his extravagant house and sort of get immersed in this culture of witchcraft and there's a lot of magic and it's just so very very good.
20. Anne of Green Gables
the next book on this list is 'Anne of Green Gables. I read this last year and was blown away by how much I loved these books I've never read them before her parents die and she becomes an orphan she has a really really bad situation where she gets fostered out to all these families but eventually, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert adopt her into their family this is set in Canada in the late 1800s.
I think there's the most beautiful natural imagery in this story I think it's so beautifully written I think the characterization is excellent.
21. All the Light We Cannot See
the next one is 'All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. This book won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2015. it is about a young boy named Verna who sort of grows up in Germany his parents died he's an orphan and also about a little girl named Marie law who lives in France and she is blind and it is about how their stories sort of intersecting during the second world war.
this story is not told in chronological order it jumps back and forth over the course of quite a few years very very beautifully written I love Anthony dell's writing I just think he is such a talented author and I absolutely love this story it's a very very good war story if you're interested in world war ii.
22. A Room of One's Own
it's not really a novel it's more like an extended essay and it is pretty much Virginia Woolf's rumination on what it's like to be a woman and to be a writer and she goes through this concept of like what if Shakespeare had a sister who was just as talented would she have been able to publish those plays probably not.
and then we have 'Orlando' which is a story about a person who lives over the course of several hundred years he starts off living in a sort of like the Elizabethan era and then he goes on to change genders so they change pronouns to her and then they live until like the sort of high modernist period beginning like 1910 or 1920.
I can't remember what decade the story actually finishes in it's a really interesting weird biography of obviously not a real person but um very ahead of its time in terms of gender ideology.
24. Anthology of Classical Myth
this one is the 'anthology of classical myth' pretty much it's the translations of Ovid and Plato and hygienists and all of these like classical authors and the versions of their myths when they wrote them.
so for example, if you want to read about the myth of Atlante you can read the primary sources and you'll get several different perspectives on how that myth works and how the myth was different from these different sources to read this when I was studying mythology at university just thought it was a brilliant wonderful book for reading the primary sources so I recommend it all the time.
25. The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature
The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature by Edward James
This is a great entry-level scholarly book to read if you're getting into fantasy lit and you want to start analyzing fantasy literature this is a really good one. it is edited by Edward James and Farah Mendelson pharaoh Mendelson is a very very important scholar in this area she's worked on a lot of really important scholarly articles and chapters on fantasy literature.
I used her work all the time when I was doing my post-grad because fantasy literature was actually my research area pretty much just covers a bunch of different interesting topics and gives you really really good context.
Conclusion of my favorite books of all time
okay, in the end, I think we ended up with like 26 books but I hope you guys enjoyed this article. I hope it was enlightening. I hope you found some books that you would be interested in reading. please let me know what books you guys absolutely love I know that a lot of you guys have very similar tastes to mine so please let me know what your favorite books are. thank you guys so very much for reading this is a very long article but I hope you liked it. take care and I will see you next time bye.