Let me tell you about my 10 favorite books! Reading is one of my favorite hobbies and hobbies are component of the Mental Well-being pillar of Sustainable Productivity. As the holidays approach, maybe you will find some pockets of time to pick up one of these to relax. I encourage you now to plan for those pockets of time. Add it to your calendar. Leave the house if you need to – park the car somewhere and read for 20 minutes. Small changes like this add up!
One of my favorite podcasters is also a book fiend. After listening to her for a few years, I know Laura and I have similar reading preferences so when she does a reading episode on her podcast, I make sure to take notes. Laura also does a monthly “10 on the 10th” social media challenge. On Nov 10, she called for us to share our 10 favorite books. I am a smidge late to the party because it has taken a week to murder my darlings and only pick 10.
What Didn’t Make the Cut
The list I am going to share with you is books I have read in the last few years (with the exception of Poisonwood Bible). What this list leaves out are books I loved growing up like Encyclopedia Brown, The Boxcar Children, Little House on the Prairie, and the Cherry Ames series. As an adult I have favorite authors like Fredrik Backman and Jodi Picoult that I read everything they write (sometimes to my dismay). Although I am basically an anti-fan of the author, I return to the Harry Potter series as one of the few where I actually reread. Generally I feel like there are too many books in the world for me to spend time re-reading. But each time I read (or listen, or follow along to a podcast), I have a slightly different experience.
Without further ado, here is my list of my 10 favorite books – in alphabetical order by genre.
- A Dog’s Purpose. I read this book on a road trip with My People. Here is what I know – I was crying so hard while reading this that my teenage daughter actually noticed – AND COMMENTED ON IT. When I watched the movie – same response. Shocker.
- Beartown. As mentioned before, I would read the farm report if Fredrik Backman wrote it. But this book was devastating and unputdownable at the same time. I listened to Beartown on audiobook, and the narration was impeccable. If you read this you will know: BAM. BAM. BAM
- City of Girls. When I finished this book I gently laid down my Kindle and was devastated because I could never read this book again for the first time. While I enjoyed other books by Elizabeth Gilbert, this one is something special.
- Defending Jacob. My sister in law warned me about a big plot twist to this one. I was still not prepared. When I got to it, I shouted out in a room full of my in laws at the beach. My sister in law looked up from the puzzle, “You got to the plot twist, huh?!” The Apple TV mini-series is entertaining, but they mess up the plot twist.
- Poisonwood Bible. I read this book in my early 30s. Probably because Oprah told me to. It was the first multiple narrator novel I remember reading. I remember being confused at first, but once I got the voice of the characters, seeing the same events from different eyes was a game changer in my reading life. Multiple perspectives is one of my favorite types of reads.
- The Martian. I was skeptical of such a science-ladened book, but it was SO DANG FUNNY. I encouraged my Enneagram 5 non-reader spouse to pick this one up and he LOVED it. The movie was a let down.
- Verity. This is the only book where after I read it I joined a Facebook group to discuss it. Plot twists and unreliable narrators abound.
- Code Name Helene. OK so the book itself is historical fiction, but Nancy Wake was a REAL PERSON. I wish she were alive so she could be my friend.
- Sacred Rest. This should be a must read in all school curriculum at the high school and college level. Our driven society is killing us and this book gives us the blue print to change that.
- Untamed. There were times when I was reading this book that I had to put it down because I felt like I could not breathe. It challenges current thinking – about ourselves and each other and what we are in this life to do.
What are you reading these days? Have you read any of these? What are your top 10 books? Reply here or let’s connect on social media to talk books!