The Best Three Books in Existence

Okay, so maybe the title’s a little hyperbolic, but ever since I read Josh Hanagarne’s post about The Greatest Book of All Time at World’s Strongest Librarian, I’m in the mood for a little hyperbole.

Normally, I don’t try to classify books.  I love them because I love stories.  It doesn’t matter if the book is a franchise Star Wars novel or serious, classic literature like The Sound and tGreat Bookshe Fury or The Canterbury Tales. If the story engrosses me, I’m happy.  There has never been a need to pick the beset of the best because I don’t typically think about books that way.

So picking the cream of the crop out of the myriad of books I’ve read during my life seems a nearly impossible task.  But since Josh listed his with such certainty, I started thinking about my favorites.  He had some good choices:

1. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

2. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

3. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

Mine are a bit different.

  1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

A Wrinkle in Time When I was a kid, I read this book at least once a year without fail.  It introduced me to the idea that science does indeed have a place in mainstream literature.  Just because the novel was directed at youth did not mean that it had to be dumbed down.  While Meg Murray and her family are interesting,  A Wrinkle in Time’s primary draw for me has always been the concepts, the science.  L’Engle’s high ideas were executed perfectly; they were integrated into the narrative instead of being asides, which some books (Ringworld, I’m looking at you) have a hard time with.  I’m sad that I haven’t read this in a decade.  I’ll have to rectify that soon.

2. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

When someone asks me if I’ve read The Time Traveler’s Wife, I generally tell them that the bookThe Time Traveler's Wife “might be the best novel I’ve ever read.”  I qualify it like that because it does not hold the nostalgia that A Wrinkle in Time does, but it provides a very clear feeling that my life might be different had I not read it.  I’m not sure how, but I know that this book affected me.  Maybe because it was so honest. Maybe because it uses SF conventions in a way that proves SF should have no stigma anymore.  Maybe because Claire and Henry’s relationship is the single most realistic representation of a relationship I’ve ever read about. The movie did an okay job of adapting the novel, but it didn’t have quite the same feel or voice.  Do yourself a favor and read it.

3. The White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty

Required reading for my American Novels class during my final semester of graduate school, The White Boy Shuffle is everything that good AmThe White Boy Shuffleerican satire should be.  It’s hilarious.  Really hilarious.  The prose is tongue-in-cheek so much that I’m not sure when Beatty is seriously antagonizing a person or concept or just trying to get a laugh out of the reader.  And that’s wonderful.  There is really no part of America that Beatty doesn’t attack and make seem ridiculous.  Absurd racial stereotypes, friendship, family, and what it means to be a “writer” are among my favorite running themes.  Still not sold?  Here’s the quote I have on my Facebook page:

Each model will carry a sign with a grammar lesson on it. I can see the enthusiasm on the children’s faces now. Imagine with me, if you will, the fine and sexy pre-med major light-skinned Linda Rucker, in a little one-piece bathing suit carrying a sign that reads ‘i before e except after c.’ There’ll be booty and learning for days.

So there are my top 3.  I find it odd that I did not list anything by Stephen King or even J.R.R. Tolkien on my list.  They are certainly two of my favorites, but I couldn’t find any room between these three that actually impacted the way I think.  That’s what good literature does, I reckon, and why it needs to be on a list in the first place.

What about y’all?  What books fall on your Top 3 lists?

Comments

  1. I can’t do this. I can’t make my Top 3 list, no matter how hard I try.

    I can give you two books.

    1. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”.
    2. Hermann Hesse’s “Steppenwolf”.

    They definitely changed my life (well, the way I think). But can’t think of a third one. Actually, I am not quite sure if “Steppenwolf” is still at the top 3 list, though it did change my life.

    Oh, and I might also include “Atonement” by Ian McEwan. Now when I think of it, it goes on the second place, and “Steppenwolf” becomes the third.

    No, wait… It’s impossible to decide.

    • I was going to include The Lord of the Rings (well, Return of the King, specifically), but I realized that since I had gotten annoyed at the franchise and its fans after the movies came out. If I ever feel that way about something, I have a hard time putting it in my top 3 of all time.

      • I understand your feelings. But since LotR IS my favourite book, I just had to forget about the film and the hype and marketing- and just include it on my list.

  2. Longasc

    I told you, picking only three books is just terrible. But well, let’s try. 🙂

    I like David Gemmell’s Heroic Fantasy a lot, so my no. 1 would be one of his novels

    1.) “Midnight Falcon” or “The Lion of Macedon” are Heroic Fantasy at its best.
    2.) The cycle from #200-299 in the German SciFi series Perry Rhodan, called “Masters of the Island”. Space Opera par excellence.
    3.) “Byzantium” by Stephen Lawhead. His best historical novel so far.
    4.) “Kushiel’s Dart” by Jacqueline Carey. Naughty fantasy. 🙂

    Oh, I picked four? I could also have named David Duncan, Tolkien and Peter V. Brett for “The Painted/Warded Man”… not to forget G.R.R. Martin and Dan Simmons. And what about Neil Gaiman? I also like Heinlein, at least some of his novels.

    So much about “pick three novels”. It is incredibly hard for people who love literature. And notice I only picked entertainment, there are also more serious novels that had some impact on me as a person.

    • It is nearly impossible, I agree. But I do like being able to point to a list that I’ve compiled to make recommendations.

      So what is it about G.R.R. Martin? I have the four books of the Song of Ice and Fire in my bedroom; I got them for a Christmas gift last year, and I’ve been daunted by them. I hear they are so engrossing and long that I can’t bring myself to undertake that kind of endeavor. Are they //really// that good?

      • Adrian

        As for G.R.R. Martin: I enjoyed it, and while it should be admitted that I read quickly, I found I fairly flew through them. I’d recommend it, as long as you don’t mind naughty bits.

        • No, naughty bits won’t bother me unless they’re just there for no reason. I had a problem with “Altered Carbon’s” sex scenes because they served no narrative function.

      • Longasc

        Yes, they are awesome. The latest book not so much, just like the Wheel of Time the series is in danger of becoming a long drawl, little progress storywise. But the earlier books are definitely a must-read.

        I almost skipped the series after the prologue of the first novel – it is a reminder for things to come, and the “Wall” and the danger from the North do not get covered in the next two books at all. It was a bit confusing and did not get me, also partly due to an especially poor translation, I later switched to the english original.

        But then it sucked me in. There are strong and vivid characters, from the usual favorites like the midget Tyrion and Jon Snow to villains like Jaime Lannister and his sister Cersei. Very quickly you get enticed by the medieval “Game of Thrones” – and your favorite characters are always in danger of dying quickly and violently.

        Martin switches between different viewpoints and tells the story from the perspective of the characters involved, which is part of the charm of his style.

        This time I can totally agree to the editorial review:
        http://www.amazon.com/Game-Thrones-Song-Fire-Book/dp/0553381687/

  3. Carrie

    I have an incredibly clear memory of my 5th grade teacher handing me A Wrinkle in Time and saying “Read this one. I think you’ll like it.” It was my first in a long line of L’Engle books, with A Swiftly Tilting Planet being my favorite. I’ve read most of her stuff, and loved it all.

    • I think it was 4th grade where I was introduced to it. I have fond memories of A Swiftly Tilting Planet, too. I couldn’t find a copy of it for over two years, and when I finally did, I tore through it in a single evening. I don’t even remember what it was about, but what I do remember is that I loved A Wrinkle in Time the most because of nostalgia and I think Many Waters was my favorite for story. I can barely remember the other two.

  4. Adrian

    I remember truly enjoying Wrinkle, though I think when I read the rest I was too immature (developmentally, rather than attitude-wise) to really get engrossed. I do remember them as very good though.

    My top three…
    1. Infinite Jest. It should be noted that I feel almost like some arrogant comp. lit. student putting this here, but I really enjoy the wit. And it has changed how I write, which is no small accomplishment for a book.
    2. Dark Tower (the series). I don’t think I need to say much, other than I apologize for putting a series as one book, but these are the best adventure novels I’ve yet read.
    3. Catch-22. This is one I need to read again, but I am a sucker for humor, and I found it hilarious. Terribly so.

    Runners up (because I hate limiting myself) in no particular order: Lolita, Spy Who Came in from the Cold, 1984, Old Man and the Sea

  5. A Time Traveler’s Wife is by far my favourite book. I too can’t put my finger on the why, all I know is that if I talk about it to friends I still get goosebumps thinking about it.

    I have 2 other books that I love but can’t express exactly why and they are:

    The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    .-= Lath´s last blog ..A Tale of Two TOCs =-.

    • I have a soft spot for American Gods, too. I have fond memories of a childhood trip to Rock City in Chattanooga where the climax occurs. So the entire time I read it, I kept thinking “I’ve been RIGHT THERE” and giggling to myself.

      I’ve yet to read Anansi Boys.

  6. This list is precious! My preciouses. Precioussesss.

    First off, yes, A Wrinkle In Time was such a delight! I don’t remember exactly when I read it, maybe fifth grade? I read the other two books in the trilogy, too (there were only three at the time.) And then I left it behind. There was just so much else to read, as I recall.

    Anyways, I read A Wrinkle In Time again recently, a couple years ago when I was seriously engaged in my close reading of Lost. A Wrinkle In Time is the second book we see read by Sawyer, the first being A Watership Down. Anyways, if you haven’t read it recently, please read it again and then follow it up with Lost’s 19th episode, “Deus Ex Machina.” Trust me.

    I also know I’m going to read TTW at some point. Everyone has only good things to say about it (unlike the movie, which I didn’t see either) and it may be approaching the status of “canon” the genre of time-travel stories.

    The List

    1. The Phantom Tollbooth

    At first I thought this was going to be an easy list, because this book popped instantly into my head. This is the book I read over and over and over again, probably twice a year for years and years, and several more times as an adult. This is the book I read aloud to a lover at bedtime for a month, laughing our fool little heads off.

    Like A Wrinkle In Time, Phantom Tollbooth is geared for a young adult audience. Its wordplay is tremendous, the adventure is epic, and the characters memorable and joyous. I’d even go so far as to say it is Mythic, as it features the return of the twin princesses of Rhyme and Reason to heal the world as a boon.

    Isn’t it interesting that some of the best books span the generations? I don’t know, I’m tempted to say that any Best 3 that doesn’t include a “children’s” book isn’t worth its salt. What’s so best about kids’ books is that they are gateway drugs into literature. My love of reading was cultivated in childhood; getting into books in adulthood is much more rare, isn’t it?

    This is another book I found in Lost. Yes, in Lost! You won’t find it overtly, for its placement is apocryphal. In “The Moth”, Kate and Sayid discuss the improbability of their circumstances. Chasing after a “phantom” distress signal, and things happening for “no rhyme, no reason,” well, that might be a coincidence. But when later Charlies confesses to Jack in the caves that it reminds him of the claustrophobic little booths of his Catholicism, well, that’s a conspiracy.

    2. The Hobbit

    My cousin Kim slipped me this book when I was eight. It sucked me in to the Tolkien universe, setting me up perfectly for the revelations of LOTR the next year. I have a profound love for mythology because I was privileged to read Tolkien growing up, but also because the relationship I have with my cousin is so dear to me. There’s something special about getting books from loved ones who know what you’ll like. Besides, The Hobbit is a single book, and everyone knows LOTR is a series, right?

    3. Um… something something… Titan.

    Starting the list is easier than finishing it, and this is where my head exploded. How do I pick from all the other stuff for the final selection? How about Alan Moore’s Watchmen, even though it’s a comic? Or maybe his work with Swamp Thing, or Neil Gaiman’s Sandman? Part of me feels that comics should be included in the list. But then, if I went into other media, I’d probably end up putting The Muppet Show on my list, and it’d get all screwy. We set boundaries for a reason, after all.

    And then I remembered that I might want to put some non-fiction into the mix. That would give me the opportunity to plug “Philosophy In The Flesh,” which more clearly describes the underlying processes of how we think before we even realize we’re thinking than anything I’ve ever read. Seriously, if you’re a philosophy fan, you deserve to read this book.

    But I found myself ultimately reflecting between two books of fiction in the end, and I don’t know if I can pick. On the one hand I have Kurt Vonnegut’s “Sirens of Titan,” which was my introduction to science fiction. This is a book given to me by my Dad, and it’s one of those moments that’ll be etched in my memory forever. The chronosynclastic infundibulum is a tremendous invention, and any introduction to Vonnegut must surely count for something, yes?

    On the other hand, I have to give serious consideration to John Varley’s “Titan”, the first in the Gaean Trilogy. This is a series I read over and over and over again while listening to Vangelis’ Opera Sauvage over and over again, in my teens. Cirocco Jones is a great heroine, the Wheel is a magnificent creation, and how could I go wrong with so much Greek mythology being invoked? Plus, any story that features an ascension must surely count for something in my book, anymore.

    I think I have to go with the latter. I never felt compelled to read Sirens more than once, while my appetite for Varley became insatiable. While I admire Vonnegut’s craft more than Varley’s, I dunno, I think I have more appreciation for Varley’s imagination.

    Or maybe I’m just a sucker for eucatastrophe.
    .-= jane´s last blog ..Briar Rose Learns to Read =-.

    • I love The Phantom Tollbooth. I still have a copy from my elementary school years on my bookshelf. I refuse to take it off. The wordplay in it is magnificent…far better than most things I’ve read in recent years.

  7. Novels, not “books”, right? There are nonfiction books that I’ll always rate higher than fiction.

    That said, my top three fiction books? Erm… Ouch. That’s a tricky one. I’ve never tried to narrow it down to just three.

    Three that I like quite a bit and recommend highly, though, that I can do:

    Lord of the Rings (it was originally meant to be a single book, apparently. I read it that way…)
    The Blue Sword (or its predecessor, The Hero and the Crown)
    I, Jedi (the only first person Star Wars novel I’ve found, which allows it to be thoroughly meditative about what the Force is and what Jedi are… so it’s better than the entire New Jedi Order series and most of the movies…)
    .-= Tesh´s last blog ..Allod of Questions =-.

    • Oh, really? What non-fiction would you put on there, Tesh? I’m legitimately curious because I am //so//not a non-fiction person.

      The Blue Sword? That sounds really familiar. I think I read it years ago because I know that I read “The Hero and the Crown” years ago.

      And you’re right. “I, Jedi” is the best of all the Star Wars novels. Not only does it have the conventions of “real” literature, it also has one of the most three-dimensional characters in the entire universe in Corran Horn. I especially love that he’s not the typical Luke Skywalker clone for a Jedi. He has his own style, and it works.

      • Well, I’d put the scriptures, Talmage’s Jesus the Christ and Lewis’ Mere Christianity at the top of the total list. If religious books are out of the picture, moving on to other non-fiction, I’d put A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking at the top. Hyperspace by Michio Kaku is also fantastic, and I’d probably put What Remains to be Discovered by John Maddox in third (even though it’s already ten years old and a little bit out of date), though there are several other books that could fit in. (Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, edited by Stephen Hawking, is another fantastic book.)

        I suppose that it could also be argued that science is itself a curious sort of fiction, though. 😉
        .-= Tesh´s last blog ..Acronymicon: MGORPG =-.

      • Oh, and yes, Corran Horn is hands down my favorite Star Wars character for those reasons, among others. SW isn’t exactly high literature, but there are flashes of brilliance here and there. I, Jedi is a nice peek behind the curtain, as it were, into what the SW universe *could* be with more care and polish. (The Thrawn trilogy is another good set of books.) It occupies an interesting place between pop gibberish and “real” literature.
        .-= Tesh´s last blog ..Acronymicon: MGORPG =-.

        • Longasc

          Michael Stackpole is an awesome writer. I once told you, he knows how to breathe life in other people’s universes, while he totally fails to do that with his “own” chars in his “own” worlds, funnily.

          I have not heard from him for a while, but he set high standards when it came to Star Wars and BattleTech novels.

          You are absolutely right, such novels are prime examples that “trivial” literature for recreation can or could be so much more.

          • He is. I have never read anything Stackpole wrote outside of SW, though. If they would hire more writers like him and Kevin J. Anderson instead of the Christie Goldens, Richard A. Knaacks, and Troy Dennings, the franchise literature wouldn’t be half as laughable as it is right now.

        • Thrawn is likely my favorite SW character of all time. Just don’t make me choose between him and Yoda or my head may explode.

          I didn’t, however, like Outbound Flight’s persona he had very much though. He was refined, but it was too forced. Zahn lost the magic that made Thrawn interesting in the newest installment.

            • I just think he didn’t exactly know the right backstory and was contractually obligated to write it. But you could be right. I kind of hope not, though, since they’re planning a live-action TV series based on the time between Sith and A New Hope. If it’s the hybridizing generations, then we’re in trouble.

  8. Madeleine L’Engle wrote smart books because she was a smart lady. Wrinkle came about because she was doing some leisure reading about Einstein and his relativity theories…while on a family vacation. For real.

    I LOVED Many Waters…probably my fave out of the Time series. Her adult fic (and non-fic! See below) is pretty good, too.

    Ok, top 3…

    A Prayer for Owen Meany by Jon Irving–the book meanders through what seems like a thousand story lines that all merge in the end for something pretty powerful.

    Til We Have Faces by CS Lewis–I re-read this every couple of years and get something new every time. Full of profound concepts on beauty, ugliness, etc.

    Oh geez…I can’t even pick a third! It’s a toss-up between Two-Part Invention: the Story of Marriage by Madeleine L’Engle, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken, Life of Pi by Yann Martel and about 200 more.
    .-= The Naked Redhead´s last blog ..New Moon Review =-.

    • I’ve heard great things about Life of Pi, but I’ve never bothered to pick it up. So much reading in so little time!

      I didn’t know that about how Wrinkle came about, nor did I know that she wrote adult fiction. I’m a huge fan of hers, so I might have to add that to my Amazon Wish List for when and if I get a Kindle.

      I have a thing about YA authors writing adult fiction; I love it. I love C.S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” and I just recently found out that Roald Dahl published adult novels in addition to his plethora of children’s stories. <3

    • Really? The Eye of the World? I thought it was kind of bad, actually, and it was the entire reason I never started reading the rest of the series. It was so slow to start and never grabbed me once it had. I remember starting it my freshman year of high school, and I still haven’t finished it.

      Change my mind, Gordon? What is it that was so good about it to get on your list. I’m legitimately intrigued because I keep hearing the series is fantastic, but rarely do I see the first book cited as being part of the greatness.

    • If you’re going to pick out a single book from the Wheel of Time it would need to be somewhere between books 5-8. For me, book 6 is the best in the series with the possible exception of The Gathering Storm which just came out. It’s hard to point to a specific book in a series though as all of them feed into and off of one another.

      WoT is definitely one of my favorite series of all time though.

      • I’ve always heard that WoT had some of the best battle/magic scenes of any literature ever written. That if you’re into just huge, large-scale battles that make your mind boggle, there is no better place than Robert Jordan’s series to find it.

        I’m incredibly interested in the plot and the intrigue, but when a series is over 10k pages, it’s a little intimidating, especially after being so…boring?…to begin with.

        How long does it take for the series to really hit its stride?

    • That’s my main problem with this. There are //so many// books that have impacted me, limiting it to three really makes me have to think about why I put value on certain things.

      I can’t wait to see the three you pick!

  9. Don’t mean to be over-posting, but I get excited talking about books.

    1. Moby Dick
    I never knew fiction could kick me in the neck-meat quite like this one did until I read it for the first time at age 19.

    2. Blood Meridian

    I keep rereading it, trying to get some type of message, and not able to put it down because of the carnage.

    3. True Grit, by Clinton Portis.

    I don’t know if there was a time I ever laughed so hard at something that wasn’t a Three Stooges short. I’ve just purchased Confederacy of Dunces, as well.
    .-= JT´s last blog ..To the rest of the nba, Kobe and Tim Duncan are still better than you =-.

    • I didn’t actually like Moby Dick. I was younger when I read it, true, but there was something about the writing that never hit me. But of course, I’m not a huge Melville fan, either. Probably my favorite of his is Bartleby the Scribner.

      I just downloaded Blood Meridian yesterday. I’ve been hankering for some more McCarthy to read, and I keep having Blood Meridian recommended. Once I get out of my SF mood, I’m definitely going to be picking it as my “literature” choice.

      I don’t know anything about True Grit, but I’ll certainly check it out. I hated Confederacy of Dunces, though. I had heard so much about it and how witty it was, but it was in dire need of editing if you ask me and could have used a lot more tightening up for the humor to be really my style. It tried too hard, I think.

  10. I’ll take devil’s advocate on Wheel of Time — it’s a series that’s ultimately not worth your time. It’s not just that it’s wordy and long and takes far too long for anything to happen, but that Jordan doesn’t seem to know how people work. Women are portrayed as scheming, man-hating shrews, men are dense as all get out. Plots are recycled endlessly, as well as phrases that could make this series into a dull drinking game (take a drink every time a woman tugs on her braid).

    I struggled through six of those books until I threw them away for good. You know the series is bad when even diehard fans have disowned one of the more recent books (Crossroads, I think).

  11. Hmm… my top three would probably be:

    1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (OK, technically they’re two books but I’m counting them as one!)

    2. The October Country by Ray Bradbury. Best short story collection ever!

    3. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Two of my favorite authors in one book! 🙂
    .-= Stefanie´s last blog ..This week in writing =-.

  12. Drewbie

    Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Best. Book. Ever.

    I went out and found a first edition just to have after reading the trade paperback and unfortunately haven’t seen it since as I’ve insisted that everyone I know read it. I love that book because it feels like it was written just for me. It combines historical fiction, the middle ages, and architecture so flawlessly and once I started the book, I didn’t want to sleep again til I was done.

    • The only reason I haven’t read it yet is because of its size. It’s so daunting. One of my groomsmen gave me his copy of the audiobook, and it’s over 40 hours long. 40! I have heard it’s amazing, though, and the sequel is supposed to be equally stunning.

      I’ve avoided it for the same reason I typically avoid long series: it’s so much of an investment that I fear I’d never finish, much like the New Jedi Order (17 of 19 books read) or the Wheel of Time (I couldn’t even finish Eye of the World because I was so intimidated).

  13. Hunaiam

    I know this is late in the game, but I just found your website so here goes.

    1. The Hobbit
    I was in the library of my school in the 8th grade when I found this book, and it completely changed my world. Up until then it was Hardy Boys and nature books.

    2. The Foundation Series
    Once again 10th grade, and I found this series in our library. I needed to do a book report and ended up doing it on all three books. Got an A by the way, very few of those in my life lol.

    3. The Wheel of Time
    All of them, I started reading these when I was 17 years old, and I am now 44. I am still not done with them. And yet I can’t wait for the next one to come out, they are that good.

    I now the last two are a series, but to my a book is a story, and the story isn’t over until it has a conclusion.

  14. mjed mazga

    This thread is more about finding new books to read than picking top 3s. Some nice suggestions in here, making me look forward to a trip to the library now.

    The Pillars of the Earth was definitely an excellent read, though I’d hesitate to call it a top 3 book. Also, its size should not be a concern. It’s one of those books that is very difficult to put down once you start, and you will not regret finishing it (though personally I prefer the mini-series ending to the book, heresy I know!).

    My semi-thought-out list at 2am:

    1. Infinite Jest.

    Yes, I feel smug every that I’ve read this twice but good lord. You should read it already, it may hurt your brain a bit but you will thank yourself. Go get it now.

    2. Catch-22 OR Slaughterhouse-Five

    name-number books tied for second place. Catch-22 is literary genius, however, and no surprise that it made a lot of people’s top 3 here. It’s so completely tongue-in-cheek the entire way through, it’s one giant catch-22 filled with innumerable smaller catch-22s, and yet it also manages to be an amazing comment on war and our life as human beings. I hate to admit but the first time I read this book I didn’t “get” it, and I felt so embarrassed for myself when I read it again and was rolling on the floor laughing over it. How did I not see it?

    3. If on a winter’s night a traveler, by Italo Calvino.

    I’m not convinced on this one, but it is a book worth reading. The usage of the second person in some chapters at first feels contrived but it’s nevertheless a book I’ve gone back to a few times.

  15. I have always wanted to read A Wrinkle in Time. I’m not sure why I haven’t.

    The Time Traveler’s Wife is amazing. I read it and fell in love with the story, before it was made into a movie. Time Travel is something I have desperately wished for and romanticized about and this book really placed this desire into a healthier? perspective.

    Never heard of the third book, but adding it to my to-read list! 🙂

  16. P4tience

    1. Jane Eyre
    No question, my favourite book of all time is Jane Eyre. I was a teenager when I read it, and it was the first time I made friends with a character in a novel

    2.The Folk of the Faraway Tree
    Yep, I’m serious. Enid Blyton was often twee and condescending, but in TFotFT she inspired my imagination, and as a young girl who loved to climb up trees and sing in them, this book still makes me want to climb up a tree and I’m nearly 40 years old!

    3. The Hobbit
    I read this book as a teenager, in my tent, whilst on a family camping trip. It started a life-long love of Tolkien. My favourite Tolkien story is ‘Leaf by Niggle’, but that’s not a novel, it’s a short story, otherwise it would be my number 3.

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