Rewind: 10 Favorites, 3 Years

First, you should know that I am the worst at picking favorites when it comes to books. It’s impossible. Luckily for me, The Broke and the Bookish has narrowed it down this week to top ten favorite books…from the last three years. Even this was pretty hard, and this blog has only been in action for TWO. Either way, I tried my best:PicMonkey CollageFinal

10. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. I think timing has a lot to do with how I feel about a book after I read it, and I read this right before I went to Paris myself. I couldn’t help but picture myself in all of the places Hemingway was, and it was definitely still in my head while I was actually there. Plus, it’s the ultimate look into 1920’s Paris.

A taste: “We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other.”

9. 11/22/63 by Stephen King. This is the book that introduced me to Stephen King. It led me to On Writing, which should probably also be on this list, and also be re-read, now that I can appreciate it even more. 11/22/63 wasn’t scary but it was magical, historical fiction at its absolute best.

A taste: “Life turns on a dime. Sometimes towards us, but more often it spins away, flirting and flashing as it goes: so long, honey, it was good while it lasted, wasn’t it?”

8. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. Marina Keegan was my age when she wrote this and I will never get over it. I can’t help but think of the very first episode of Girls when Hannah says that she is the voice of a generation. Keegan gave words to things I didn’t know other people thought. She could have really been the voice of the millennial generation, and I’ll probably never stop recommending this collection.

A taste: “And I cry because everything is so beautiful and so short.”  

7. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I never expected to love this tiny little book as much as I did, but it really stuck in my head, and when I think of favorites, this one always comes to mind. A fairy tale for grown ups as much as kids, it’s fun and scary and makes you remember everything great and terrifying about being a kid.

A taste: “Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”

6. Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This is definitely the book I’ve read most recently, but one I know I’ll go back to a million times. Everyone loved Wild when it first came out, but I just never got into it. It’s almost as if I was waiting for the perfect time, and it found me.

A taste: “I was a terrible believer in things,but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things. I was as searching as I was skeptical. I didn’t know where to put my faith,or if there was such a place,or even what the word faith meant, in all of it’s complexity. Everything seemed to be possibly potent and possibly fake.

5. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. This is one of the most mind bending, fantastic books I’ve ever read. I never wanted to finish it, and when I finally did, I wanted more. MOAR. I still do.

A taste: “Do not think that time simply flies away. Do not understand “flying” as the only function of time. If time simply flew away, a separation would exist between you and time. So if you understand time as only passing, then you do not understand the time being. To grasp this truly, every being that exists in the entire world is linked together as moments in time, and at the same time they exist as individual moments of time. Because all moments are the time being, they are your time being.”

4. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Probably one of the most talked about books last year, Station Eleven was one of the very last books that I read in 2014, but one of the ones that stuck in my head the longest. I did an entire post of quotes from this one, and it still didn’t feel like I captured everything I loved.

A taste: “No more Internet. No more social media, no more scrolling through litanies of dreams and nervous hopes and photographs of lunches, cries for help and expressions of contentment and relationship-status updates with heart icons whole or broken, plans to meet up later, pleas, complaints, desires, pictures of babies dressed as bears or peppers for Halloween. No more reading and commenting on the lives of others, and in so doing, feeling slightly less alone in the room. No more avatars.”

3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. When I finished this one I wanted to hand a copy to everyone I knew, I’m not kidding. I wanted to be in the Potato Peel Pie Society, and befriend every single character.

A taste: “Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.”

2. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. I’ve talked about this book more times on this blog than any other book probably ever. It’s probably easier to name the Top Ten lists it’s not on, than count all of the lists I managed to sneak it onto. It’s sad but it’s beautiful and it will make you think and feel things, and it’s just the best, okay.

A taste: “I felt like I had proof that not all days are the same length, not all time has the same weight. Proof that there are worlds and worlds and worlds on top of worlds, if you want them to be there.”

1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I think this is my favorite book possibly ever. I know. The quote below was written on the chalkboard wall in my room for months. 

A taste: “I had the epiphany that laughter was light, and light was laughter, and that this was the secret of the universe.”

So that’s that. I love The Goldfinch forever and ever.

Tell me: What are your favorite books? (From the past three years, or forever!)


  1. The Goldfinch and Station Eleven made my list too – and I think I was completely head in the clouds when I put together my list because I forgot to include 11/22/63. So much love for that book! I think it’s the only book that could ever cause me to say ” I loved a book about time travel”.

    1. Me too! I think because the time travel aspect isn’t made into a huge deal. He walks into a closet rather than gearing up some crazy time machine or something.

  2. I put The Ocean at the End of the Lane on my list, too! I also definitely agree with what you said about The Goldfinch-I should have added that one to my list as well! I just finished reading The Secret History a few days ago and I really enjoyed it. It was so dark and mysterious and the ending was really surprising. You’re told a lot of stuff in the beginning so you kind of think that will be the end of it, but the twists just keep on coming! Great list! 🙂

  3. I have so much love for Wild, Station Eleven, A Tale for the Time Being, and The Goldfinch. And now I need to read The Opposite of Loneliness and The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Great list!

  4. I loved The Potato Peel Pie Society! I read it when it first came out, so it was a while ago now. I could use a re-read on that one sometime soon. Great list!

  5. Oh my, your thoughts and quotations have made me want to read ALL of these. It’s not often that a blogger does that!

    I shared my top ten yesterday, if you’d like to look. 🙂

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