How precious are Your thoughts to me, O LORD ... how vast is the sum of them!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Books I Treasure

What reader doesn’t like making book lists? I’ve made several on this blog—including favorite fairy tales, funniest books, classics I’ve read, and top 15 reads of 2013 and 2014. But I’ve never done a list of straight-out favorite books. At least not here. On Goodreads, I have a “twenty favorite” shelf:

Kelsey's twenty-favorite book montage

Sense and Sensibility
Pride and Prejudice
Mansfield Park
Northanger Abbey
Wives and Daughters
North and South
Jane Eyre
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Lord of the Rings
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Pilgrim's Progress
Little Women
The Little House Collection
The Zion Chronicles Complete Set
The Wanderer: or, Female Difficulties

Kelsey Bryant's favorite books »

Now this is my as-of-2015 list. I don’t change it often, but be aware I may change it in the future, as is understandable—reading tastes evolve in everyone. I chose these books because I love the stories, the characters, the settings, the author’s writing style, and the messages more than any other books I’ve read. (Excluding, of course, the Bible! Wonderful book; have you read it lately? It trumps all others.) I wanted to add the two Elizabeth Goudge novels I just read, but these twenty books won’t budge quite yet…maybe re-reading everything will get something to move.

Okay. I’ve rambled enough about that list. Now for the mega-list.

The mega-list? Yes, the one hundred-plus books that I count among my favorites, the books I’d hold onto and re-read…that list. Notice it isn’t here, fortunately (or else this would be a really long post); it’s accessed via a tab at the top of this blog so you can browse it at your leisure. It used to be the top 100 best books I’ve read, but I thought my favorites would be more fun, and more measurable and easy to evaluate. For example, I don’t really like Wuthering Heights but I included it in the “100 best books” because it’s so well-written, but I can’t exactly gush over it. There are tons of other “best books” lists that anyone can make, but only I can make my favorites list.

I wish I had time and space to lovingly describe how each book arrived there…but that would take a book in itself. Somehow or another these beauties just thrilled me while I was reading them and kept me feeling warm long after I’d said goodbye.

I’m assuming you have a list of favorite books, too…have you ever made an “official” one? What are your top favorites and why?


  1. Yay! I love lists of favorite books. :) They make me happy. ^_^ On your top-twenty I really want to read Northanger Abbey and The Count of Monte Cristo! (I also want to read Wuthering Heights...) Lord of the Rings and the Narnia books would be near the top of my favorites list. :)

    I'm not sure if the following are my "favorites" but I recently made a list of books that are practically perfect and that I always feel like I want to reread... so maybe that's similar to favorite? ;) In no particular order...

    Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones
    Paper Crowns (this one isn't published yet and is by internet friend Mirriam Neal)
    The Gammage Cup - Carol Kendall
    The Ordinary Princess - M. M. Kaye
    Broken Glass (in Five Glass Slippers) - Emma Clifton
    The Penderwicks - Jeanne Birdsall
    The Lord of the Rings - Tolkien
    Prince Valiant series - Hal Foster
    Searching for Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede
    The Kestrel - Lloyd Alexander (probably The Iron Ring as well...)
    The Reluctant Dragon - Kenneth Graham (and I always lump the Dragon Stories by E. Nesbit in here somewhere because I read them together)
    The Boggart - Susan Cooper
    The Horse and His Boy (specifically out of the Narnia books this one's my favorite, though I love them all.)

    I think there's some more that should go on here but that I haven't reread in long enough that I'm not entirely certain...

    This was a long comment. :P Anyways, it was so fun seeing your tops, and I love your favorite books page over there! (I was just scrolling through and... FATHER BROWN!!! :D Love those stories! ^_^) Thanks for sharing! What a lovely topic. :)

    1. Hi Deborah! Thank you so much for your comment! I love lists of favorite books, too. :) :) Northanger Abbey and Count of Monte Cristo are so much fun and soo good! Thought-provoking in a way, too.

      Thank you for sharing your list! I think they qualify as don't want to reread something unless you really, really like it. :) Ooh...of your list, I really want to read Howl's Moving Castle, The Penderwicks, the Lloyd Alexander books (I HAVE to start reading his books!) and the Reluctant Dragon! I will have to look at the others you mentioned. I can never quite pick which Narnia book is my favorite...I think The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. But like you, I love them all.
      Yes. FATHER BROWN! Love them and definitely due for more reading!!! Thank you for your nice, long comment. I love long comments!