I am listening to Heartless by Marissa Meyer and I am enjoying that book so much, mostly because it is making me nostalgic about Alice in Wonderland. I love Alice in Wonderland and it is one of my most favorite books of all time. I am planning to reread the book soon and that was when I thought of making a list of my favorite books so that I can make time to read these books again soon.
The following are my most favorite books of all time. These are books that have been my favorites from a long time and have stood the test of time. Some of these I have reread and some of these have been only read once. The plan is to reread the ones that I have only read once.
Books that I have read at least twice:
Most of these books were read when I was a kid or a teenager. These are some really significant books in my reading journey. They have influenced my reading tastes and the kind of books and genres that I like.
The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
If I have read one book the most number of times in my life, it has to be this book. I had not read the original version of this story until recently. I had read a Disney sweeter version of this story in my childhood which I had picked up at a railway station. I also loved the Disney animation movie which is my absolute favorite. I am hoping that my son ends up loving this story as much as I did.
Tintin – any book in the series by Herge
I started reading Tintin in a magazine which my parents had subscribed to. They would publish a single page from one of the Tintin comics and the comics were serialized across multiple volumes of the magazine. I also saw the Tintin cartoon movies on TV before getting hold of this entire collection and reading them all in one go. These comics have been called racist and I have not seen them in US much but still they are my most favorite adventure stories. I love every single character in these comics.
Sherlock Holmes – Short stories and The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I started reading Sherlock Holmes after picking up a copy of his book in a railway station. I did most of my reading on the trains during my summer vacation as we travelled in trains for 3 whole days to visit family. We lived in North India and my grandparents were in South India so we made the journey every single year. I love his short stories more than the novellas. Amongst the novellas, my favorite is Hound of the Baskervilles. Jeremy Brett is my most favorite Holmes’ portrayal on screen. Just because I was smitten by Brett early on, I could not take a liking towards the new Sherlock TV series. Every time I think of Holmes, I remember Jeremy Brett.
Famous Five series – any book by Enid Blyton
I discovered Enid Blyton pretty late in my life after I had read classics like Robinhood or Robinson Crusoe and comics which is why I am not a huge fan of her other series. Famous Five and Malory Towers were the only series of hers which I was a huge fan of as a kid. Rest of her books were targeted for younger audience and I was too old for them already when I started on her books. But Famous Five is my absolute favorite.
Harry Potter and chamber of secrets and Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
The series which changed everything. It made me a fan of fantasy genre and made me realize what my most favorite genre was. My friend introduced me to this series and this series is now my most favorite series ever. This would be the series that I would carry with me to a deserted island and the series which I can keep reading for the rest of my life – any number of times. Out of all the books in this series, my favorites are Chamber of Secrets – mostly because I had seen the first movie before reading the book so this was my first ‘real’ Harry Potter book that I read before watching the movie. And the other favorite is Half-blood prince mostly because of all the info dumping on Voldemort that we get. We learn so much about Voldemort and also Harry is really close to Dumbledore in this part when they try to visit the memories. This book brings tears in my eyes every single time.
The Lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
If I were to choose my most favorite fantasy book, this would be it. The movie adaptations are my most favorite movies ever. I have seen the movies a million times but have only read the books twice so far. They take up lot of time to read but I love so many quotes from these books. In terms of writing, this is the most well written book in this list. I can read this book just for the prose and the writing style.
Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman
This book changed my life and made me realize how much I adored science. I wish I had read this book earlier as it would have helped me make science my career but I am still thankful to this book for making me understand that I was extremely passionate about science. This is my most favorite non-fiction book and my most favorite memoir ever.
Books that I have read only once and need to read again soon:
Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov
This is another series (other than Harry Potter) that changed my reading taste. I was not that much into science fiction before I read this series. I had only read Hitchhikers’ guide to the galaxy which I loved but it did not make me want to seek out more science fiction. Only after reading Foundation series and especially Second Foundation did I become a sci-fi fan. This series made me seek out every single sci-fi book out there so this was a game changer for me.
Alice’s adventures in wonderland and Through the looking glass by Lewis Carroll
This is another book which I read after loving the adaptation. I had seen the movie and the animated TV series many times and adored them a lot as a kid. I read the books only after I was an adult but absolutely loved them. They are full of riddles and mathematical puzzles and such. The books are so witty and can be enjoyed by both children and adults.
A Storm of Swords (A song of Ice and Fire series) by George R. R. Martin
This series as such is my favorite but the third book is my most favorite within the series. I am not sure when I will end up reading this series again as the books are humongous in size, but I do want to read them again. I love how every single character is gray and there are so many subplots and the medieval setting, world building – basically everything about these books. I am not a fan of the TV show since they deviated so much from the books. I still watch the TV show since the actors are doing a great job.
I am sure this list will change over time and new books may get added. Some books may even get removed if they are not that enjoyable upon a reread.
What are your favorite books of all time? Please recommend me some books which you think are similar to the ones that I have listed.