This is a list of my favorite books of all time! I love to read, and I believe that a good writer also has to be a good reader. Besides, if you didn't like to read in the first place, why would you write more reading material? Anywho, here are my favorite books:
The Little Minister by James Barrie
This is a delightful romance by the author of Peter Pan--but don't be put off by the fact that it is a romance! It is also very funny and sweet, and I fell in love with it the first time I read it about two years ago. It is now my favorite book. It is set in Scotland in the 1800s, and it centers around a literally little minister, who is very sensitive about his height, or lack thereof, and a beautiful and mischievous gypsy girl who is the only one in the town of thrums that is not enamored with the minister. A must-read for anyone who likes humor, doesn't mind reading a little Scottish talk, and can stand romance.
This was my favorite book for the longest time. I read it all in one afternoon when I was sick in bed, and I have read it so many times since that I am able to quote quite a bit of it by heart. It is HILARIOUS! It is also a very sweet story about Valancy Stirling, an old maid who never got anything she wanted, and who only felt that she really lived when she was imagining herself in a sumptuous Blue Castle. Then Valancy, who had never lived, found out that she was going to die, and decided that she wanted to find her Blue Castle before she died, even if it meant going against the strict family that had held her cowed for years.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
I WISH I OWNED THIS BOOK! I first read it at school on the day before Christmas break. I could not put it down, but finally I was forced to, and I had to wait for two and a half agonizingly long weeks until school started again before I could finish reading it. It is excellent. It is the story of London and Paris at the start of the French Revolution, and it has two of the best literary characters ever created in it: Sydney Carton and Madame Defarge. It is mostly about a former Frenchman, Charles Darnay, who returns to his native land with his wife, Lucie, only to be caught in a dangerous trap of events that happened years before and were not his fault. Sydney Carton, a ruined, hopeless man in love with Lucie and bearing a slight resemblance to Darnay, also figures in this riveting novel as he tries to save Darnay's life for Lucie. Madame Defarge is one of the best villains ever, as she works hard to ruin Darnay and his family. If you have never read this book, then you need to do so now. What are you waiting for?
The Lost Prince by Francis Hodgson Burnett
This is the hugely exciting tale of Marco, a young Samavian patriot who is determined to help his father find the lost prince of Samavia and restore freedom to the tiny country, now ravaged by civil wars. He and his friend, a London street urchin nicknamed the Rat, travel across Europe bearing an all-important message: the freedom of Samavia is at hand. Now they only need to find the prince!
You will not be able to put this book down. It is one of the few books that I have really, really wished really hard for a sequel to. And, of course, we only have the abridged version, and I cannot find the unabridged anywhere. I am dying to get it and read it!
In His Steps by Charles Sheldon
One of the most convicting books you will ever read! This story centers around a church somewhere in the mid-United States in the late 1800s. After a homeless man makes a sensation in Pastor Maxwell's well-to-do congregation, the pastor makes a challenge to his congregation to do nothing for a year without first asking himself the question, "What would Jesus do?" As the congregation begins to live this challenge, they learn what suffering for Christ really means, and they find that they must turn to the Bible and prayer more and more in daily life.
I am always spiritually uplifted whenever I read this book. It is a great encouragement for any Christian who is striving to do the will of God. It is also very convicting. This is almost like reading a powerful sermon, even though it is still fiction.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
I've heard that the movie is bad, but the book is most certainly good! Edmund Dantes is the central figure of this book. He is falsely accused by two supposed friends envious of his good fortune and wrongly imprisoned by a frightened prosecutor. With the years of his youth eaten up in a dank dungeon, Dantes swears to bring vengeance upon the three people who ruined his life when he finally emerges from the prison. Excessively wealthy from a hidden fortune bequeathed to him by a raving prison-mate, Dantes begins his quest for vengeance, but he soon realizes that no one can take the place of God and have everything come out quite as well as it should.
I really love this story. It is a good warning to those who would think of taking vengeance. People simply cannot take the place of God! And if you have never read it, I would strongly suggest that you do, while watching out for adult content and profanity, which is in the book, although not very much.
High Rhulain by Brian Jacques
This is part of the Redwall series, a fantasy saga about an Abbey inhabited by mice, squirrels, moles, and other woodland creatures. High Rhulain is the story of Tiria Wildlough, a young ottermaid who is told that she must journey to a little island in order to free the otter slaves there from a horde of wildcats. Accompanied by hares from the Long Patrol, a military troop that guards the western shores, Tiria takes her rightful place as the otterqueen, High Rhulain. With a colorful array of characters, including Leatho Shellhound, an otter outlaw who dares to oppose the rule of Riggu Felis, the wildcat ruler, Brinty, a brave little mouse, young Abbess Lycian, a mouse with a sense of humor, and Cuthbert Blanedale Frunk, the fool of the sea, a former Long Patrol Hare gone mad over the murder of his daughter. This is a fun book to read, and it is, like all the Redwall books, very well written. It contains a lot of riddles, which makes it all the more exciting to read.
At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald
I love fairy tales. And this book is about as fairy taleish as you can get.
Diamond, a little boy, is the central character. He makes friends with the North Wind, who takes him on all sorts of adventures, and even leads him to a magical place she can never enter, the back of the North Wind. Diamond is never the same when he returns home, but his sweet innocence charms everyone, and he makes life a joy to his family and friends.
I don't know that I would recommend this book to everybody, although I like it so much myself, but that is only because not everybody cares for fairy tales. You would really have to like them a lot to want to read this book.
I would say, however, that it is good book for reading aloud in a family. You should try it out, even if it is not your favorite genre, just so you can see how nice it is.
Little Britches series by Ralph Moody
"Father and I were ranchers."
This is a wonderful series about a boy who grew up out west. Written years after the fact, Ralph Moody chronicles his family's move to a Colorado ranch and the hardships they faced. Along the way they made new friends and a new life for themselves. The entire series is both hilarious and heartbreaking.
(Advisory: Keep a box of kleenex handy at the last chapter of the first book.)
I would caution against some of the language, as there are cowboys in the books and not all of their language was edited by the author. In all other respects, they are very good books, filled with character lessons for everyone. These are also good books for reading aloud, which is how I was first introduced to them.