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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

All-Time Favorite Books (Part 1): Staff Picks

Posted by Staff

We recently asked the staff here what their all-time favorite books were. Some of us had a hard time picking only one, but we did limit ourselves to five.  What is your all-time favorite book?

Tirzah D.  

It’s been some time since I read this, but I remember that it left an emotional impact. I like how the characters are very real and relatable as so are the situations they face. I also like the message it conveys, which is how hope and true friendship can strengthen us during difficult times.

George and Martha by James Marshall  
Growing up, George and Martha was a regular library check-out. My mom eventually realized it was an all-time favorite for us three kids and she purchased a copy. The adventures these two hippos encounter are hilarious. The illustrations are adorable and the friendship portrayed is unforgettable. George and Martha brings such happy memories of my fun, book-filled childhood. 

The Viking Quest Series by Lois Walfrid Johnson
I first read this series in high school and since then, I have reread it many times. It is just one of those books that are full of important lessons and beautiful characters that stay with you.

Amanda E.

I have to clarify that these are my top fives as of this very moment. If I were to respond to this prompt tomorrow the list may be 5 completely different titles.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 
I’m a sucker for an orphan story and Anne’s is my favorite.  Every few years I reread the whole series and watch the Megan Fellows movies and just immerse myself in Anne’s wholesome and engaging universe. 
Persuasion by Jane Austen  
I love all of Austen’s novels but Persuasion is my favorite.  Anne Elliot is persuaded by her family not to marry the man she really loves.  Many years later she is a spinster and the man she loves comes back into her life.  Anne reflects on the choices of her youth in a way that is very appealing.  Anne’s family is silly and not quite as loveable as the Bennetts and Anne isn’t quite as acerbic as Elizabeth.  The tone of the novel is much more contemplative compared to Pride and Prejudice and I think that is why I prefer it.
DragonSinger by Anne McCaffrey  
This is the first of the Harper Hall Trilogy set in the universe of Pern books.  The main character, Menolly is a young girl who loves music above all else but is told by her traditional father that women can’t be Harpers (musicians).  Menolly runs away and has a series of adventures.  Also, there are tiny dragons called fire lizards.  I love all of the Pern books but this trilogy, originally aimed at young adults, is my favorite of the lot.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle  
Math,  science, a bit of magic, and a strong and imperfect female main character.  Those are the reasons I love this book.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss  
An epic Fantasy.  Eminently rereadable.  Music, magic, and a mystery.  The Name of the Wind is the first in a trilogy and I feel you should be warned that the third hasn’t been published yet and the date of its publication is the subject of many internet debates.  Some have lost hope that it will ever come.  I still highly recommend the first and second books.

Mary H. 

I read this the summer before I started college. I found it by chance for sale at my public library, and the story of a young woman trying to become an artist was very relevant to me. As the characters life went more awry the more confident and self-assured she became. It was a message I had really needed when I read it.

Jacob S.

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley 
This book is my all time favorite. It is a dramatic and sweeping retelling of the King Arthur legend. You really care about the characters & their struggles. You weep at some moments of pure heartbreaking emotion. A wonderful book that will fill you with awe & wonder.

The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George 
This book is a fantastic retelling of the story of the legendary Cleopatra as through her own eyes. The language is deeply descriptive and sensual. Every sense is appealed to in the descriptions of sights, sounds, scents, tastes, & touch. Her triumphs and ultimate tragedies tug at the heartstrings.

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell 

This book is legendary for a reason. It's characters are timeless and it's story even more gripping than that of the legendary film of the same name. It's the decline & fall of an empire in it's last days as well as the story of the survivors of that empire.

The Normandie Affair by Elizabeth Villars 

This book is very difficult to define. It is neither romance nor mystery nor historical fiction but encompasses all three. Set aboard the most famous of all luxury liners the book reveals the tensions of those last few years before WWII. It reveals the human struggles of people trying to live their lives as the world slips irrevocably towards destruction. Its the last glimpse of a world that will be forever lost with the coming war. Not to be missed.

Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block 
This hyper-linguistic book defies description. It's a collection of short novels about love, fear, danger, passion, growing up, and all of the experiences that make up life. The language is utterly unique and indescribable. Each character is alive and you feel for all of them. The joy & sorrow contained within this book will make you feel alive as nothing else will.

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