You can thank me later for extending your TBR list. These are ten of my very favorite books, and I can’t wait to share them with you!
- The Emily series (LM Montgomery)
I’m sure you’ve heard of Anne of Green Gables and the books that follow it, but L. M. Montgomery wrote another series that’s just as good (if not better) than the Anne chronicles. The thing I love about the Emily series is that Emily is an aspiring writer–just like me, and just like many of you reading this! However, she was an aspiring writer over a hundred years ago, making me very glad that I have Microsoft Word and Pinterest and Facebook support groups.
2. Heat, Mike Lupica
Knowing me, we obviously couldn’t get through this list without a good baseball book! Even if you’re not into baseball, this is just a great, well-told story with a central theme of never giving up.
3. Under the Baseball Moon, John H Ritter
Again–even if you’re not a baseball person, you’ll still love this book. It’s a classic summer story, full of jazz music, skateboarding, and beaches. There’s a touch of magical realism and a girl who loves softball and it’s all wrapped up in a little California town: no better formula for a good book!
4. Room in the Heart, Sonia Levitin
Of course we also couldn’t get through this list without a Holocaust book. I’m a nerd about the Holocaust and particularly about Denmark and the Danish resistance, and this is a very well-researched historical fiction account of a girl who “will risk everything to protect the people [she] hold[s] closest to her heart.”
5. Seven Alone, Honore Willsie Morrow
I LOVE books about the Oregon Trail, and I LOVE books about orphaned siblings taking care of each other–so this one is a win-win! I have my mom’s tattered and marked-up copy that she read in junior high, and I’ve read it so many times over the years–it’s definitely inspired many of my own stories.
6. My Vicksburg, Ann Rinaldi
Here’s another one of my all-time favorites. I’ve always been a big Ann Rinaldi fan, and I think this is my favorite book of hers–a tale of a young girl’s survival during the siege of Vicksburg (plus I’ve been to the battlefield at Vicksburg so that was super cool).
7. Risky Gospel, Owen Strachan
Ugh, SO GOOD. I really can’t say enough about this book. If you want to be on fire for the Lord–read it.
8. Little Men, Louisa May Alcott
In the spirit of being completely honest and forthcoming, I didn’t know this book existed until three or four months ago, but it has taken its rightful place on my shelf of favorite books. Practically everyone has heard of Little Women, but I think it’s a shame that few people know about Little Men, a charming story of the orphan school that Jo March runs as an adult (I want to be Jo March when I grow up).
9. Guitar Notes, Mary Amato
Many of this book’s Goodreads reviews say that it’s a “light, fun read”–which is true. But it’s also true that it made me cry, and not many books can do that! It’s a sweet little friendship story cocooned in cello concerts and school practice rooms and, well, guitar notes. Read it. You’ll see.
10. The Chosen, Chaim Potok
From what I’ve heard, many people have had to read this book for school. I discovered it on my own several years ago, and ever since, it has remained in the top five or six books that I name whenever someone asks me my favorite book (and believe me, that’s a hard list to get on). If you’ve been assigned this for school, don’t go into it expecting a boring schoolbook. This is a fantastic story and everyone needs to read it at least once in their life.
Have you heard of and/or read any of these books? What are some of your favorite lesser-known books? Let’s chat!