Fifty Favorite Books

I love a good list. I love a good list, and I've got a draft to finish by the end of the month, so of course when my friend Joe Hill made a list of his Fifty Favorite Books I decided to take a break from the draft and make a list of my own.

There were going to be rules to this – no comics/ graphic novels, no poetry collections, plays are fine, no non-fiction, nothing that hadn’t been published. Some of those I kept, some I didn’t. It turned into a  “will I feel like a liar for leaving this off the list?” test. It's best not to lie when it comes to books.

I listed them in alphabetical order, because I would still be resorting if I were trying to do this in order of love.


Same caveat applies – favorite does not equal best. These are not the fifty books I think are the best in the history of literature, although there would be some crossover. Nor are they the fifty books that have influenced me the most, although again, the overlap is there. They're just my favorites.

Lloyd Alexander – The Chronicles of Prydain

Anonymous – Beowulf (the Heaney translation)

WH Auden – The Sea and the Mirror

Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice

Peter S. Beagle – The Last Unicorn

Ray Bradbury – From the Dust Returned

AS Byatt - Possession

Susanna Clarke – Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Susan Cooper – The Dark is Rising series

Pamela Dean – Tam Lin

Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol

EM Forster – A Room With a View

Tana French – In the Woods

Christopher Fry – The Lady’s Not for Burning

Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
            Neverwhere
            The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Lauren Groff – The Monsters of Templeton

Lev Grossman – The Magician King

Elizabeth Hand – Mortal Love
            Waking the Moon

Seamus Heaney – The Cure at Troy

Joe Hill – 20th Century Ghosts

Shirley Jackson – The Haunting of Hill House

Diana Wynne Jones – Fire and Hemlock

Guy Gavriel Kay – The Lions of Al-Rassan
            A Song for Arbonne

Stephen King – The Eyes of the Dragon
It

Ellen Kushner – The Privilege of the Sword

Madeleine L’Engle – The Arm of the Starfish
            A Wrinkle in Time

Kelly Link – Stranger Things Happen

Penelope Lively – Moon Tiger

China Miéville - UnLunDun

Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus

Garth Nix - Sabriel

Arthur Phillips – The Song is You

JK Rowling – The Harry Potter series

Karen Russell – St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

Mary Doria Russell – Doc
            The Sparrow

William Shakespeare – The Tempest
            Twelfth Night

Dodie Smith – I Capture the Castle

Patti Smith – Just Kids

Bram Stoker - Dracula

Tom Stoppard – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Donna Tartt – The Secret History

James Thurber – The 13 Clocks