Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Top 12 Favorite Fiction Books | My Picks

Do you know how hard it is for a book lover to narrow down their top favorite books? Well, I've been thinking about sharing some of my favorite books with y'all for awhile now, and thought now was as good a time as any. This list is going to be my top twelve favorite fiction books, my next book list will be my top ten favorite books republished by Lamplighter Publications [since I had to narrow down my list somehow].

This list is no order what so ever, just so you know. Also, there is a mix of children & adult fiction, mostly because I have a weakness for late Victorian & Edwardian children literature stories.
  • Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maude Montgomery -- Anne girl. I first discovered the world of Anne back in 1998 through some friends who were babysitting me and two of my sisters [there was only three of us then], and they decided to show us the Anne movies by Sullivan Entertainment. I was spellbound by the lovely costumes, and clearly remember the cow chasing scene in the second film, but couldn't for the life of me remember the name of the movies. Fast forward a few years, my Dad checks out the first Anne film for us all to watch and I fall again in-love with the stories and quickly discover that there are books! I checked out the entire series, though I must confess that at that young age I didn't grasp everything they were talking about in the later books [mostly all the relationship stuff, since I was only ten years-old]. If you aren't familiar with the story of Anne, it is about a twelve year-old orphan girl who has a wild imagination who dearly just wants a home, and a kindred spirit friend. We follow her journey from those early teen years, all the way up until she is a married woman with children and they are grown. It is really a delightful series. 
  • Five Little Peppers series by Margaret Sidney -- The tale of five siblings: Ben, Polly, Joel, Davie, and Phronsie and their Mamsie who all live somewhere in the New England area [I always imagined Concord, Massachusetts, since that is where the author lived] and how they grew-up into adults with families of their own. I have adored these books since I first discovered them when I was thirteen, and now I'm collecting the whole series for my, Lord willing, kids to read. If you have read the series, who are your favorites? Mine are Joel Pepper, Polly Pepper, and Jasper "Jappy" King.  
  • Pollyanna & Pollyanna Grows Up by Eleanor Porter -- Perhaps you grew up on the Disney version of Pollyanna, but the books are way better. But isn't that always the case? Both of these books follow the life of Pollyanna as she goes from a little orphan girl who plays the "glad game" with the town of Beldingsville & later as she grows up into a young lady in Boston and Europe. 
  • Just David by Eleanor Porter -- A charming story of a boy who calls himself "just David" since he doesn't know his last name, or who his father really is [they lived in the mountains alone, until the Father started dying when he headed into the valley for his son]. David captures the heart of his "adoptive" parents and he will yours too.  
  • The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit -- The story of a family who moves to "Three Chimneys", after their father is falsely accused & captured as a spy. The children quickly adapt to living in the countryside and fall in love with the railway [they also make a few friends along the way: Old Gentleman, Boy in the Red Jersey, The Russian, Perks, etc...].  
  • Crimson Mountain by Grace Livingston Hill -- This was the first book of Grace Livingston Hill's that I had ever read, so of course, it has a special place in my heart. *smile* I had first heard of her years ago via some vintage loving bloggers, but I could never locate her books at either book sales, or antique stores/malls -- until the past year. Yay! Anyhow, this book covers the story of a girl who grew up in a very sheltered and wealthy home, but becomes an orphan and has to support herself by getting a teaching job. The story covers a little bit of adventure, some suspense, and how the characters become strong Christians.   
  • Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace -- I grew up watching the 1959 film adaption with Charlton Heston, but I only ever read the book as preparation for a writing class in High-School [it was our teacher's favorite book & he used it regularly for summer class reading]. I read the book & fell in love with the story. It was so different from the film, filled with many life lessons, especially Father & daughter relationship comparisons. Since that time, I've read this book over ten times. It is a true classic.      
  • The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson -- My love of Robert Louis Stevenson goes back to my early day of my childhood, when I received a copy of his A Child's Garden of Verses for Christmas. I would read that book every time I was ill in bed, since the cover featured a painting of a young boy sick in bed playing with his toys. Anyhow, one of my first novels that I read of his was: The Black Arrow -- a historical/adventure/romance novel on the War of the Roses [which is when the Tudor family took over the English throne]. It is quite thrilling, and besides I have a weakness for novels that take place between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
  • Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell -- I would rather read a Gaskell novel over Jane Austen any day. Why? Perhaps you could say that I enjoy the writing of Victorian England more, and also the stories of Gaskell are more realistic. Anyhow, it covers the story of a young lady who works as a dressmaker after her mother had died, her father suffers from depression after her death, and her journey with love between two fellows, a murder, and various other social experiences.  
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens --Strangely enough, this was the first Dickens book that I finished, and it is my favorite. Of course, I haven't read too many of his books yet. When ever people hear, that I enjoy this book they are slightly creeped out. haha...Anyhow, I see this book as the story of Pip who goes about self-improving himself to a higher standing, only finding that it doesn't fulfill the emptiness that he has inside. You follow his journey from a small country boy, to a city gentleman and his exploration on always to improve and move himself up the ladder of life. 
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie -- Is it sad that I only started reading Agatha Christie's mysteries because of an Doctor Who episode? Well, I did. All of her books that I have read so far, have been brilliantly amazing and thrilling to the very core! What can I say? I have fallen in love with her writing. One of my favorite favorites is, Murder on the Orient Express as it had me guessing through the entire book, the solution of the murder mystery was so brilliant and well written. I'm afraid of saying too much and spoiling the entire book, as this is best read with no spoilers. If you do enjoy the book, definitely checkout the 1974 film adaption as it is a superb adaption of the book with a stellar cast. 
  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection by Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle -- Ah! Sherlock Holmes. I came to discover the world of Sherlock on Christmas Day in 2008, when I received a copy of his stories for Christmas. I devoured the stories quickly whilst sitting out on the beach down in sunny Florida, while our family was on vacation for the holidays. The thrill of Sherlock solving all those glorious mysteries thrilled me to my very core. If you enjoy the Sherlock television show, please do me a favor and read the original stories, if you haven't already. Thank you very much.    
What are some of your favorite fictional books?



  1. I love that your top 2 favorites are series. That's how it is with me. '5 Little Peppers' I grew up with, thanks to my mom's having the 1st 2 from when she was a girl.

  2. Oooooh, I love Anne of Green Gables!

    Great Expectations was the first Dickens book I finished too, and I loved it. despite the lack of a followable plot line haha.

    Sherlock Holmes! I read all of the books and I kinda fell in love. They are just so good.

    -Sam H

  3. I love the Five Little Peppers! And the Railway Children! I've never read the book, but I remember we girls watched it years ago, and I was thinking of it a few months back, though I couldn't remember the name of it! Thank you!
    And I'll have to look up Mary Barton. I love Elizabeth Gaskell's novels, and a novel with a dressmaker is right up my alley... ;)


    the Middle Sister and Singer

  4. If you like books that take place in the Middle Ages/Renaissance, you should try some of Melanie Dickerson's books. Most of them are re-tellings of classic fairy tales.

  5. I love Great Expectations! It's so weird the different opinions people have of Dickens--some hate him and some love him.

    walking in the air.

  6. I love, love, love the Sherlock Holmes mysteries... the BBC show is what made me decide to read them! :) I also love the Great Expectations story. I haven't read the entire book yet, but I have began it and it is really good! Have you seen the BBC version of Great Expectations, starring Douglas Booth? It's really cool!

    I agree with Rebekah, you really should read Melanie Dickerson's novels... I've read all of them and they are amazing!

  7. I both love and want to read all those books!-Abi

  8. All of these books are awesome! I LOVE "The Black Arrow". I never seem to hear of people
    talking about it anymore, which is so sad as it's a wonderful story. The Railroad Children was made in to a wonderful movie in 1970. I love anything about books! Looking forward to the rest of your book-list favorites posts!

  9. Oh my goodness, I love, love, loved the Five Little Peppers series!! I read them all over and over again when I was about 8-9! I have never met anyone else who's read them. I also love the Anne series, Pollyanna, Dickens, The Black Arrow, and The Railway Children!
    So cool!

  10. Thanks for the recommendations Ashley. I've never heard of Mary Barton, but know I like Gaskell, so I'll try to find it!

  11. This is a list of some of my very favorite authors and just a "few" of the books they wrote (because it is absolutely impossible to narrow my favorite books down to 10 or 12!). I totally understand about loving the first Grace Livingston Hill book you ever read - mine was The Enchanted Barn. :)

    1. Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place, Jesus Is Victor, Tramp for the Lord)

    2. Joni Eareckson Tada. Her story & devotionals are really good.

    3. Kathleen Thompson Norris (Sisters, Poor Dear Margaret Kirby, Undertow, The Beloved Woman)

    4. Gene Stratton-Porter (Freckles, A Daughter of the Land, A Girl of the Limberlost, Her Father's Daughter, At the Foot of the Rainbow, Laddie, Michael O'Halloran, The Keeper of the Bees)

    5. E. P. Roe (He Fell in Love with His Wife, A Day of Fate, Opening a Chestnut Burr, From Jest to Earnest, What Can She Do?, An Original Belle)

    6. L. M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables, Rainbow Valley, The Golden Road, The Story Girl, Kilmeny of the Orchard, Chronicles of Avonlea, and multiple books of Short Stories)

    7. C. N. & A. M. Williamson (The Lightening Conductor, The Brightener, Set in Silver, The Princess Passes, Everyman's Land, A Soldier of the Legion, The Port of Adventure, The Lion's Mouse, Secret History Revealed By Lady Peggy O'Malley)

    8. Eleanor H. Porter (Across the Years, Dawn, The Tangled Threads, The Road to Understanding, Mary Marie)

    9. Kate Douglas Wiggin (Susanna and Sue, Mother Carey's Chickens, The Old Peabody Pew, The Romance of a Christmas Card, The Village Watch Tower)

    10. Grace Livingston Hill (The City of Fire, A Voice in the Wilderness, Marcia Schuyler, Exit Betty, The Girl from Montana, The Enchanted Barn, Cloudy Jewel, Recreations)

  12. I'm a huge fantasy fan, so my favorite book is The Hobbit, with The Lord of the Rings coming in a close second. I also loved half the Chronical's of Narnia, but I can't say I loved the entire series (I love CS Lewis, but sometimes his allegory got in the way of his story telling, instead of complimenting it). For non-fantasy I love Crime and Punishment, and I'm rediscovering The Great Gatsby.

  13. Ooh, I've been wanting to read the Sherlock Holmes books for quite some time! Maybe this will give me enough incentive to get started on them! I really love the AoGG books, too. I got them for Christmas last year and went through them pretty quickly.

    Ireland Rhea

  14. I read The Complete Sherlock Holmes about 7 years ago or so and sadly there were only three of the stories I actually enjoyed. :(
    I love Anne of Green Gables, but I think the last book in the series about Rilla was actually my favorite from them! hehe. I didn't know Ben Hur was a book!!! Ahh! Is it really large (I suppose it must be since the movie is). I am afraid I'll cry and cry and cry if I read it now. I really want to read the Five Little Peppers. Mary Barton sounds very interesting.


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