I remember when my mom used to take me to the library after school when I was little. I would emerge from the building with a stack of 15 chapter books, and I’d proudly declare that I would read them all before the due date. (I always did manage to finish them all. Pathetic, right?) Anyway, the point here is that I’ve always loved to read. There’s just something so magical about being transported to a different world– not to mention that it is an extremely powerful form of stress relief!
Plus, reading boasts a handful of great benefits. Reading has been proven to enhance brain connectivity, which can reduce the cognitive effects of aging. It also increases empathy and emotional intelligence. Not to mention it truly does make you smarter! Scientists have proven that reading exposes you to 50 times more words than television, and research shows that those who are well-spoken tend to get promotions more quickly than those with smaller vocabularies.
I know that I’m always looking for new book recommendations, so I thought that I would share my favorite reads with you today. This was SO hard for me to narrow down. I could probably make this list go up to 100 if I wanted to! I forced myself to keep it short and sweet, though, so I picked the books that I felt I couldn’t live without.
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
I know that this is probably the most cliche “favorite” book, but I can’t NOT include Harry Potter on my list! I think that I first read The Sorcerer’s Stone in third grade, and it quickly became my new obsession. I read all of the books within a few days. (Yup. I vividly recall pulling an all-nighter to finish The Deathly Hallows.) I was a total Harry Potter nerd. I even played Harry Potter with my friends. (I insisted on being Harry. Not Hermione. Harry.) I had a Gryffindor robe, wand, and glasses. To this day, I’m still a huge fan of the series. I’ve reread the books several times since then, and I pick up on new details every time! Not to mention that the movies are seriously BOMB. So, if you’re one of the few people in the world that hasn’t yet read Harry Potter, do yourself a favor and get started!
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
I had to read this book in sophomore year English class, and it quickly became one of my all-time favorites. It tells the story of Holden Caulfield, a 16-year old boy who just got expelled from prep school. The story details his search for truth in a world full of “phonies” and imbeciles. Holden is freaking HILARIOUS. The sarcasm is so entertaining, and the theme of the book is actually pretty relatable. If you’re someone with a dry sense of humor or a general negative attitude toward the world, you’ll enjoy this book.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
This is my mom’s favorite book of all time, and she introduced it to me in middle school. We have similar literary tastes, so naturally, I enjoyed it as well. It’s an uplifting, coming-of-age story about loss, growth, and female empowerment. It takes place in the 1960s in South Carolina, and it details the friendship of 14-year old Lily Owens and three African-American women. The story is so heartwarming. It easily makes it on my all-time favorites list.
A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sara J. Maas
Fantasy has never been my favorite genre, but this series is the one exception. Set in the fictional world of Prythian, ACOTAR tells the story of Feyre, a mortal who finds herself in the faerie world. The series is a trilogy plus a novella. The second and third books are so much better than the first, in my opinion…but you definitely have to read them all to understand the story. My favorite part of this series is the complex world and incredible characters that Sara J. Maas creates.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
This book is narrated by a dog, which automatically makes it amazing. It’s incredibly creative and different to read a story from this point of view. And of course, because it has a dog in it, something sad has to happen. However, I promise that the sad part is so worth it. The whole rest of the book is spectacular.
And there you have it! Those are my top five favorite books of all time. I can’t recommend them enough. I’d love to know if you’ve read any of them and what your thoughts are. Be sure to let me know about your own favorite books in the comments below. I’d love to add your suggestions to my reading list!