My Top Ten Favourite Books

I often talk about books I love and would consider favourites, but I have never put together a definitive list of my top ten favourite books. It is funny because if you asked me tomorrow, the books on this list could change and the ranking could as well, but as of right now these are my favourites in order from my 10th favourite to my favourite book of all time!

10. The Rules of Magic

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The Rules of Magic is the first prequel to Practical Magic, which is a book/movie I have so much nostalgia for. I almost chose Magic Lessons for this list, which is the prequel to The Rules of Magic (confusing I know!), but ultimately decided I love this book just a little bit more. It is my favourite witchy book and I loved the focus on sibling relationships. The story follows two sisters and a brother through their teenage years and into adulthood, from Massachusetts to New York. Alice Hoffman is one of my favourite writers and I love the characters and atmosphere that she creates in her stories. I am thrilled that Hoffman recently announced that we are actually getting a sequel this fall called The Book of Magic!

9. Starfish

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Akemi Dawn Bowman has quickly become one of my favourite authors and Starfish is the book that made me fall in love with her writing and her stories. Starfish follows Kiko, who has a complicated relationship with her mother and her family is quite abusive. She gets a chance to tour art programs with her best friend and begins to recognize her talent and the power of art. It is one of my favourite coming-of- age stories and confirmed for me how much I adore stories that center around art in some way.

8. Monday’s Not Coming

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I really could have included any or all of Tiffany D. Jackson’s novels on this list! It took me forever to settle on which one I would ultimately say is my favourite. I think what makes Monday’s Not Coming standout is the female friendship and just how soul-crushing it is. There were so many important conversations throughout the story and it can be infuriating to read at times. I adored Claudia, our main character. This is definitely the last book that made me cry! I cannot wait for Jackson’s next release, White Smoke, which is a YA horror!

7. Raybearer

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No surprises here! Of course Raybearer was going to be on this list. It is my favourite YA fantasy and I find myself talking about it all the time. This book has the ultimate found family trope and I am so attached to these characters. The world-building and magic system are so original and intriguing- I cannot wait for the release of the sequel this summer!

6. Bitter Orange

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Bitter Orange was my favourite book of 2019 and it is one I continue to think about. However, it is one of those books that I would not recommend to just anyone! If you like a slow burn that is really atmospheric and you never quite know what is going on, this is the book for you. This is one of those books that leaves you with such a heavy feeling. There were also a lot of great twists! I was thrilled to see that Claire Fuller’s latest release, Unsettled Ground, was longlisted for The Women’s Prize. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy when it releases here in Canada in May!

5. The Fifth Season

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The Fifth Season was the best book that I read in 2020. I cannot wait to finish the series this year and to eventually get to N.K. Jemisin’s entire backlist. I am not a huge epic fantasy reader, but this book blew my mind. There is so much going on here and it is one of those books that I cannot even begin to explain to you. You just have to believe the hype on this one and be willing to go on a journey with it.

4. Sleeping Giants

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Not only is Sleeping Giants amazing, it is also the book that made me fall in love with SciFi, and for that reason it will always be a favourite. It is told through mixed media (interviews, security footage, etc.), which is also something I am drawn to. Technically, the second book in the series, Waking Gods, is my favourite, but I just adore the entire trilogy. It is one that I need to reread soon!

3. Homegoing

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Homegoing is the book that showed me that I loved multi-generational family sagas and sweeping narratives. This book takes place over many generations and so much happens in a book that is just over 300 pages. It has been years since I read it, but I think about it all of the time. Gyasi’s debut novel, Transcendent Kingdom, is also incredible but is more of a slice of life story. I always appreciate the themes that Gyasi takes on and will read anything that she writes at this point.

2. The Lonely Hearts Hotel

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There is something about Heather O’Neill’s writing that I connect with and I am someone who enjoys dark novels, which The Lonely Hearts Hotel certainly is. We are following two orphans throughout their lives and their fight to stay together. It is tragic in so many ways. Not one that I would recommend to just anyone, but I thought it was incredible and on another day could easily be my favourite book!

1. Never Let Me Go

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I am writing this post on April 20th and I am currently reading Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro and I am loving it. I also recently purchased The Remains of the Day, and I just know that Ishiguro is going to become a favourite author. He also wrote Never Let Me Go, which is my favourite book. I have not seen the movie and was not spoiled for this one, so it caught me completely off guard. I truly believe it is best to going into this one knowing very little, if possible. I will say that I appreciate how Ishiguro tackles ethical and moral questions.

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24 thoughts on “My Top Ten Favourite Books

  1. One of these days I need to make my lifetime favs list. I have a mental list of sorts but have never tried to wrestle it down on paper!

  2. Love these picks! AAAaahh Raybearer is one of my all-time favorite fantasy books, too. Can’t wait for Redemptor. I am so grateful I got the chance to have an advanced copy of the sequel!!

  3. I loved Raybearer, The Fifth Season and Never Let Me Go. Clearly we have similar tastes, so I’ll have to check out the rest of your list!

  4. Wow, I think that I read a load of books but I’m always surprised how many more there are out there to discover! I haven’t read any of those on your list, Kristin, although I have read Kishiguro’s The Remains of the Day and am vicariously excited for you because you haven’t had the pleasure of reading it yet! I’ve never really fancied Never Let Me Go as I found the central theme a bit disturbing – but maybe I should give it a go because, as you say, he’s great on moral and ethical questions. Getting back to Remains of the Day, I think it’s maybe the most perfectly paced and executed book I’ve ever read – for a long time you long for the plot to move faster and the characters to reveal more of themselves, and then by the last page, everything fits together as satisfyingly as dropping the final piece into a moving, multi-dimensional jigsaw. It’s real mastery of the form!

  5. I keep seeing The Fifth Season! I reallllly need to read that one. I also want to read Sleeping Giants!

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