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2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: A Favorites Freebie

I've been talking about my upcoming move for a while now. In preparation, I've been sorting through my massive book collection, donating bags of stuff to Deseret Industries, and packing less needed items into boxes. I hadn't planned to start showing the house for a couple weeks, but my husband got antsy and listed the house! I've never been much of a housekeeper, so needless to say, I've been frantically cleaning and purging my 5,000 square foot house so I'm not too embarrassed to show it to potential buyers. As I just explained to a friend (whom I addressed by the wrong name in an email), my brain is mush! Last night after cleaning all day, I literally collapsed in my bed from exhaustion and wonky blood sugar. Our first group is coming through the house today, so wish me luck. 

All that is a long, rambling way of saying that I don't have a lot of brain power for today's Top Ten Tuesday. Luckily, the topic is a freebie and it dawned on me last week that I've never done a TTT list of my all-time favorite novels. If you made a list of your favorite novels/books, what would you put on it?

Before we go any further, let me remind you to hop on over to That Artsy Reader Girl and give our loyal TTT hostess some love. If you're in a list-making mood, why don't you join in the fun? 

My Top Ten Favorite Novels of All Time 

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (published 1960)—This entertaining, thought-provoking novel has long been my favorite. 

2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (published 1868)—With a group of warm, loving women at its core, this one makes me laugh, cry, and swoon (I just imagine my own ending in which Jo is as madly in love with Laurie as he is with her).

3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (published 1843)—The only Dickens tale I've read all the way through, I adore this novella for many reasons. I re-read it every December to get me in the Christmas spirit!

4. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (published 1908)—I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the irrespressible Anne. She's an unforgtettable character.

5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (published 1847)—I'm due for a re-read of this wonderful Gothic classic.

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (published 1998 in the U.S.)—Entering the world of Hogwarts for the first time was a singular experience and one I experienced as an adult. Being seen in public reading a children's book was a bit embarrassing for me, but pretty soon EVERYONE was reading HP, young and old. One of the things I love most about this book and the subsequent installments is the way it created a magical reading community.

7. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (published 2015)—This epic World War II novel is haunting and memorable.

8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (published 1957)—If you can't tell, I love Christmas. While it's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas that we read to the kids every year (even though some of ours are in their 20s), it's the irrascible Grinch that I love most. His antics make me laugh, but his change of heart makes me cry since it so embodies the spirit of Christmas.

9. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (published 1950)—I first read this delightful fantasy novel in elementary school. It captured my imagination so thoroughly that I remember the visions that danced in my head, even at that young age. For nostalgia's sake and because it really is a wonderful book, I count it as one of my all-time favorites.

10. Still Life by Louise Penny (published 2005)—I credit Kay with introducing me to Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. He's a stand-out literary detective and I've loved every book I've read about him. Still Life is the first installment. Is it my favorite of the series? Not necessarily, but because it's the introductory volume, I let it stand in for the whole series.

There you are, my top ten favorite novels of all time. Do we have any in common? Which would you put on your list of most-loved books? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!


  1. This is a good idea for a post. Jane Eyre would definitely make my all-time list of favourite novels, too.

    May the rest of your showings and your move go well. That sort of stuff makes my brain mushy, too. :)

    My post:

    1. This is the first time we've ever attempted to sell a house. We held on to our last two as rentals, so this is new for us. It's more stressful than I thought it would be and we've barely started. Argh!

      I love JANE EYRE. Maybe I'll re-read it for comfort during this stressful time in my life. LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

  2. Oh, man. It had to be hard to come up with this list. I don't know if I could do an all time favorites list. It would be too hard!

    1. Surprisingly, the first seven were a cinch to come up with. I hemmed and hawed a bit on the last three. All of these are favorite books of mine, but are they part of my set-in-stone Top Ten? Not necessarily...

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanna!

  3. Fantastic list and I am surprised so many are classics. I think of you as reading all the new and contemporary novels, but the classics do stick with us!

    1. Right? As much as I love newer books, it seems I find the most comfort and nostalgia in these classics. You're exactly right—these have stuck with me over the years and are the ones I actually enjoy re-reading (I'm not a re-reader, usually).

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

  4. It's always nice to see people's favorite books! Harry Potter and Little Women are two faves of mine too.

    1. I find it really interesting, too, to see which books people love most. My choices are pretty common ones, I think, but I guess that just explains why they're such well-beloved classics!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lindsey!

  5. Great topic! :) I've read 7 books from your list and I liked all of them. Harry would be on my list of favorite books of all-time.

    My TTT Post

    1. They're all wonderful books! HP will always be my favorite children's series. It's got everything—colorful characters, an exciting plot, humor, romance, magic, etc. I love it, always and forever.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jenni!

  6. Fun list! I'd probably have to put Tolkien's The Hobbit near the top of my favorites list. (And I'm due for a re-read...)

    I did a tag post this week

    1. I enjoyed THE HOBBIT and LOTR when I read them. They're not my ABSOLUTE favorites, but they're definitely up there. Such great, classic books!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Nicole!

  7. The only one that I haven't read is The Nightengale. I love the rest though so have added it to my Goodreads TBR list.

    1. Awesome! We must be book twins :) THE NIGHTINGALE is a great one. It's epic, moving, and memorable. If you like WWII fiction, I think you'll enjoy it.

      Thanks for popping in, CraftyClaire!

  8. Oh wow, I am not sure if I could come up with my top favorites of all time...that would require a lot of brain power, LOL. Great topic, Susan.

    1. It was easier than I thought, actually, mostly because the subject has been on my mind lately. I generally have a hard time picking favorites, though, so I'm impressed I was able to winnow the list down to ten!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cindy!

  9. Nice list.

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas is such a timeless tale. Same with A Christmas Carol.

    1. I love transformation tales like these that show how people can change by overcoming their baser natures, learning to love and serve other people, and, of course, embracing the Christmas spirit :)

      Thanks for stopping in, Marianna!

  10. Best of luck with cleaning and listing the house. It's even crazier than when we bought our house in October! Good luck!! I don't know if I could do a favorite of all time.. maybe but it would take me a while. Nightingale is definitely a contender! Great book!

    1. Thanks! I'm hoping it sells fast because there's still not tons on the market and especially at this size/price. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

      THE NIGHTINGALE is one of those books that I still think about and that I want to re-read and will likely always want to read. That's what "top favorite" means to me :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leslie!

  11. Good luck packing up your house...and staying sane throughout all the craziness of moving! And your list of favorite books for this week's TTT is awesome. I love most of these, too. :D

    1. Ha ha. Thanks! I'm going to need that. I'm having a great time purging and sorting, but the cleaning and house showing is a whole other ball of wax.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

  12. I have read 8/10 on your list (not read #7 and #10 yet, though #7 is definitely on my must-read for I have been wanting to read the author and love WWII books).. though I am not sure I could stick to 10 for such a list for myself!:)
    My list is part of my D post for the month-long A2Z challenge here

    1. I'm usually TERRIBLE about picking favorites of anything, but this list came together with surprising ease. I guess I just know what I like when it comes to books!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lady in Read!

  13. Great list! It's always so interesting to see the books that people love the most.

    1. I agree. Sometimes I'm totally surprised by people's favorites and other times, not at all. Favorites do really say something about a person, don't they?

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leah!

  14. I would put To Kill a Mockingbird as my number one as well. I haven't read The Nightingale yet, but have it on my TBR.

    1. It's such an incredible book! I'm not surprised at all that it is the favorite of so many. I adore it more and more every time I read it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Wendy!

  15. Jane Eyre is a book I've read more than once, and I would love to read it again. I've never read Anne of Green Gables but it's one I would like to get around to sometime because it sounds like a good story.

    1. ANNE OF GREEN GABLES tells a great story. It's definitely got an old-fashioned prose style, with long paragraphs of description, but it's still a wonderful story. I highly recommend it!

      Thanks for popping in, Pages and Tea!

  16. A Christmas Carol, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe would be definitely be on my list too!

    1. Such great stories! It's no wonder they're such beloved favorites for so many people.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, NickiMags!

  17. I know your feeling about potential buyers. I remember having nightmares when the estate agent came to take pictures. I am like you - not that this is the first time - my house is never tidy enough for strangers, at least in my opinion.

    Anyway, I've read all the books on your list except for #7 and 10. And I like most of them, so another part of your post that is of no surprise. LOL

    Thanks for visiting my TTT which talks about the weather this week.

    1. Right? I'm not great at cleaning or decorating, so keeping my house in perfect order and showing off its every nook and cranny to strangers is just...nerve-wracking. The people who looked at it yesterday were super nice, though, and very complimentary about everything. I needn't have stressed about it as much as I did! LOL. It is funny, though, how messy the house is AGAIN when I've spent the last two days cleaning like a demon. My kids need another talking-to, apparently!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marianne!

    2. They usually are. Only you and me know how much work there was before they arrived. And with kids in the house, it's impossible to keep it impeccable.

  18. Cleaning a 5000 sq ft home does not sound like fun. Since it's just my husband and me, we don't need much room, and since we've started traveling, we've discovered we need even less than we thought. I don't mind cleaning less than 300 sq ft in our RV--most days!

    Anne of Green Gables and To Kill a Mockingbird definitely make my top ten list. Depending on the day, Lion, Witch, Wardrobe, Harry Potter, and Jane Eyre might make the list.

    Would you believe I've never finished Little Women? I think I almost finished it as a girl then I got to the part with Beth and I was done. I've tried a couple more times since then and still haven't finished it. It's on my Classics Club list though and I plan to read it (to the bitter end!) next month for the Classics Reading challenge prompt for May. I have read Little Men multiple times though. My copy is fairly ragged.

    Good luck with the house showing!

    1. Yeah, I'm not sure how exactly I thought I was going to keep a house this size clean without employing a full-time housekeeper! I can very firmly say now that I am OVER IT. I'm very much looking forward to living in a smaller house, even though it's still not SMALL exactly. Getting rid of stuff has been SO liberating, though. I feel lighter (physically and emotionally) with every bag or box I give away. Living in 300 square feet must feel like ultimate freedom, especially since it's on wheels!

      What's funny to me is that I've read LITTLE WOMEN multiple times, but I've only read LITTLE MEN once, and that was for a college assignment. I tried to listen to it last year and I gave up because I was bored. It's hilarious that we're the opposite.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jen!

  19. We share a few of the same favorites! Among them; Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. I could read those over and over again! Love your entire list, though!

    1. Same! And I am NOT a re-reader. Re-reading always feels like a waste of time, unless it's one of my top favorite books. Then, it feels like a pleasurable, nurturing visit to an old friend :)

      Thanks for popping in, Christine!

  20. Great choices! I love To Kill a Mockingbird, Little Women, anything by Dickens, Harry Potter, and The Nightingale. But I don't like the Grinch, or any of the movies based on it, lol.

    I feel your pain with all the cleaning for viewers. I've moved a couple of times when the kids were younger and we had more pets and it was horrible for awhile, but when it's over, it's such a welcome giddy feeling. Good luck to you with your house sale!

    1. I love the original Grinch animated movie, but that's it. The others are

      I'm really hoping that the market is such right now that we won't have to do too many showings before someone snaps our house up. It's got a lot going for it, including a decent price (which isn't the norm in my neighborhood). It's already stressing me out to keep the house show-ready; I'm just hoping it will be worth it. LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Mia!

  21. A great list! Hope you get a buyer soon. I've only moved house once - out of my parents house and that was stressful enough. I used to work as a legal secretary doing the paperwork for client's moving house so I've seen both sides 😂

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog

    1. My husband and I have bought several houses, but we've never sold one before. We also never went through the process growing up, so this is an all-new experience for both of us. We're learning as we go!

      Thanks for popping in, Emily!

  22. I feel your pain on having to clean and organize for a move. I went through that in Feb. of 2020 and wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy lol. It was nice to purge a bit of my books to make room for new titles in the new house. As far as favorite novels go, I actually think To Kill A Mockingbird would be on the top of my list too. It is about as perfect of a novel as you could hope for.

    1. I actually quite like purging, sorting, and organizing. The cleaning, keeping the house show-ready, and the actual physical moving part is what I don't enjoy! Last time we moved, we vowed never to do it again, but that was silly of us because obviously, there was going to come a time when our family shrunk and we didn't need all that space. Now is the time!

      TKAM "is about as perfect of a novel as you could hope for." I love that! Completely agree.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Ethan!

  23. I love your list. I read a few of these books, but my favorite is definitely Little Women. I read the first 2 books so many times growing up...

    Here is my TTT:

    1. I've always adored LITTLE WOMEN! It just speaks to my soul on a lot of levels. Weirdly, the sequels don't hit me in the same way. Not sure why.

      Thanks for popping in, Rae!

  24. My all time favorites are Tess D'urbville, My Dear Hamilton, anything on Michael Collins of Ireland,Irish History, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn,Cousins of The Dove, Mary Queen Of Scots.English History, The HoneyBunch series and The Bobbsey Twins series. Good luck with the move.

    1. I used to love The Bobbsey Twins books! I also loved A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN when I read it for the first time in college. This many years later, I don't remember what it was about, so I'm definitely due for a re-read.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marilyn!

  25. I still need to try Louise Penny's novels, but all of the others on your list are all time favorites of mine as well. :)

    1. Great minds think alike! You should definitely give Louise Penny a try. Her books are mysteries, but they're very character/community driven. They're also funny, wise, and intriguing.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Suzanne!

  26. This is a great list Susan. I also count many of these among my favourites!


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