Books I Love

Some people might know that I like Books. I mean, I really like books. I have a lot of them. I read a lot of them. I want to write them. Sometimes people ask me what books I like so here are some of them. I’ll keep adding as I remember old favourites and discover new ones. (They’re in alphabetical order because I don’t like ranking things.)

Bel Canto, Ann Patchett. (All of Patchett’s novel are worth reading but this is undoubtedly her best. It’s luscious.)

Blindness, Jose Saramago. (I don’t even know how to describe this novel. It will make your skin crawl but you won’t be able to put it down.)

The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky. (One of my very favourites.)

The Cat’s Table, Michael Ondaatje. (A recent favourite. Ondaatje’s latest is perhaps more pared down than past novels but still poetically gorgeous. I love the line he treads between fact and fiction.)

The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis. (Okay, so this is actually seven books but if you’re going to read one you should definitely read them all. My very favourite though is Voyage of the Dawn Treader.)

Danny the Champion of the World, Roald Dahl. (I love Roald Dahl. How could you not? Danny is my favourite though because it’s as sweet as it is funny.)

Death in the Afternoon, Ernest Hemingway (This is a non-fiction book all about bull-fighting. Not for everyone but I really enjoyed it and I wouldn’t describe myself as a bull-fighting fan.)

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald. (Just because you read it in high school doesn’t mean it isn’t Awesome.)

Half Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan. (I’m not alone in thinking this book rocks, it recently won the GG. Plus, I know the author!)

In the Skin of a Lion, Michael Ondaatje. (My favourite Ondaatje and one my top favourites of all time. Ondaatje breathes poetry.)

The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien. (A classic for sure. I dressed up as Bilbo Baggins for character day in grade three and won a prize. Tolkien kind of shaped my childhood.)

Lassie Come Home, Eric Knight. (This might be my least literary choice on this list but it’s special to me because this is the first chapter book I read completely on my own. I remember getting it out of the library in grade one. A couple years ago I found an identical copy at a used bookstore so now it sits on my own shelf.)

Life After God, Douglas Coupland. (I can’t think of anyone else quite like Coupland. This is my favourite of his books because he is not afraid to admit to his own fears.)

Life of Pi, Yann Martel. (Such an excellently crafted novel.)

Living to tell the Tale, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. (His autobiography. Read One Hundred Years of Solitude. Then read this. Then read One Hundred Years of Solitude again.)

Les Miserables, Victor Hugo. (Beautiful. It’s a classic for a reason.)

The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien. (My dad pointed out that this was missing. The trilogy was pretty much required reading in our household.)

The Meaning of Marriage, Timothy & Kathy Keller. (Solid. All the best I’ve read about marriage is in this book, as well as much more.)

Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis. (Still the most solid outline of Christianity I’ve read. This book has been foundational to my faith.)

A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway. (His memoir of his time in Paris. This book is why I don’t drink when I write.)

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. (I read this one a beach in Cebu and it changed so much of what I know about fiction.)

Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton. (Another solid work on Christianity. The world needs more of the fantastical.)

The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster. (Children’s classic. Almost makes you want to do math.)

The Reason for God, Timothy Keller. (Keller is the closest modern day theologian to C.S. Lewis that I’ve come across.)

Reviving Ophelia, Mary Pipher. (A non-fiction book about adolescent girls. I wish I had read it years earlier.)

The Road, Cormac McCarthy. (I dare you to put this book down once you start reading it.)

Roverandom, J.R.R. Tolkien. (A lesser known Tolkien but this holds a special place in my memories. This is the book I get out and read when I’m sick at home. It pretty much has everything I could have wanted in a book when I was about 8 – dogs, magic, under the sea adventures.)

A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson. (I have this fantasy that one day I’ll be travelling in Europe and I’ll run into Bill Bryson and we’ll hang out. He’s so cool.)

Soul Survivor, Philip Yancey (This is Yancey’s personal reflection on the novels that brought him back to Christianity. His perspective on the role of literature in faith was very influential to me.)

The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway (One of my top favourites of all-time. Hemingway at his most brilliant, in my opinion.)

A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens. (Sometimes I just read the first chapter of this book. I read it for the first time when I was fourteen and it changed so much of what I thought about writing.)

The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien. (A Vietnam vet told me this book made him cry. It will make you think about truth.)

Three Day Road, Joseph Boyden. (Every Canadian should read this.)

To the Wedding, John Berger. (Bears some similarity to Ondaatje’s work in its poetic style. This will expand your mind. In a good way.)

When We Were Orphans, Kazuo Iziguro. (This book will make you want to travel through both time and China.)

The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame. (This isn’t just one of my favourite children’s books, it’s one of my favourite books, period. It’s almost perfect.)

Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne. (Do I really need to explain why you should love Winnie the Pooh?)

Voyage to Venus, C.S. Lewis. (The best of his science fiction trilogy, in my opinion, though you should read all three. This book contains one of the most horrifying portrayals of evil I’ve encountered.)

World War Z, Max Brooks. (It’s just good to be prepared.)

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