Lists, Reading Round Ups

Down the Book Jar’s Best Books of All Time

There are so many different ways to think about the “best books of all time”. Are you looking at those that have grossed the most? Sold the highest number of copies? For me, the best books of all time are the ones that I have just loved to read. These are the books that made me think, that I can’t imagine ever getting rid of…they’re my best books of all time.

This is an evergreen list too! I’ll always bring back my latest five star favorites for you to read. Bookmark this page, and just plan on buying or gifting all of the books I share with you here.

Keep in mind that these books are in no particular order. I am a mood reader, so my favorite books vary with how I feel.

Oil & Marble by Stephanie Storey

You guys. This book made me FEEL. In a nutshell, it follows da Vinci as he is painting Mona Lisa and Michaelangelo as he is carving David. They reveal the David in the end, and I got actual goosebumps reading that part of the book.

The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

This will forever be one of the most beautiful books that I have ever read in my life. It’s totally outside of my normal thriller genre, but it is just such a beautiful story full of meaningful relationships. I can’t say enough good things about it.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

The Harry Potter series will always have a special place in my heart. I grew up with these books and I remember different phases of my life in conjunction with when the books published.

The Chronicles of Narnia (Series) by C.S. Lewis

The Narnia books were published before I was alive, but they were a pretty significant part of my childhood too. I remember going to the school library week after week to get the next book in the series. Then, I read them as an adult, and they’re still just as magical.

Inferno by Dante Alighieri

The concept of different versions of hell has always fascinated me. Whether it’s religion, fiction, or whatever, we all have our different “visions” of what hell is. For me, I always think of Dante’s hell, and the story of his journey through hell and all of the bad that people can do…it just stuck with me.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

I read this my freshman year of high school. I had never really been a fan of science fiction, but this book got me. The concept was something I had never heard of before. I haven’t read any of the other books in the series, but now I think I need to buy them.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I blame Gone Girl for starting my obsession with reading thrillers. Gillian Flynn wrote a book that just hooked you, and I couldn’t stop reading it. I had read it in a time when I wasn’t reading as often, and it was so good. It essentially reawakened my love of reading, and introduced me to a new genre.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Honestly, I could choose a number of Jodi Picoult books for this list. My Sister’s Keeper was the first one I loved. Nineteen Minutes has stuck with me since the first time I read it. However, Small Great Things was so powerful. Jodi Picoult takes current issues and writes a novel around them, and this one about racism was so poignant.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild was one of the first memoir/non-fiction style books that I had read. I’m all for a story of a woman being empowered and finding herself. Cheryl Strayed’s writing was amazing. Also, the two pages with the horse still stand as the saddest two pages I have ever read in my life.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire

If I remember correctly, I fell in love with Wicked the Musical first. However, I loved the novel just as much. You get so much backstory, and it just helped develop my love of the Broadway show even more.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

I always dreamed that I could bring the world of books to life. Imagine putting yourself in Hogwarts or as one of the hundred going to Earth for the first time. Or imagine bringing characters to life! The entire Inkworld trilogy just made all of my childhood dreams come true.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

The original female empowerment novel! Especially powerful for young women. Ella chooses the life she wants and fights for the life she deserves. While I do love the movie, the book is exponentially better for the female empowerment angle.

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