The Best Books I Have Ever Read

I’ve really stepped up my reading in the last couple of years and have read so many fantastic books. Over the years there are books that really stand out, I wanted to share my top favorites. I’m sure you will see many that you recognize here. These stories stand the test of time and will stay with you long after you are finished reading.

 

2005: The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

 

I didn’t want to read this one. Everyone was talking about The Kite Runner and what an amazing book it was, so I finally relented. Wow, this turned out to be an excellent novel and one that is firmly in my “best books” category. Really moving and emotional and a story you cannot help but be touched by!

The Kite Runner follows the story of Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul, and Hassan, the son of Amir’s father’s servant. As children in the relatively stable Afghanistan of the early 1970s, the boys are inseparable. They spend idyllic days running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever, and eventually cements their bond in ways neither boy could have ever predicted. Even after Amir and his father flee to America, Amir remains haunted by his cowardly actions and disloyalty. In part, it is these demons and the sometimes impossible quest for forgiveness that bring him back to his war-torn native land after it comes under Taliban rule. (“…I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”)

 

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprahs Book Club 2.0)

 

I love a good memoir! Wild, Lost and Found on the Pacific Crest Trail is a gritty, honest, raw story of one women’s experience dealing with her emotional pain while on a trek through the Pacific Crest Trail. I really liked everything about this book and Chery Strayed sprinkles incredible wisdom throughout the pages. LOVED THIS ONE!

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

 

angela's ashes

 

Angela’s Ashes is a memoir that you need to read if you haven’t already. I read this when it first came out and was touched by the story of Frank McCourt, growing up dirt poor in Ireland.

“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy—exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling—does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

 

 

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. One of my top 10.

So beautifully written, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden was loved by many. Very detailed, rich in descriptions, you will love the story of a geisha from beginning to end as I did.

Speaking to us with the wisdom of age and in a voice at once haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri tells the story of her life as a geisha. It begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old girl with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. We witness her transformation as she learns the rigorous arts of the geisha: dance and music; wearing kimono, elaborate makeup, and hair; pouring sake to reveal just a touch of inner wrist; competing with a jealous rival for men’s solicitude and the money that goes with it.

 

I can still imagine the way she devours every part of the chicken...

 

From page one to the last page, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls had me in its grip. I didn’t want the book to end, I loved the writing and the story and the way Jeannette wrote about her childhood in a way that didn’t inspire pity but awe that she not only made it through such a rough existence but then flourished.

The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family.

The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

 

Here are more books that I loved so much, I didn’t want them to end:

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (this is a very, very long book but I loved it)

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Behold The Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

YOU: A Novel by Caroline Kepnes

Not sure how exactly the author made a psychopath so likable yet creepy, so awful yet intriguing, the story is a page-turner and stands out as one of my favorites.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

 

I loved Gone Girl for the simple reason that this novel seemed to kick off a whole new genre of domestic suspense/thrillers. I liked the structure of this book and how it was told, the backstory of Amy and the surprising twists in it.

 

Which books are on your favorites list?

 

 

 

Read our novel Malibu here for free!

 

Here is my Low Oxalate Cookbook

 

Young adult suspense, The Blondes of Bel Air (only $2.99 on Kindle!)

No Comments

Leave a Comment