Ever since I was a little girl, I have been a reader.
On Christmas morning, if my siblings received 7 presents, I received 6 plus a bookstore gift card. As soon as stores opened up, my mom would take me and let me pick out my own books.
I was the kid that both looked forward to and agonized over ‘library day’ when the whole class would get to go to the school library, but I knew that I could only choose ONE book.
I’m the adult that has broken bookshelves by piling the books too high. The mom that always has book in her lap at the pool and Little League practice.
I have read so many books, that I honestly can’t remember them all. A few months ago, I picked up a thick book and read almost halfway through it before realizing that I had already read it only a year prior.
There are few books that have stayed with me, where I remember their characters, plot lines, and endings. I forget books all the time, even the ones I like. It has to be something really good, for me to remember it years later.
I love passing on book recommendations to my friends and family and thought that I would share some here on the blog. Below are 10 of the most memorable books I’ve ever read.
The 10 Most Memorable Books
Eleanor & Park
This was the first book I read by Rainbow Rowell and immediately went out and bought her 3 other novels.
Admittedly, I have not read her newer novels (yet!). I’m still a little heartbroken that she’s changed direction for a more sci-fi vibe, but Eleanor and Park is a book that I will always love.
Set over one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.www.rainbowrowell.com
I typically don’t like YA romance. I feel like adults trying to convey teenage thoughts and feelings just get it all wrong. But Rainbow Rowell clearly remembers what it was like to be a teenager in love and captured that feeling perfectly. Placing Eleanor and Park on my memorable books list was an easy choice.
All the Light We Cannot See
All the Light we Cannot See turned my on to a whole new genre!
I never knew I loved Historical Fiction before reading this book. Since then I have read countless other Historical Fictions and have enjoyed every single one.
According to Goodreads reviews and the one person I recommended this book too, you either LOVE it or LOATHE it – there is no in between. I’m obviously a lover of this book.
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.www.amazon.com
I loved the characters of this novel, so much, even if they broke my heart. Doerr takes the time to set the scene and includes a lot of imagery, which usually annoys me (as I just want to get on with the story sometime), but it didn’t bother me at all in All the Light We Cannot See. I adore this book.
The Book Thief
This was one of the Historical Fiction novels that I picked up after falling in love with this genre. And it did not disappoint!
I mean it’s narrated by Death. How cool is that?
When Death has a story to tell, you listen. It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.www.amazon.com
I loved that it was set in Germany and that you got to hear the ‘other side’ of the story. Most WWII novels cast all Germans as heartless, cruel, and evil – but The Book Thief showed that many of them didn’t have a choice and were forced into brutality along with the rest of the world.
It’s a YA novel, so it’s pretty easy reading and the pages just flew by. The Book Thief was a fresh take on an event that has been endlessly exploited in literature, making it a very memorable book.
The Harry Potter Series
Who doesn’t love Harry Potter?
Honestly, I didn’t think that I would. I’m not into wizards, magic, or anything remotely science-fiction related. But I loved Harry Potter along with the rest of the world.
Harry Potter is a series of novels by J.K. Rowling. It is about a young boy named Harry Potter and his adventures as he attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns how to perform magic and comes face to face with his archenemy, Lord Voldemort.www.wikiquote.org
I read the Harry Potter Series once as a kid, then as an adult. And I am currently reading it again aloud with my own children. I’ve only ever re-read about 5 books and these I am re-reading TWICE….that says a lot.
The Kite Runner
This book was not one that I expected to love. I guess I expected it to be more political and exaggerated. But it was far from it!
The Kite Runner will pull on ALL of your heartstrings. It’s a very emotional read, but I couldn’t get enough. In fact, after I finished The Kite Runner, I went out and bought Khaled Hosseini’s other novels. They were good, but they didn’t hold a candle to this masterpiece.
The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed.www.goodreads.com
For me, this book humanized the Afghan people, when the only images I’ve ever known of that country is the Taliban and ISIS. The Kite Runner was surrounded by a lot of controversy, but it’s one of the most memorable books for me.
When I’ve tried to talk to other ‘bookish’ friends about his novel, they didn’t seem to love it like I did. In fact, one of my friends didn’t even finish it!
I don’t know how, because I couldn’t put it down! I loved this book! For me, The Goldfinch was a break from all of the mediocre novels that I had slogged through until I picked this beauty up.
A beautifully written coming-of-age novel with exquisitely drawn characters that follows a grieving boy’s entanglement with a small famous painting that has eluded destruction, a book that stimulates the mind and touches the heart.www.pulitzer.org
I know The Goldfinch isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s one that still clings to my memory. Give it a try!
This book may seem a little out of place. It’s a quick read, a young adult, fiction novel. It’s in no way a literary masterpiece. It will never become a classic, but it’s definitely memorable.
The concept of waking up each day in a different body is incredible. It’s also hard to explain, but David Levithan makes it sound so believable. Like there might actually be people out there doing that.
Every day a different body, every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.www.goodreads.com
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
I can’t tell you that you’re going to just fall in love with this book. I didn’t, but it is certainly a memorable book simply because I’ve never read anything like it.
I’ll Give You the Sun
THIS. This book is one of the few books that I have ever re-read. I loved everything about Jandy Nelson’s YA novel.
I love the quirky characters, all of the art references and how Noah named scenes from his real life as though they were works of art. Everything about it was perfect!
“I’ll Give You the Sun,” the second novel by the talented Jandy Nelson, author of “The Sky Is Everywhere,” is told from the alternating perspectives of teenage fraternal twins, a boy and girl named Noah and Jude, each of them narrating from a different side of the accident that forever changed their lives.www.nytimes.com
If you only read one book off of this whole list, make it this one! Not only is it one of the most memorable books I’ve ever read, it is one of my all-time favorites!
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
I love books that entertain me, but that also teach me something. Reading this book, I learned about the ‘blue Fugates’ of Kentucky, the brutality of the early mining industry, and the Pack Horse Librarian Project.
While reading this book, I told everyone that would listen some fact about the ‘real-life blue people of Kentucky’. It wasn’t a very fast-paced book, at times it even got a little slow, but I loved it all the same.
Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere—even back home.www.amazon.com
The research and interesting facts in this book alone make it memorable, the lovable heroine is just icing on the cake!
Does it make me a basic white girl since I added this to the list? I know many people consider this book overrated, but I have to admit that I loved it!
Gone Girl was such a brain bash. At first I hated the husband and thought he was such an abusive dirt bag. Then I hated the wife and thought she was a manipulative witch. By the end of the book I ended up hating them both, BUT I couldn’t stop reading.
Gone Girl is a thriller novel in the mystery and crime genres, by the American writer Gillian Flynn. It was published by Crown Publishing Group in June 2012. … The sense of suspense in the novel comes from whether or not Nick Dunne is involved in the disappearance of his wife Amy.www.wikipedia.org
If you’re looking for a page-turner-can’t-put-it-down-and-go-to-sleep-book then this is it! The suspense is what made it one of the most memorable books I’ve ever read.
Eleanor & ParkThe Book ThiefHarry Potter Complete Book Series Special Edition Boxed SetThe Kite RunnerThe Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)Every DayI’ll Give You the SunThe Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A NovelGone GirlAll the Light We Cannot See: A Novel
Most of these books are best-sellers that you’ve probably already read or at least heard of. But they are best-sellers for a reason, in my humble opinion. The are the most memorable books I have read to date.
I hope you like them as much as I do. Also, feel free to send me your own recommendations! Reading more is one of my New Year’s Resolutions and I’m always looking for new books!