The Random Person's Book Club discussion

Top 5 Books on Your Personal Favorites

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message 1: by Crystal (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:41AM) (new)

Crystal Allen | 6 comments I would love to hear what everyone's top 5 books are. Or even top 5 books that you have read in the past couple of years.

Mine (that I have read in the last few years) would probably be (not necessarily in order):

Time Travelers Wife

Like Water For Chocolate

Poisonwood Bible

Water For Elephants

The Girls

And for Kids and YA Books (that I have read or re-read over the past couple years)

Mr. Pudgins (my favorite of all time)

King of the Lost and Found

The Library Lion


Finnie Walsh

Can't wait to hear everyone else's favorites!

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Ooh, this is fun! Let's see, five favorites are:

1) All The Names
2) Little Infamies
3) Shantaram
4) To Kill A Mockingbird
5) A Canticle for Leibowitz
6) The Stranger
7) The Stupidest Angel
8) The Gospel According to Jesus Christ (Saramago)
9) George Orwell's essays

er, that's more than five, ain't it... sorry ;-)

message 3: by Robert (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Robert Tabb (Robert_C_Tabb) | 3 comments When I consider top 5 books, I think about which books I would take for a couple year stay on a deserted island. So with that in mind, I would select:

5. Lightning by Dean Koontz: Full of suspense, twists, bad guys, and a feel good ending.
4. Watership Down by Richard Adams: One of the few books I actually read in Junior High. And the first book I was ever sad to be finished with.
3. The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base: A captivating book that would absorb hours of my time.
2. Holes by Louis Sachar: My all time favorite flip through and pick out any chapter and start reading book.
1. Harold and the Purple Crayon: Simply my favorite book. It just fits me.

message 4: by Diane (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:10PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Note to Robert - Watership Down is one of my favorites as well. This is the first time I have come across it on goodreads, other than on my own page. Have you read Tales from Watership Down? I have not, but I have it. I read Watership Down so long ago, I don't know if I could fall into the sequel without re-reading Watership Down.
My top 5, not necessarily in order:
1. Watership Down
2. The Cat Who Came for Christmas
3. The Glass Castle
4. Love in the Time of Cholera
5. The Birth Of Venus

message 5: by Norman (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:14PM) (new)

Norman (normanince) 1. Zorba the Greek
2. Crime and Punishment
3. The Winter of Our Discontent
4. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
5. Nineteen Eighty Four

message 6: by Heather (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:14PM) (new)

Heather (trixieplum) Okay, this is more than 5, but I couldn't narrow it down!

1) The Time Traveler's Wife
2) A Soldier of the Great War
3) The World According to Garp
4) The Mercy of Thin Air
5) Memoirs of a Geisha
6) A Tale of Two Cities
7) Sense and Sensibility
8) The Fountainhead
9) The Remains of the Day
10) Bag of Bones

message 7: by Jess (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:15PM) (new)

Jess | 2 comments 1. The Solitude of Thomas Cave, Georgina Harding
2. Dark Tower Series, Stephen King
3. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
4. Winter's Tale, Mark Helprin
5. The Power of One, Bryce Courtnay

message 8: by Karen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:16PM) (new)

Karen In no particular order...
Belly by Lisa Selin Davis
Sweet Dream Baby by Sterling Watson
All God's Children:Inside the Dark & Violent World of Street Families by Rene Denfeld
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Anything by Laurie Notaro and David Sedaris (always guaranteed a laugh!)
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
As The Crow Flies by Jeffery Archer
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
1984 by George Orwell

message 9: by Magdalena (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Magdalena (magdalenaball) Hi everyone. I've written a piece on top 5 lists which you might find interesting -- here:

But off the top of my head - Ulysses (Joyce), Ariel (Plath), History of the World in 10.5 Chapters (Barnes), Foucault's Pendulum (Eco), Oscar & Lucinda (Carey).

Thanks! Maggie

message 10: by Bethany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Bethany (bethcrawleyuk) yikes..only five?

1. Kindred by Octavia Butler
2. Iron Pioneers by Tyler Tichelaar
3. Watership Down
4. On the Road
5. The Bell Jar

message 11: by Stephanie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Stephanie | 1 comments Not 5, but I see I'm not the only cheater in that respect:

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
The Tin Drum - Gunter Grass
The French Lieutenant's Woman - John Fowles
Famous Last Words - Timothy Findley
Who Do You Think You Are? - Alice Munro
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
Property - Valerie Martin

message 12: by Robert (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Robert Tabb (Robert_C_Tabb) | 3 comments Diane,
I haven't read Tales from Watership Down, but you've got me interested now. I too think I'll need to go back and re-read the original first.
Of the other books on your list which would you recommend the most?

message 13: by Sabrina (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Sabrina Robinson (teachablemoments30605) | 1 comments My top 5:

A Hundred Years of Solitude
Time Traveler's Wife
Watership Down
Phillip Pullman's Dark Materials
I Know This Much is True

You all have great books in your tops. I feel like I'm just biting off of you but these are good.

message 14: by peg (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

peg (mcicutti) | 52 comments Narrowing my favorites down to the top five is difficult buy I'll give it a try:

Snow Country

Confederacy of Dunces

The Good Earth

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Wide Sargasso Sea

I have a lot more favorites. They are on my list under "favorites" (duh!)

I will definitely be reading some of everyone else's favs. They all look good.

message 15: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Lisa | 3 comments robert, i've never read watership down, but i've read tales from watership down- you probably don't need to read water ship down again before you read the sequel. it is short stories that some of the rabbits tell.

1 to kill a mockingbird

2 holes

3 jane eyre

4 weslandia

5 my name is asher lev

list is subject to change. my husband has wanted me to read watership down. after seeing how many people love it, i'd better give it a try.

message 16: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Lisa | 3 comments oh yeah, i forgot harry potter. also i really love the book of mormon and the witch of blackbird pond and the bronze bow.

message 17: by Alison (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Alison My 5 Favorites:

1. "Do not cite the Deep Magic to me, Witch. I was there when it was written."

2. "Touched to the heart, Mrs. March could only stretch out her arms, as if to gather children and grandchildren to herself, and say, with face and voice full of motherly love, gratitude, and humility . . .“Oh, my girls, however long you may live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this!"

3. "Nelly, I am Heathcliff — he's always, always in my mind — not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself — but as my own being — so, don't talk of our separation again — it is impracticable."

4. "He smiled understandingly—much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced--or seemed to face--the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey."

5. "It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley."

message 18: by Tristan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:19PM) (new)

Tristan Durst | 1 comments 1. Gospel by Wilton Barnhardt
2. The Stand by Steven King
3. Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
4. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
5. Carter Beats the Devil by a guy whose name I can't remember. But the book is awesome!

message 19: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 08, 2007 03:03AM) (new)

The Communist Manifesto.

The Prophet, Gibran Khalil Gibran.

Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday, John Steinbeck.

Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, Jose Rizal.

The Third Wave, Alvin Toffler.

Lord of the Flies, William Golding.

....maybe, The Good Earth, Pearl Buck.

The Christian Bible.

message 20: by whichwaydidshego (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:23PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego I guess I'm a bit too traditional with my favorites list, though I read books from all over the board. In no particular order:

Pride Prejudice - Jane Austen
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier

All four of those I have read numerous times and likely will again (unusual for me). I never tire of them.

My not-so-traditional entries:
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde

I have to mention Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling as well... it's a toss up between books 5 & 7 if I can't say a series.

message 21: by Jenna (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:37PM) (new)

Jenna | 3 comments Fantastic! those are almost the exact books I was gonna put! but since you've already got 'em up, I'll just add
Lord of the rings J.R.R tolkien
Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte
to that list :D

message 22: by Lori (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:41PM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) I may not be able to limit this to top 5, but i will try my hardest.

(in no particular order)
The Road
The Ruins
Odd Thomas series
One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest
Farhenheit 451
I Am Legend
Good Omens

Sorry, I did my best :P

message 23: by Yelena (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:43PM) (new)

Yelena Malcolm | 3 comments I was thinking about this the other day and how funny it is that my top 5 the year I graduated high school (1995) are essentially unchanged:

Crime and Punishment
The Sound and the Fury
Foucault's Pendulum
if on a winter's night a traveler

if I could add (since I couldn't readily subtract), Immortality, Midnight's Children, and One Hundred Years of Solitude.

As for recently, that's more difficult as I'm lucky if I read one truly amazing book a year. That being said, the recent (and I'm letting recent be five years so I can get the widest sample data) top 5 would be:

Too Loud a Solitude
The Plot Against America
A Fine Balance

Ooh, thank you, this was fun.

message 24: by Diane (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:55PM) (new)

Diane (dianes) Here are my favorite 5:
The Gospel According to Larry by Tashjian
The Giver by Lowry
The Harry Potter series
Inkheart by Funke
Warrior Heir/Wizard Heir by Chima
As you can tell, I usually read children's or young adult books, since I am a youth services associate at a public library.

message 25: by Santos (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:01PM) (new)

Santos | 2 comments My top five (or 6) are:

The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao-Junot Diaz
On Photography- susan Sontag
Lucky- Alice Sebold
Unbearable Lightness of Being-Milan Kundera
Mansfield Park-Jane Austen
Geek Love- Katherine Dunn

I have many more, but these are super-duper favorites. :-)

message 26: by Lizzie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:06PM) (new)

Lizzie (lizziebarlow) | 2 comments Perfect! If had to take lines from Narnia, Wuthering Heights, Little Women,Gatsby, and Pride and Predjudice they might be exactly the same. Clever way to list and beautiful favorites.

message 27: by Lizzie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:06PM) (new)

Lizzie (lizziebarlow) | 2 comments My top five would be:

1. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
2. The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
3. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
4. A Pillar of Iron by Taylor Caldewell
5. Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (okay not really book in the traditional sense but I read this over and over an fall into its rhythms.)
Alternates: Joy Luck Club, Ulysses, Interpreter of Maladies, or Great Expectations

Thanks for all the great recommendations!

message 28: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:11PM) (new)

Meghan 1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (all time favorite. Read once a year.)

2. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (second all time favorite. Try to read every other year.)

3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo (changed my life after reading it)

4. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (a true modern fairy tale)

5. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen Dubner (#5 changes from year-to-year, but this is the best book I've read in 2007 so far)

message 29: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:11PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I really don't think I can list only five. I mean, there are seven Harry Potter books! So, in no particular order...

The Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Maude Montgomery
East of Eden - John Steinbeck

It was really hard for me to choose my favorite Austen and my favorite Steinbeck! So runners-up would be:

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

message 30: by Jon (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:20PM) (new)

Jon Doyle | 3 comments This will be tough:

1. "Tropic of Cancer" - Henry Miller. This book made me fall in love with Art. And wine.

2. "100 Years of Solitude" - GG Marquez. This book will be read for eternity.

3. "The Book of Laughing and Forgetting" - Milan Kundera. I laughed, I forgot, I was moved being belief.

4. "To the Lighthouse" - Virginia Woolf. Perfection.

5. "Giovanni's Room" - James Baldwin. I am not gay, but was so moved by this novel. Every religious idiot/zealot should read this book and maybe. It might knock some sense into them.

message 31: by Jim (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:23PM) (new)

Jim | 5 comments five top five

Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Catch 22
The Looming Tower
City of Falling Angels

message 32: by Curlykerry (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:23PM) (new)

Curlykerry | 2 comments 1. A Prayer for Owen Meaney- John Irving
2. Lolita- Vladimir Nabakov
3. Tipping the Velvet- Sarah Waters
4. Still Life With Woodpecker- Tom Robbins
5. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carrol

message 33: by Rachael (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:23PM) (new)

Rachael 1. Harry Potter
2. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
3. My Sergei
4. Tuesdays with Morrie
5. Little Women

message 34: by Rebecca (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:26PM) (new)

Rebecca It was hard to narrow it down. I tired to go with books that I felt moved me in some way.

1. The Glass Castle: Janette Wells
2. The Red Tent: Anita Diamont
3. The Pact: Jodi Picoult
4. Where the Heart is: Billie Letts
5. The King of Torts: John Grisham

message 35: by Christy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:26PM) (new)

Christy No particular order

1. A Prayer for the Dying by Stewart O'Nan
- this book haunts me and it's just written so beautifully.

2. The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie King
- I'm not much of a mystery reader, but the characterization just makes this book worth reading over and over.

3. My Life by Lyn Hejinian

4. Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty
5. Bleak House by Charles Dickens

message 36: by Erica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:27PM) (new)

Erica Poole | 3 comments Hmmm, tough one, this may change, soon and often, but maybe not...

The Time Traveler's Wife (just read it, can't stop talking about it, I LOVED IT)

Remembrance - Jude Deveraux - yes, I like trashy romance novels, get over it, I have, and I still choke up a bit on this one after reading it numerous times.

She's Come Undone

Riot-Shashi Tharoor

The Memoirs of Cleoptra - Margaret George

No particular order!

message 37: by EJ (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:28PM) (new)

EJ Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Join Me
Tales of a Female Nomad
A tree Grows in Brooklyn

and I could go on I dont think I really have a top hard to choose

message 38: by Marlo (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:38PM) (new)

Marlo | 1 comments All Harry Potter's
JK Rowling

Like Water for Chocolate
Laura Esquivel

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

Girl With a Pearl Earring
Tracy Chevalier

A Man Without A Country
Kurt Vonnegut

Favorite Guilty Pleasure

Flowers In the Attic (I can't help it! I love that series!!!!)
VC Andrews

Saved too soon whoops....

Les Miserables
Victor Hugo

message 39: by Gwyn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:39PM) (new)

Gwyn Lewis 1. The God of Small Things
2. Shantaram
3. The Shipping News
4. The English Patient
5. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

message 40: by Recynd (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:50PM) (new)

Recynd I love seeing what everyone has posted! Now my turn:

1. East of Eden
2. The Good Earth
3. All Quiet on the Western Front
4. The Fountainhead
5. all the rest: (Fiction) Geek Love, Memoirs of a Geisha, She's Come Undone, The End of Alice, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Harry Potter Series, Little House on the Prairie Series, (and the non-fiction) Random Families, Red China Blues, Double Luck, Jesus Land, Let's Don't Go to the Dogs Tonight, (and the short stories/others) The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy, anything by Roald Dahl, anything by Shirley Jackson, and finally, my number one main man: Charles Bukowski...

message 41: by Kitty (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:56PM) (new)

Kitty (oldbroad) | 1 comments Fun to read everyone's choices. You have reminded me of some I haven't thought about in a long time. Might be time for some rereads. Anyway, here's my list. These mostly stay on the bookshelf near my bed to be close at hand when needed! In no particular order:

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte (Read it first as a girl, it grew up with me and I can still go back to it with interest and enjoyment)

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (A good-time read with a lot to notice by an author I can always count on to be brilliant)

An American Childhood, Annie Dillard (A clear evocation of how a child thinks - how did she channel her younger self? fabulous!)

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard (She always thrills me with her descriptions of the natural world and how she relates to it)

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, JRR Tolkein (I can start with The Hobbit and read all the way through to the last of the Trilogy and be sorry that I'm finished)

I'll stop at five, but there are more.

(I just joined and this is the first time I've posted to a topic. Hope I did it right!)

message 42: by Ehrrin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:03PM) (new)

Ehrrin Narrowing down is making my brain hurt. I've narrowed it down to sixteen, and don't know how much further I can edit! Here's my best attempt:

1. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

2. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving

3. The Omnivore's Dilemma - Michael Pollan

4. Underworld - Don Delillo

5. The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy

Other contenders:
> Geek Love - Katherine Dunn
> Everything Is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer
> Random Family - Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
> The Secret History - Donna Tartt
> As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner
> No One Belongs Here More Than You - Miranda July
> the Harry Potter books - J.K. Rowling
> Love In the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
> Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins
> Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
> Like Water For Chocolate - Laura Esquivel
> We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver


message 43: by Mandy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:03PM) (new)

Mandy * The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
* Year of Wonders - Geraldine Brooks
* The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards
* My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
* Anything written by Lee Child

message 44: by Amanda (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:04PM) (new)

Amanda (semerald1) | 3 comments 1)black beauty-anna sewell
2)King of wind-Marguerite Henry
3)theif lord
4)city of sparks
5)blubber-judy blume

message 45: by Jim (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:05PM) (new)

Jim | 5 comments 1 -The Looming Tower

2 - The Inferno

3 - The Female Brain

4 - Goya

5 - City of Falling Angels

message 46: by Celeste (last edited Feb 25, 2009 02:34AM) (new)

Celeste (celestelueck) | 2 comments O.K. This is fun, so why hasn't people been responding? Too hard? Here's my favorite adult ficton try:
1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zabon
3. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
4. Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
5. The Mercy of Thin Air by can't remember the
author. Tied with
5. Chasing The Devil's Tail by David Fulmer

On to my favorite YA and Children books:
1. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth
2. Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
3. The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman
4. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling(can't pick just
5. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

message 47: by Karen & Gerard (last edited Mar 28, 2008 08:20AM) (new)

Karen & Gerard (wwwgoodreadscomprofilekzemek) | 6 comments My top 5 favorite fiction I guess would be:
1) "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers
2) "Fallen Angels" by Patricia Hickman
3) "The Endearment" by Laveryle Spencer
4) "Daybreak" by Belva Plain
5) "Song of the Road" by Dorothy Garlock

My to 5 favorite non-fiction I think would be:
1) Holy Bible
2) "My Funny Dad, Harry" by Karen Zemek
3) "Become a Better You" by Joel Osteen
4) "Beautiful Child" by Torey Hayden
5) "Somebody Else's Kids" by Torey Hayden

This was very hard, I have so many favorites!

message 48: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Hart In no particular order:

1) Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
2) The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
3) In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
4) The Green Mile - Stephen King (love Stephen King, so hard to pick a favorite)
5) The Harry Potter series (probably The Half-Blood Prince if I had to pick one)

message 49: by Laura (new)

Laura Gunnels | 1 comments To be in my top five, I have to be so overcome by the author's brilliance that I literally put the book down for a second and issue a "d*** I wish I could write like that" as I absorb what I have just read.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
2. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
3. The Prince of Tides - Pat Conroy
4. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
5 (children's) Holes - Louis Sachar

message 50: by Elisabeth (new)

Elisabeth (theelisabethal) Ok, here goes:

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (not that its the best book ever written, I just enjoy the story)
3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
4. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I have several other favorites but I was limited to 5...on my profile you can see the others.

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