Book Recs

Welcome to my official book recommendation page. These are all books that I liked or valued enough to recommend them. I liked these books for a variety of reasons—some because they are sheer perfection, some because I like something very specific about them, even some because they have problems and I like examining those problems.


I’ve categorized them roughly by genre, but other than that, these are in no particular order Some day when I’m not reading I plan to actually organize them into something a little more coherent, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did.


If you’re curious about why I liked these books, check out these posts:

Favorite Books of 2017

Favorite books of 2016

Favorite Books of 2015

Favorite Fantasy and Science Fiction Books Before 2015

Other Favorite Books Before 2015

And my monthly Reading Roundup posts.


Page updated March 1, 2019


Fantasy and Science Fiction


Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce

Immortals quartet by Tamora Pierce

Protector of the Small quartet by Tamora Pierce

Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen by Tamora Pierce

The Legend of Beka Cooper trilogy by Tamora Pierce

The Circle of Magic quartet by Tamora Pierce

The Circle Opens quartet by Tamora Pierce

The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce

Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce

Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce

The Books of Bayern series by Shannon Hale

The Healing Wars trilogy by Janice Hardy

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Team Human by Sarah Rees Brennan and Justine Larbalestier

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and sequels by Catherynne Valente

Deathless by Catherynne Valente

Graceling and sequels by Kristin Cashore

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Beauty by Robin McKinley

Howl’s Moving Castle and sequels by Diana Wynne Jones

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

The Colors of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarty

The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor

The Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

Princess Academy series by Shannon Hale

Ever After High series by Shannon Hale

The Martian by Andy Weir

A Tale Dark and Grimm series by Adam Gidwitz

Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne Valente

The Demon’s Lexicon by Sara Rees Brennan

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Dangerous by Shannon Hale

Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs

Flame in the Mist and Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh

The Book of Ember trilogy (The City of Ember, The People of Sparks, and The Diamond of Darkhold) by Jeanne DuPrau

Shades of Magic trilogy by V. E. Schwab

The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley

The Children of the Red King series by Jenny Nimmo

The True Meaning of Smekday and Smek for President by Adam Rex

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

Delirium series by Lauren Oliver

A Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L’Engle

The Giver series by Lois Lowry

The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins

Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan

The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox

Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Maximum Ride books 1-3 (The Angel Experiment, School’s Out Forever, and Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports) by James Patterson

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Rose series by Holly Webb

Wren series books 1-3 by Sherwood Smith (I haven’t read book 4 yet)

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor


Historical Fiction


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Life After Life and A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

Forgotten Fire by Adam Bagdasarian

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

The Bloody Jack Adventure series by L. A. Meyer

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Shanghai Girls and Dreams of Joy by Lisa See

Slaughterhouse Five or the Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death by Kurt Vonnegut

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Lily’s Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff

Gingersnap by Patricia Reilly Giff

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Criighead George




Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Veronica Mars books by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

Digging to America by Anne Tyler

A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult

A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

The Kite Runner by Khaled Housseni

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Housseni

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery

Behold the Dreamers by Mbolo Mbue

Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

Rilla of Ingleside by L. M. Montgomery

The Breadwinner series by Deborah Ellis

Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrick Backman


Short story collections


Tortoll and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce

In the Forest of Forgetting by Theodora Goss

The Periodic Table by Primo Levi

A Glory of Unicorns edited by Bruce Coville

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Birthday Surprises: Ten Great Stories to Unwrap Edited by Joanna Hurwitz

Flying Lessons and Other Stories edited by Ellen Oh

The 2018 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide edited by Sean Weaver and Corie Weaver




The Assisi Underground by Alexander Rumati

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Half the Sky by Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristoff

A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

Hiroshima by John Hersey

The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel

Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love by Dava Sobel

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil

War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars by Richard N. Haass

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Centuries for a New Centruy by Amanda Hesser

The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Nickerbocker Glory–More than 150 Magical Recipes for Muggles and Wizards by Dinah Busholz


Writing books


Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E. B. White

Guide to Literary Agents edited by Chuck Sambuchino

Many Genres, One Craft Edited by Michael A. Arnzen and Heidi Ruby Miller


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