BOOKS I AUTOMATICALLY GO TO WHENEVER ANYONE ASKS FOR A REC

...hint: it's mostly fantasy.
  1. Howl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones
    MG/YA fairy tale. I could not love this book or its hero/heroine more. It is gorgeous and their characters are so endearing and Howl is my roguish Welsh sometimes-drunken book boyfriend for life.
  2. The Starbound trilogy (These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, Their Fractured Light), Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman
    Plot-based YA space opera. Y'all, these books are fun. Twisty and exciting and full of gorgeous, glittery romance. My reaction to the final book: https://twitter.com/brightlyanna/status/696602422844780544
  3. Wolf by Wolf, Ryan Graudin
    YA fantasy. I was super impressed with this book. And surprised by how impressed I was. Let me explain: this is an alt history novel about a motorcycle race and WW2 and tattoos. I've been terrified of driving for years. Needles scare me. I don't particularly enjoy military history. There were v few gorgeous outfits in Wolf by Wolf, v few kisses, and zero princesses. And yet I was totally caught up. My Goodreads review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1416032119?book_show_action=false
  4. Enchantment, Orson Scott Card
    ...it's a Russian retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Baba Yaga is involved. Thoroughly recommend.
  5. The Raven Boys (and sequels), Maggie Stiefvater
    YA fantasy. This is possibly the most gorgeously written YA novel I've ever read. I've read this book and its sequels 2-3 times in under a year. I'm more emotionally involved than I'm comfortable with. My Goodreads reviews for the first 2 novels: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1193184423?book_show_action=false https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1268608236?book_show_action=false
  6. Beowulf, Seamus Heaney's translation
    If you need a shot in the arm: this. Bravery, battle, hospitality, perfectly sparse language. On audio, comes complete with Northern Irish accent.
  7. The Winner's Curse, Marie Rutkowski (and its sequel)
    YA fantasy. This is one of those books that didn't make a massive impression on me initially-- I thought it was very good, but I'd been inundated w/ fantasy, so it didn't overwhelm me. But I couldn't get rid of this one. It stayed with me. I love the Greco-Roman-inspired world and the characters. My Goodreads review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1179918480?book_show_action=false
  8. The Hobbit, Tolkien
    Fantasy. You don't really need me to describe this one for you, do you? But I should add this: this book is about being brave, and setting aside comfort for experiences and living your LIFE, and I think we need that more than ever today.
  9. Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman
    Fantasy. The London Underground is the perfect setting. It's magical and foggy and dark and twisty.
  10. The Grisha trilogy (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising), Leigh Bardugo
    YA fantasy. These books are gorgeous. And the magic system is fabulous and I LOVE the Russian setting. My Goodreads review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/940083954?book_show_action=false
  11. The Bone Season (and sequel), Samantha Shannon
    Alt-future fantasy. This one's amazing. It's about crime syndicates and psychics and England and JUST READ IT OK. My Goodreads review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/701976254?book_show_action=false
  12. Freddy and Fredericka, Mark Helprin
    Contemporary fiction. The crown prince of England and his wife embarrass the crown one time too many and are therefore sent to reclaim America for Queen and country. Everything I've read of Mark Helprin's is wonderful, but this book is just freaking hilarious.
  13. The Host, Stephenie Meyer
    YA dystopian. If you expect me to be embarrassed ab this, think again. It's an 800-page pile of candy. A total joyride. I wholeheartedly endorse.
  14. I feel like this list is way, way too short. I'm sure I'll think of more later.
  15. It also excludes the obvious Harry Potter/Chronicles of Narnia recommendations.
  16. But this works, for a start.
  17. And if you ever want a rec, hit me up!