My Favorite Books (Loosely Ranked)

  1. 1.
    Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson
    My favorite book. I don't know how to explain it and don't really want to try.
  2. 2.
    Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
    This is one of the only books I would describe as a perfect novel. Easily some of the best writing in the English language of all time. Masterpiece.
  3. 3.
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    I've never been more emotionally invested in a novel. Tolstoy is a genius.
  4. 4.
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    My favorite modern novel. 100x better than The Goldfinch. Read it; trust me.
  5. 5.
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
    This book. Damn. Cried more from this novel then anything else I've ever read. So clever; hits all the right marks.
  6. 6.
    The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
    All of the madness and genius you could hope for in one novel. Lives up to—then surpasses—the hype.
  7. 7.
    The Princess Bride by William Goldman
    This book is the ultimate case of "the book is better than the movie" which is saying a lot considering the movie is amazing. This book is so smart and hilarious and self-aware and clever. I recommend this book to literally everyone.
  8. 8.
    Firestarter by Stephen King
    The Green Mile by Stephen King in close second place. Firestarter is one of the most original and imaginative stories I've ever come across, absolutely gut-wrenching. So creative. This book has haunted me for more than a decade. Doesn't get enough attention when people talk about King.
  9. 9.
    The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner
    Okay so I don't recommend this book to everyone. It's classic Faulkner which means it's a garbled chaotic mess which really (really) proves to be a work of literary genius. Not a beach read, but one of the most rewarding and thought-provoking books I've ever read.
  10. 10.
    White Oleander by Janet Fitch
    Changed the way I think about the stylistic possibilities of prose. Changed me as a writer. But not overly-crafted— and it's a serious page-turner.
  11. 11.
    The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
    I avoided this one for years because the idea of time travel isn't particularly appealing to me, but I am so grateful I finally picked this one up. At its core, this is not science fiction; it's a love story. As far as plots go, this is as innovative and original as they come. The writing is also flatout beautiful. This book does it for me.