As an avid reader and an indecisive decision maker, it has been so hard for me to compile this list. Therefore, I do not think that I should be tortured with the impossible task of ordering this list according to the quality of the books. Instead, I present to you a list of the top ten best books/series of all time in alphabetical order (omitting the words "a" and "the"). On a side note, there is a distinctive pattern in this list of books; I have reread or plan to reread every single book on this list.
Animal Farm by George Orwell
One would think that a book addressing an issue with a communist form of government would be dry and boring. However, in this book, George Orwell expresses his views toward the subject with a deeply touching story about animals on a farm. It was anything but boring and even though I haven't reread it yet, I really want to read it again soon.
The Chronicles of Narnia Series by C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis's world building skills are amazing. In his series entitled The Chronicles of Narnia, he creates so many multidimensional and imaginative characters and worlds to tell an epic adventure story. Furthermore, as the reader progresses through the seven books, the reader learns so many valuable lessons. I grew up immersing myself in the world of Narnia by reading the whole series twice and I think it's about time for a third run. By the way, I share the love for Narnia with Adonia over at The Stone Table.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Just like C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien is an extremely skilled world builder and he really knows how to raise the tension. However, what really helps the reader connect to the story is that Bilbo is such a lovable character and his journey in finding his courage sends an empowering message of self discovery. By the way, the first time I read this book, my dad read it to my brother and I. It was one of those large books with pretty illustrations.
Indian Captive by Lois Lenski
Crease lines crowd the spine of my copy of Indian Captive, and some places on the cover are worn off and folded. My copy isn't battered because I didn't take good care of it. Instead it's because I have read the book so many times; it must be close to ten rereads. Literally. This is a classic story of a Native American captive who learns to accept and even appreciate her Native American family. Do you see that silver medal on the cover? That's the Newbery Honor, but in my opinion, I think the book should have won the Newbery Medal.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This book was so beautiful. It explores the idea of racism, but through the eyes of a child named Scout Finch. Scout Finch's personality is so realistic and her account of the story of her father's fight to battle racism is priceless.
The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Again, I'm pretty sure I've reread this book close to ten times and I've read all of the other books in the series at least twice. When I was little, I was absolutely obsessed with The Little House Series. It gave me a breathtaking view of life as a pioneer, the type of person that I so desperately wished to be. This series made me so obsessed with pioneers that in elementary school I wore bonnets to recess, played pioneers with my friends everyday and centered all of my school projects around pioneers when I had the choice. It was hardcore elementary school fangirling.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
This series is as much of a masterpiece as The Hobbit. Indeed, it is a continuation of The Hobbit and I found it interesting to compare Bilbo's journey and Bilbo's nephew, Frodo's journey.
The Nancy Drew Mystery Series by Carolyn Keene
The Nancy Drew Mystery Series was another one of my childhood obsessions. I loved the heart-racing suspense and cliff-hangers that ended every chapter. I also loved trying to solve the mystery along with Nancy and I admired Nancy's ingenuity. I even went so far as to try to dig my own tunnel with my friend in elementary school to see if we could find mysterious people underground. Just in case you were wondering, we never did; the "tunnel" turned into a rabbit nest.
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Yes, oh yes. Peter Pan is "one of the most magical stories ever written." I loved reading about Neverland and I often wished that I could experience its magic for myself. I think my love of this book was also fostered by the Disney movie. In my mind, the book and the movie merged to create a fantastic and ever-lasting story.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Like so many other books by Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities was beautiful and haunting at the same time. The way that the story unraveled in the end just blew my mind and was deeply touching. Granted, the story could get slow at times, but never boring. I first read this story in fourth grade, but I think if I reread it now, I'll be able to appreciate its beauty even more.
What are your opinions on the books above? Is there a book on your list of best books of all time that I didn't put on my list?