May Booking It: Our Favorite Books Ever!

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May Booking It: Our Favorite Books EverBooking It is an online book club where we share the good reads we’ve found in the previous month. We’ve found that over the years we’ve discovered some great new books thanks to this monthly book share. Carrie and Anne are my fellow bookworms and help round out the selections.

We’re doing things a little differently this month. Rather than give a lowdown on new and current reads, we decided to share our favorite books. And, that my friends is a tough choice!

Carrie’s favorite:


The Westing Game

by Ellen Raskin

Oh my word – picking a favorite book is like trying to pick a favorite child (or so I’ve been told) – it’s HARD! I’m obviously a Jane Austen fan, but I also have a deep and lifelong love for L.M. Montgomery, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Agatha Christy. How in the world does one pick from so many good books and authors?

In the end I had to narrow it down to a favorite children’s book, and even that was difficult. I come from a long line of Bookworms, so books are regularly given as gifts for birthdays and holidays. My oldest sister (20 years my senior) and I agree that you are never too old for children’s literature, so the books she gives usually fall into that category. In the running for my favorite children’s book: The Phantom Tollbooth, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, The Search for Delicious, and The Westing Game – which won out in the end (though it was close).

I was celebrating my 14th birthday when my sister gave me this book. I recall being slightly offended that she gave me a children’s book when I was so clearly on my way to adulthood, and after telling her “thanks”, it sat on my shelf for several months before I picked it up. SOLD! I’ve read it at least once a year since then, still enjoying the twists and turns, character development, and plot conclusion. Mystery, humor, and child-friendly, pick up a copy of The Westing Game and Happy 4th of July!

Anne’s favorite:

Brideshead Revisited

Brideshead Revisited

by Evelyn Waugh

I’m with Carrie—I hate choosing favorites! Picking just one is impossible, but I have a handful of books I keep coming back to.

My favorite books of all time have stood the test of time, stand up to repeated re-readings, and show me something new each time I open them: Jayber Crow, Crossing to Safety, Emma. But the book I have come back to the most is Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh.

What can I say to capture why I love this book? It’s haunting and melancholy, wistful and reverent. I’m entranced by the story of the Flyte family’s unraveling–along with the rest of Britain’s aristocracy–and by its themes of love, loss, and grace.

I came to this classic dutifully, expecting a dry read. It’s anything but. I’d recommend it to anyone, but it should definitely be required reading for Downton fans!

Jessica’s favorite:


Rose in Bloom

by Louisa May Alcott

As my fellow bookworms have already established, it’s pretty hard to choose one favorite book. There are so many books, novels particularly, that I have loved and read over and over again. I’ve got Jane Austen’s  Mansfield Park and Pride and Prejudice on one end, with Tolkien’s Middle Earth in the middle, and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Clearly, I’m drawn to British writers.

But, the book that I come back to in my heart of hearts is a lesser known work by American writer, Louisa May Alcott book, Rose in Bloom. You are probably well familiar with Little Women and the whole March family saga. I’m not really sure why those books have stood through time over the story of Rose Campbell. Well, I do, but that would be a spoiler, I suppose. Let’s just say, social conventions are no longer what they once were.

Rose is an orphan with eight boy cousins, and numerous aunts and uncles. Her father and an uncle had competed for the same lady’s hand. Rose’s father won the lady, Rose’s mother, but eventually they both pass away. Rose is raised by the uncle who lost out. It’s a beautiful story of redemption, of growing into womanhood, of choosing character over cash. Rose learns lessons at a young age that take some of us decades to figure out. I read the book probably once a year, just for fun.

So, there we are. When pressed, we each narrowed it down to one favorite book.

What’s YOUR favorite book ever?

May Booking It: Our Favorite Books Ever– Anne loves strong coffee, long books, and big ideas. She puts a timely spin on timeless women’s issues at her blog Modern Mrs Darcy.

For more of Anne’s book recommendations, check out her new 2014 summer reading guide here to find out which breezy novels, nerdy nonfiction, and gripping books are best for the beach this year—or your own backyard.

May Booking It: Our Favorite Books Ever– Carrie adores culture, coffee, books, British mystery shows, Parisian cafés, and her husband of 13 years. She’s spent time in Africa, southeast Asia, and Alaska, and now works from home as a social media book launch project manager. 

In her spare time, you can find her blogging at Carrie’s Busy Nothings

May Booking It: Our Favorite Books Ever– Jessica is a married mom of six kids, aged 5 to 16. Most can read independently which means the homeschool experiment is working – at least on the literacy front.

She has been a lover of books for 40 years and counting. We won’t count the first year of life. She runs this here show called Life as MOM and also posts all the food things over at Good Cheap Eats.

Tell us what YOU’VE been reading.

Leave a comment or a link below. Please be sure to link back here so your readers know where to find the party. Share your recent book reviews with us!

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  1. I think my favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird but that is not the book that I read most often. The book that I read most often is Love Story. That is the book that for years I would pick up when I had nothing else to read because I could finish it in a couple of hours and not have to think to hard about it. You can see what I have been reading lately at

    1. Loved reading that one, too. A few years ago I read it to my kids who were ten and under. The oldest balked because he thought it was a girly book. He was hooked within a few chapters.

  2. I just read Rose in Bloom a few weeks ago! I’d read Eight Cousins when I was a kid but had never read the sequel, Rose in Bloom. I reread Eight Cousins and enjoyed it so much that I picked up Rose in Bloom as well. They’re really fun, delightful stories. I admit I like them much better than I remember liking Little Women when I read it back in the day.

    My favorite novel for years now is Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers. I’m interested in the life circumstances that shape why we choose which books are our favorites. Of course it has to do with personality and preferences, and I love Sayers for her excellent plots, dry and witty writing style, and rational handling of characterization and relationships, but I think the reason Gaudy Night stands out as my favorite of her books is because I come from a long line of academics and I really appreciate the discourse on academic life, the cloister of the campus (more the cloister of the mind than anything else, which I think the book is quick to point out), and how to choose and pursue one’s vocation. I’ve been rereading this book once every year or so since I was 14 years old and I still love, love, love it.

    My favorite book from my childhood is Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. It was hands down my favorite book ever until I ran into Gaudy Night when I was 14. (It’s been 14 years now since I was 14, so sometimes I wonder if I’m due to find a new favorite book soon?) Runner-up in the children’s category is A Little Princess, which I faithfully read once a year when I was young.

    1. I read Caddie Woodlawn so many times as a girl that the cover fell off my book! 🙂 Good choice on that one. 🙂 I’ve tried Sayers… several times. Finally got one I enjoyed, and recently picked up the complete Lord Peter collection at a recent library sale. Time to give her another go. 🙂

    2. I love all the Lord Peter mysteries. I don’t think I’ve ever read Caddie Woodlawn, thought. Loved A Little Princess as a child.

    1. My niece and my eldest both have Rose for a middle name. I encouraged my sister in that direction since I had no girls at the time. Now, the cousins share the middle name. 🙂

      1. That’s SO fun! I can’t wait to read “Eight Cousins” and “Rose in Bloom” to my kiddos. Gotta get through the Wingfeather Saga first! C’mon, Warden and the Wolf King!

  3. On my reading list this week – your make & freeze cookbook (great-sounding recipes!!), the junior girl scout book because next week is camp week, and Mockingjay, (my mindless read).

  4. As a child it was the Diary of Anne Frank, as a teenager Roots by Alex Haley, as a student 100 Years of Solitude by Garcia Marquez (in the original Spanish) and as an adult A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. Books are a huge part of my life so this will be a growing list, couldn’t possibly have one favourite!

  5. Love that you picked Rose in Bloom, I am a huge Louisa May Alcott fan! May have to go reread it
    By the way, final Wingfeather saga book due out July 27th :)!!!

      1. Oh you are right!! I was looking on amazon, don’t think we can wait another month – headed over to rabbit room to order!

  6. Oh, yes! Rose in Bloom and Eight Cousins are wonderful. I’ve read the latter out loud to my kids several times.

    But I think my favorite children’s book of all is Heidi, the unabridged version. Not only is it the haunting story of a little girl, but it is also the story of a sad old man, a critical village, and redemption. Beautiful!

    And probably my favorite adult book is Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher, about an older but feisty woman, love, family, tragedy, and organ music. The great books are great, but this simpler novel is special in its own way.

  7. My favorite book of all time is The Chosen ny Potok. First read it in high school and many times since.
    I just finished Graceling because my teenager wants to read it. Stuck on YA bookland lately.

  8. Ohmigosh, I LOVED Eight Cousins as a youngster, but had NO idea there was a sequel! How could I have not known that? Oh well, the kindle edition is free! I know what I’m reading ASAP…

  9. Is Rose in Bloom the same as Eight Cousins? I read it to my girls this year, and we just loved Louisa May Alcott’s wisdom in it.

  10. Wow, favorite all time book. Too hard. I’ve loved reading the Little House books with my kids, and visiting the L site in Kansas. We have had a blast reading the Lord of the Rings books together, and also the Wingfeather saga. So at this time, those 3 series are on my all time favorite list. Something about great stories shared with my favorite people 🙂

    This month I read several books and my favorite from May…A Table by the Window 🙂

  11. I just got the free Kindle version of Eight Cousins last night and I am looking forward to starting it before I move on to Rose in Bloom. I just got around to Little Women last year and loved it, so thanks for the recommendation of another Louisa May Alcott.

  12. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. I first read it as a teen and have reread many times since then.