My 48 Favorite Books For The 48 Years Of My Life


In celebration of my 48th birthday earlier this month, I am doing three special posts: first, this one on my 48 favorite books for the 48 years of my life; then, this Wednesday, my 48 favorite movies; and this Friday, my 48 favorite albums.

For today’s list, I decided to try to go from childhood to the present and to try not to include trilogies or series, with a few notable exceptions in both cases. For example, I included two comic book collections and tacked on one at the end because it was the end of a series and also a good place to end. Many are from high school and college reading lists and classes, such as the Knowles, Milton, Faulker, and O’Connor, with the last two being for a course on both of them. Others are the start of series that I love, many at the beginning and a few in the middle. I want to give a special shout-out to The Bloom County collections, which helped me through mandatory chapel at Messiah College in the late 80s and early 90s. Thank you, Berke Breathed.

  1. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins  by Dr. Seuss
  2. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
  3.  In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  4. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  5. Stuart Little by E.B. White
  6. Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard
  7. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
  9. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  10. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  11. Lord of the Flies by William Goulding
  12. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  13. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  14. The Autobiography of Malcolm X
  15. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
  16. Dune by Frank Herbert
  17. Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saaverda (abridged, translated, and edited by Walter Starkie)
  18. The Stand by Stephen King
  19. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  20. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  21. The River Why by David James Duncan
  22. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  23. Paradise Regained by John Milton
  24. The Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Stephen Mitchell
  25. Harvest Poems: 1910-1960 by Carl Sandburg
  26. Ariel by Sylvia Plath
  27. Selected Poems of William Carlos Williams by William Carlos Williams
  28. All of Us: The Collected Poems by Raymond Carver
  29. The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor by Flannery O’Connor
  30. The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner
  31. Truman by David McCullough
  32. Modern Man in Search of a Soul by C.G. Jung
  33. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  34. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  35. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  36. Harry Potter and The Order of Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
  37. To Kill a Mockingbird  by Harper Lee
  38. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  39. Flesh and Bone by Jonathan Maberry
  40. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  41. Being Mortal by Atul Gawende
  42. The Essential Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterston
  43. Bloom County: Volumes 1 through 5 by Berke Breathed
  44. The Black Echo by Michael Connelly
  45. White Butterfly by Walter Mosley
  46. Dogstar Rising by Parker Bilal
  47. Memory by Donald E. Westlake
  48. Curtain by Agatha Christie

If you had a list of favorites for every year of your life, what would be some of those you’d have to include? Any crossovers?

10 thoughts on “My 48 Favorite Books For The 48 Years Of My Life

  1. I just checked because I had not seen this post in my reader and I come to find out that your feed dropped from my subscription list. Re-adding it now.
    I love many of the books you listed here. A Separate Peace, to this day, still remains my fave of all time.


      1. Is it new?? I noticed the new look but thought the post feed was the same. Anyway, you are back in there now.


  2. You are way more ambitious than I am with your lists for life you have going on!

    That being said, I would have included Where the Red Fern Grows on my list, as well as THG and HP. Of course!


  3. A list for every year of my life? An impossible challenge. Crossovers might include, however, Charlotte’s Web, The Autobiography of Malcolm X and definitely To Kill a Mockingbird – one of my all time favourite books.


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