My favourite books of all time (Updated)

This post was almost impossible to write. I imagined it would be the easiest thing in the world to list my top ten favourite books of all time. But when i came to do it i found that there were just so many books that i love, selecting only ten was almost impossible. The truth is that this list could go on forever because there are so many books that i could include in it. But i wanted to do a top ten, mostly to see if i could, but also to learn which books i loved the most. 

Close behind writing, reading is my favourite thing to do. There is no other experience quite like immersing yourself in an awesome book. I remember the first real book i read (when i say real, i mean full length novel), which was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I’ll admit i didn’t read the first two until i’d read the fourth. Though i’d read fantasy voraciously all my life, The Prisoner of Azkaban was the first book i truly remember completing. I was seven and from that point on there has barely been a day that has passed that i have not had a book in my hand. It’s like an addiction. Like writing, i cannot go a day without loosing myself in the pages of a book. 

And so, here goes. What follows is my top ten favourite books of all time. Though it was hard, i managed to do it. I may have cheated a little by counting a series of books as one, but hey, its my list…

Also note that this is in no particular order. If i tried to do that, i would drive myself crazy. 

1 – The Harry Potter series by J K Rowling

J K Rowling, in my opinion, is the single greatest writer of my generation. I grew up reading the Potter books and cannot imagine how the world would revolve without them. She created a world that was so realistic, so believable that i still have doubts whether Hogwarts is out there somewhere. It’s impossible to pick my favourite, but if i had to, i think Deathly Hallows or Goblet of Fire would be the most likely candidates. 

2 – The Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney 

Just like the Harry Potter books, i grew up with Joseph Delaney’s Wardstone Chronicles. They follow the adventures of Tom who is apprenticed to a Spook (a man who rids the world of dark creatures). These books, if you haven’t read them, are phenomenal. Just as addictive as the Potter series, they are certainly darker and intended for an older readership, but they are brilliant nonetheless. Spooky and exciting, this series delivers on all fronts and it more than earns its place on this list. I highly recommend you check these books out if you already haven’t.  

3 – Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton 

This one is rather a deviation from the prior two, but there was no way this book was going to miss out on a spot on this list. I watched the movie before i read the book and since the first time i saw that brachiosaurus eating that tree and heard Richard Attenborough utter those words, “Welcome to Jurassic Park” it has been my favourite movie of all time. The book is just as exciting, brilliant and epic. Since reading it i have become a die hard Crichton fan, and though all his books are great, none have come close to being as awesome as Jurassic Park. Just a terrific science fiction read, this is probably the book i’ve read the most times (ten, i think). 

4 – Watership Down by Richard Adams 

Just like Jurassic Park i saw the movie before i read the book. It was several years later that i finally got round to reading Adam’s classic and i still berate myself for not reading it sooner. This novel is brilliant, complex and gripping. For a tale about rabbits, its surprisingly exciting and action packed. 

5 – The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan 

This is another series i grew up with and love almost as much as the Potter books. Blending myth with modern day, Riordan writes with snappy, witty prose and creates a world that it would be really cool to be a part of. Who wouldn’t want to be the son of Poseidon? Consisting of five books and now numerous spin offs, this is an epic journey that i highly recommend you invest in if you already haven’t. 

6 – Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull

I came to this series in the wake of Harry Potter, looking for another world and set of characters that i could immerse myself in. Whilst it will never fill the void left by Potter it makes an awesome attempt. Consisting of five books, each even more entertaining than its predecessor, this series is one that Potter fans should definitely check out. Full of interesting characters, mythology, worlds and creatures, this is an epic set of reads. Though Mull’s audience is more middle grade, there is no reason young adults and even adults cannot enjoy this series. I implore you to look it up, if you already haven’t. 

7 – Department 19 series by Will Hill

This is a relatively new series, following in, but completely reinventing the seemingly endless  tide of vampire books. This series blends action, horror and fantasy and takes it to a whole new exciting level. There are twists and turns, intriguing plot arcs and cool characters at every turn. Will Hill’s prose snaps and sizzles, its gripping from the very first page and unrelenting until the last. I cannot recommend this series more highly. Check it out!

8 – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Again this is a series i admit to coming to pretty late. I didn’t believe the hype at first, thinking it was just another Twilight (which i haven’t read). But when i saw that it wasn’t some romance series with whiny characters, that it had a gritty, action packed plot, i bought the first book. I was barely a chapter in when i went back to the store and purchased the other two books. In four days i had read all three. This is an action packed series that never stops. Unbelievably good!

9 – 11/22/63 by Stephen King – This is a recent read and it is one i wished i had read when it first came out. I have long been a fan of King’s short stories, but had yet to check out any of his novels. Having heard rave reviews about this one, i decided to take a chance when i saw it in a secondhand book shop. And am i ever glad i took that chance. This is in my top five books of all time. Though it may not be as action packed as some of the other books on this list, 11/22/63 is as addictive a book as i’ve ever read. In essence its science fiction, but really it’s much more than that. A powerful, funny, exciting, suspenseful, extraordinarily well written book from beginning to end, this is one i urge anyone and everyone to read. 

10 – The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien 

Though i will admit these books took me a while to get into, there is no way i wasn’t going to include them in this list. Tolkien is the master of high fantasy and in Lord of the Rings he conjures a world so rich and fleshed out that you would think it actually existed. In fact, this series, along with Potter, is directly responsible for inspiring me to write. I can but yearn to create a world as vivid and believable as Tolkien has and in my eyes the man is a genius. Epic!

So there it is, my top ten favourite books of all time. Phew! I could go on and on and on. There at least twenty more books that i considered for this list but if i started to list them too, i know i wouldn’t stop. If there are some you haven’t read yet then i urge you to check them out. 



About Sam Whitehouse

Sam spends most of his time in a different world to other people. If it isn’t one he’s created himself, it’s one he’s reading about. In the rare moments when this isn’t the case, Sam can either be found addicted to a sci-fi or crime show, re-watching Marvel movies, finishing up an assignment for his final year of studying Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University, or trying to get the dozens of ideas for stories in his head under some kind of control. Sam has lived in the same small village in Yorkshire, surrounded by countryside on all sides ever since he could remember. His childhood saw him get into plenty of scrapes climbing trees and crossing rivers and generally believing he was Indiana Jones. Sam gives credit to his Grandad for him wanting to be a writer, and his bedtime stories for keeping Sam’s imagination stoked. But credit must also go to Steven Spielberg, J K Rowling and Stephen King, who have provided plenty of inspiration over the years, too. Sam writes what he reads, and that is pretty much anything—save romance. Fantasy, thrillers, or crime: once an idea takes root, he can’t stop until the world, characters, and plot are on paper. A huge Marvel fan, Sam one day hopes to pen a screenplay for one of their movies, or direct one, or do anything at all related to one. Until then, he’ll stick to his own fantasy worlds and wait for Marvel’s phone call.

Posted on 06/04/2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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