This is a list of some of my favorite books, ones that I would highly recommend. I love reading and each of these books has touched my life at some point. I plan to update this page with details about why I enjoy these books and authors, and how I discovered them. If you're interested, keep checking back. Authors with an asterisk by their name have multiple books that I enjoy.
The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
This book reminds me to really live life, not just coast along. I love Milo, the main character. He goes on an amazing journey that takes him away from everyday life, all thanks to a mysterious box that appears in his living room after school one day. The journey teaches him to enjoy every second of life, because time is valuable and being bored is a waste of time. This was a book my mother read to us when we were younger. I read it through on my own several times thereafter.
To Say Nothing of the Dog, Connie Willis
This is a brilliant book. If you like British-style humor, science fiction, mystery, historical fiction, and such, you will enjoy this book. I discovered it on the shelf of the Idaho Falls Public Library many years ago and have loved it ever since. It references several other books and got me started reading Agatha Christie novels. I've also enjoyed some of Connie Willis' other books, including collections of her short stories and Bellwether, which plays with chaos theory. She's a clever writer and I really can't think of a female science fiction author whose work I've enjoyed more.
Elantris, Brandon Sanderson****
This is Brandon Sanderson's sixth novel, but the first published. It's brilliant. I love the world he's created, I love the characters, and I am a huge fan of the plot as well. It's clever, funny, and incredibly interesting. Warbreaker is another exceedingly excellent book. I like the Mistborn series as well, and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the Stormlight books.
Dracula, Bram Stoker
This is just a brilliantly done book. It's what is known as an epistolary novel, in which the story is told through a set of documents. In this case it's made up of letters, journals and newspaper clippings supposedly written by the characters themselves. It's one of the best books about good vs evil that I can think of. The first time I read it, I was sitting in the basement of the Maeser building on BYU campus. They have a lovely reading room and I would stop by and read a few chapters (sections, really) on my way home from campus. This was during a fall semester, so it was appropriately close to Halloween. It was a delightful reading experience. It's a much better vampire story AND a much better love story than that other vampire book series whose name I shall not mention.
Book of a Thousand Days, Shannon Hale*
Gold, Isaac Asimov
The Arkadians, Lloyd Alexander*
The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins
The House of the Scorpion, Nancy Farmer*
Education of a Wandering Man, Louis L'Amour*
The Double Helix, James D. Watson
The Icarus Hunt, Timothy Zahn*
The Alliance, Gerald Lund
Dragon Slippers, Jessica Day George*
Ever, Gail Carson Levine*
The Lost Conspiracy, Frances Hardinge*
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Man in the Brown Suit, Agatha Christie*
The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism
Into the Wild, John Krakauer
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
Life of Pi, Yann Martel
Little Britches, Ralph Moody*
Howl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones*
Borderlands/La frontera, Gloria Anzaldúa
Ciudad de las Bestias, Isabel Allende
El famoso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha, Miguel Cervantes de Saavedra
Lágrimas en la lluvia, Rosa Montero
El peso del corazón, Rosa Montero
La voz dormida, Dulce Chacón
Yeti, Fernando J. López del Oso