Monthly Recommendations is a Goodreads group created and hosted by Kayla Rayne @ Kayla Rayne and Trina @ Between Chapters. I used to do these videos when I was on BookTube, and I really miss them, so I’ve decided to try to do them on the blog every month from now on! August’s topic is our favorite “oldies,” AKA our favorite books published before 2010. In recent years, I tend to read mostly recent releases, so I had a fun time going down memory lane and thinking about some of my favorite books I read years ago, way before I was on the bookish internet. I’ve decided to split my list into two categories: old favorites, and classics (because, like, they’re both oldies, but in different ways, you know?). Without further ado, let’s get into the books!
madalyn’s old favorites
(Excluding the obvious Harry Potter series, because… duh.)
A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray // Annnnnd absolutely no one is surprised to see this book on my list. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy is my (slightly problematic) forever favorite series. These books and characters meant so much to me when I first read them in middle school, and even now, nine years later, they still hold a very special place in my heart. I’ll forever be thankful to my wonderful middle school librarian who recommended these books to me, and who consequently introduced me to one of my favorite authors! (Side note: I reread the trilogy last year, and it absolutely holds up.)
Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz // Another series that defined my middle school years. These are definitely my favorite vampire series! I think the premise of them is so cool. Seriously, I LOVED these books back in the day, and I still loved them when I reread them in early high school. I definitely want to reread them again as an adult to see how they hold up– I’m sure there are some cringe-worthy moments!
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen // My favorite Sarah Dessen book! I’ve read all of them except her most recent release, but this is the one that always stands out in my mind.
Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson // Maureen Johnson has long been one of my favorite authors! Though my favorite of her books were published after 2010 (13 Little Blue Envelopes and the Shades of London series, in case you were wondering), I checked out aaaalllll of her books from my local library multiple times growing up. I remember Suite Scarlett being a favorite!
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare // Though I didn’t board the Shadowhunter train until early high school, City of Bones obviously had to make this list. Yeah, the first few TMI books are a little cringeworthy (especially given how much Cassandra Clare’s writing has improved over the years), but it will always hold a place in my heart for sparking my unabashed love of the Shadowhunter books.
madalyn’s favorite classics
Emma by Jane Austen// Hi, my name is Madalyn, and I’m a total Austen nerd. Emma is my favorite of her books– it’s so witty and cleverly written. I love the journey Emma Woodhouse goes on as a character, and the matchmaking plot makes for a fun read.
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen // I had to also include P&P, because a list of my favorite classics without this book would just be dishonest. Sure, it’s a cliche choice, but there’s a reason this book is so well-loved. Again, Austen’s writing is so smart. This book is bursting with social commentary, and Lizzy Bennet is one of the best characters ever. Plus, the romance is the ultimate hate-to-love romance.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck // My favorite book of all time, ever. This is simply a literary masterpiece. If I could, I would make this required reading for all humans. Part retelling, part family saga, and all a work of genius. There’s really not much else I can say besides PLEASE EVERYONE GO READ THIS BOOK.
Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen // My favorite play! Hedda Gabler is, again, so full of social commentary, particularly re: the oppression of women. It was truly a revolutionary play for its time, and I think the characters are all fantastically written. I loved reading and analyzing this play in my senior year AP Lit class.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee // It’s a classic for a reason. This book isn’t without its problems, for sure, but it certainly makes you think. It paints a stunningly accurate picture of Southern life in all of its often-ugliness.
What are some of your childhood favorite books? Favorite classics? Do we share any in common?