Booklovers’ Choice: Favorite Books from HPB Bibliomaniacs Across the Country

I think every booklover will admit that one of the hardest questions to answer is “what is your favorite book?” Someone asked me that question not long ago, and I had read so many good books, trying to pick a favorite was almost heartbreaking. I finally said The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton because that was the first book that made me want to be a writer and touch people’s lives the way that book had touched mine. However, the question got me wondering what were some of my favorite booklovers favorite books? So much to their chagrin, I asked. And what better time to share their answers than on August 9, better known as Booklover’s Day?

Amanda B., Woodshoppe Manager, Dallas, TX
“I think I’ll have to go with Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon. As I child I remember reading it and being fascinated by the depth and detail of the novel. It was the perfect mixture of horror, fantasy, suspense and Americana. As an adult, I think it is one of the most touching and nostalgic books I’ve ever read.”

Heidi H., Store Inventory Manager, Indianapolis, IN
“One of my favorite books of nonfiction is Legacy of Ashes: A History of the CIA by Tim Weiner. It may be one of our country’s most important tomes. At over 1,000 pages it took me over six months to read, mainly because I’m a slow reader, but the content was gripping and brought new meaning to the phrase ‘page-turner.’”

Jammie M., District Inventory Manager, Dallas, TX
“My favorite book is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. It’s the only book I’ve read multiple times. I like the world and the story. Plus, it was my mother’s favorite book, and I feel connected to her when I read it.”

David J., District Inventory Manager, Indianapolis, IN
I think the first book that caused me to fall in love with reading was From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg because it intrigued my imagination and really got me into the world that the characters lived in. From that time on, books were a gateway into another world and into the lives and experiences of other people.

Amanda S., Assistant Online Sales Supervisor, Dallas, TX
“I guess I have to conclude that The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien is my favorite book (printed together in one book as it was meant to be instead of broken up into three as the publishers wanted). Sam’s devotion as a friend to Frodo is one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in literature. Not to mention that there is a positive undercurrent that runs through the book, regardless of how dark the circumstances turn.”

Lisa J., District Inventory Manager, Minneapolis, MN
“I have a lot of ‘favorite’ books, but, when I have to pick one, it would be Night Watch by Terry Pratchett. There is so much going on in this book, I don’t know how you couldn’t get sucked in. It’s got everything: a murderer on the loose, assassins on rooftops, time travel, revolutionaries plotting to overthrow the government, the ginger beer trick…puns. And, most importantly, it’s an incredibly human journey. I can’t get enough of this book. It’s hilarious, thought-provoking, and everyone should read it.”

Steve L., HPB Buy Guy, Dallas, TX
“One of many, many favorites is Parting the Waters by Taylor Branch. It’s the first book of a trilogy of books about ‘America in the King Years.’ All three are wonderful, but the first one really hits on every level: It covers the greatest American story, the beginnings of the civil rights movement; it’s beautifully written and thorough without being tedious; it’s emotionally engaging. I highly recommend it!”

Jaclyn M., Store Manager, Everett, WA
“My all-time favorite is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. The story is complete – you get the chance to see Jane growing up, see what forces shaped her and how she applies lessons learned in her present day, while also remaining open to taking a chance on love. The description of settings is beautiful, even when the setting is not, and I never feel overwhelmed with too much detail. Plus, Charlotte Brontë’s writing style remains accessible today.”

Brecah H., Store Manager, Dallas, TX
Richard II by William Shakespeare. All Shakespeare plays are amazing works of verbal artistry. No one is able to better capture the essence of the human experience. We owe so much to him. I am a sucker for the History plays, and while this is not one of his most popular, it is by far my favorite.”

Susan Cooper, District Manager, Midwest District
“I have loved Watership Down by Richard Adams since I was a kid, and it is one of the only books I will re-read every few years. Hazel, the main character, is a compassionate and intrepid leader who stands up to bullies when necessary and trusts honest advice from even the lowliest sources. Everyone has to work together and stick together to reach their goal. And besides all the life lessons, rabbits are adorable!”

Jonnie E., Real Estate Project Manager, Dallas, TX
“When I was young, my mother enrolled me in the Weekly Reader Book of the Month Club. I looked forward to each month’s selection, but my favorite was Follow My Leader by James B. Garfield. It’s the story of a boy who loses his vision when a firecracker explodes. He’s naturally angry and thinks his life is over until a German Shepherd guide dog named Leader enters his life. This book is much more than the story of a boy and his dog; it’s a timeless tale of resilience and determination and, most of all, love.”

Kory K., Store Manager, Appleton, WI
“I’m going to say Some Horses by Thomas McGuane. I adore it for two of the main reasons: first off, it provided me with the opportunity to delve into a subject that I had absolutely no foreknowledge of, specifically cutting horses, and secondly, the writing is absolutely beautiful while being straightforward enough that I never feel like I don’t understand what McGuane’s talking about.”

Christina K., Store Manager, San Antonio, TX
“My favorite book is The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath. I first read The Bell Jar in 8th grade and immediately felt a deep connection with the main character, Esther Greenwood. Here was a girl who just cracked one day and her life was never the same. While we know that Sylvia wasn’t able to escape the crushing confines of the bell jar, Esther does, and that has always given me such hope.”

Anna P., Warehouse Replenishment Manager, Dallas, TX
“The book that had the most impact on me was Horton Hears a Who, by Dr. Seuss. My parents read it to me as a child, and I read it to my child. Published in 1954, the central message is one of equality, as relevant then as it is today. It also reminds me that sometimes we are the Horton in a situation, and sometimes we are the Kangaroo and that it’s important to keep an open mind and listen to people even if we disagree with them.”

Holly S., Assistant Store Manager, Citrus Heights, CA
“My favorite book is Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery, because I was a quirky child myself and I really identified with the main character’s struggles to fit in while also dealing with an overactive imagination.”

Becky M., Store Manager, Sugar Land, TX
“If you force me to pick only one favorite book, I think it is The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls. I read this book in four hours sitting at my kitchen table. I could not put it down. Her memoir was just fascinating and kind of like rubbernecking – her life was so different from most people and so many crazy and different things happened I just couldn’t stop reading.”

I don’t know about you, but I really want to pick up a copy of Night Watch and reread Horton Hears a Who. I guess I’m off to HPB. You can find all your favorite books (even the ones you haven’t read yet) at your local HPB and

So, what’s your favorite book? (You saw this question coming, didn’t you?)