Any Jane Austen book (I’m a cutthroat Janeite) but especially Mansfield Park.
I like Mansfield the best because of the realness of the situations and characters.
While Henry Crawford is indeed a cad and a bounder, he’s not so villainous as Willoughby or Wickham. It is entirely possible that he would have married Fanny Price (horrible a thought though that is) and that they might both live to regret it eventually.
Also, I’m an individual who is tired of sword-swinging manly heroines. It’s peculiar and satisfying to see a heroine who can simply accept the horribleness of her surroundings, be polite to all the people she knows, and get her way in the end consequently.
Almost every Diana Wynne Jones book
They’re just so well-written, side-splittingly funny, and…I don’t know – atmospheric?
Howl’s Moving Castle has a special place in my heart, as it is the first one I read. I read it in the corner of the kitchen, near the warm stove and my furnace-like puppy. I had a cup of tea, and had decided to read the book in spite of the fact that it had one of the worst covers I’d ever seen.
I read it in one sitting and paid dearly for it; my neck and back hurts just thinking about it.
It is, as far as I’m concerned, the most magical children’s book out there.
The Tale of Despereaux – Kate DiCamillo
Where to begin?
For starters, there’s just something about the narration…the way each word seems as though its been carefully chosen from a sea of potentials.
However, my favorite thing is the way the characters are so tangible, so real. It feels as though they go and live on their stories long after I’ve finished the book.
Another thing I adore is the themes; the concept of redemption, forgiveness, unselfishness, and the fact that you are not obligated to be evil, just because of who you are or where you’re from.
…Yes, it is children’s book, why d’you ask?
Winnie-the-Pooh – A. A. Milne
A classic, certainly. I, however, have enjoyed it later in life than in my youth – this is because the story is told in how children think, which is far more amusing to adults than children.
Also, those E. H. Shepard illustrations are responsible for inspiring and influencing me more than any other artist. As far as I’m concerned, Michelangelo ain’t got nuthin’ on The Shepard.