The best books I love to read over and over

Patti Larsen Author Of Family Magic
By Patti Larsen

The Books I Picked & Why

Red Rising

By Pierce Brown

Book cover of Red Rising

Why this book?

I love it when a writer can really suck me in from page one, and Pierce Brown did that to me with the first book of the Red Rising series. I literally could not put it down and read into the night, something I haven’t done in a long time. It reminded me of The Hunger Games, so compelling in a dystopian future that had me fascinated. I adored the main character and his struggle, how his commitment was challenged along with his own biases as he evolved past the initial trial that drove him to the main plot of the story. I found him truly engaging and driven I was right there with Darrow, wondering as he did what was the right thing to do. The moment I finished it, I bought book two!


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Pawn of Prophecy

By David Eddings

Book cover of Pawn of Prophecy

Why this book?

I know this book is old school, but that’s literally what I love about it. I started reading the series when I was a teenager and I’ve loved it so much ever since I’ve reread the entirety every other year since. To the point I’ve memorized lines from it, including the first one that gets me every time: “The first thing the boy Garion remembered was the kitchen at Faldor’s Farm.” It’s an epic adventure that takes an unknown and unwitting boy from a tiny village to a life-and-death battle for the future of his world in truly fantastic fantasy storytelling that has me crying at the end because I never want it to be over. 


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The Mummy (or Ramses the Damned)

By Anne Rice

Book cover of The Mummy (or Ramses the Damned)

Why this book?

If you haven’t read The Mummy by Anne Rice, you’re totally missing out. Her deliciously intense prose and ability to render an environment with emotional impact always thrills me. And while I love the Vampire Lestat books, the tale of Ramses and Julie is part Beauty and the Beast, part Raiders of the Lost Ark, and all awesome. Anne Rice brings you to the early 20th century in London while Egyptian “recovery” was all the rage and I swear you can see, feel and taste that experience on every page. It’s billed as a horror, but I’ve always read it as a deeply adventurous and exciting love story.


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The Blue Sword

By Robin McKinley

Book cover of The Blue Sword

Why this book?

Take a sweeping YA adventure and magic and horses and a delicious book boyfriend all dropped on an outspoken, stubborn young woman thrown into a life she’s uniquely suited to and you have this delightful read from Robin McKinley. With a powerful heroine doing her best to understand her place, suspended between two distinct ways of life, The Blue Sword makes me want to run away from feeling out of place, awkward and never good enough and be just like Harry Crewe.


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Feed

By Mira Grant

Book cover of Feed

Why this book?

I love post-apocalyptic reads, and Feed is on the top of my list, partially because of how normal the writer makes a zombie takeover feel. Like we’re being forced to pivot and adapt to our new way of being thanks to Covid-19, the main characters of Feed exist in a daily zone of risk and reward, surrounded by the likelihood they, too, will become zombies if they aren’t careful, all while getting out there and telling the stories others need to hear in the midst of their own pandemic. It’s brilliantly laid out, takes the reader from a small corner of the world to a more expansive political stage, all while keeping its humanity despite the horrors unfolding around the lead characters. I loved it and still think about it long after I finished.


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