The Hardest Question Ever Posed

The Wenches' Favorite Books of All Time

The Wenches have been asked a lot of questions in the name of posts. Our favorite man candy, our favorite book boyfriends, our favorite heroes and heroines, favorite quotes, favorite scenes, favorite characters, books we're thankful for, vacation reads, and the ever popular MFKs. One thing we have never discussed is our all-time, forever and always, favorite book. We all have one. Most readers have that one book that they can read over and over again. The book they can practically recite word for word. The book they go back to no matter how old they are. The one book that has a special place in our little reader hearts.

I asked the Wenches what their all-time favorite book was. And I was promptly told that this was one of the hardest things they have ever been asked. But I was finally able to wrangle some interesting and varied responses out of them.


Keep reading after the jump to see what the Wenches' favorite books are!

Anne: Since I posed this impossible question, I'll go first. Although, this is easier for me to answer than it was for some of the other Wenches. My all-time, ultimate, favorite book is The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. I first read that book in 6th or 7th grade (when I was 11 or 12 years old, for you international readers). And at that time in my life, an outsider was exactly how I felt. I had just gotten braces and glasses and I'd been talked into an absolutely horrifying haircut. And I wasn't exactly popular to begin with. It was not the best time of my life. Ponyboy and Soda and Johnny were just the kind of book friends I needed. They showed me that I wasn't alone, even though I felt it. They taught me that even the kids who were making my life miserable were probably dealing with their own issues too. Most of all, they showed me that heroes are found in the most unlikely places. And looking back, I realize now that Dallas was the start of my non-leading man preference. Those boys were there for me when I needed a friend, and I will always go back to them. Over and over.

The Canterbury Tales (Middle English Edition) 
Veronica: I can't possibly pick a favorite, so I'll pick one that holds a special place in my heart. It's Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. I had to read it in college in the original Middle English language. (Shakespeare came later in that class, and was not nearly as intimidating after Middle English!) First, I was so shocked and proud that I could comprehend what I was reading! And second, it gave me a glimpse into life in medieval times, that I could use as a reference for so many other things that came along later, other fictional stories, movies, history, religion, etc. And, it's a pretty cool way to tell a series of short stories.

Giraffes Can't DanceKatherine: I have so many, and I've gone back to reread so many over my life. My favorites have changed with every stage of my life. But I can definitely choose my favorite children's book. My favorite children's book for the past 6 years has been Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees. It's a story about Gerald the giraffe, who is awkward and clumsy. Every year in the jungle, the animals hold a big Jungle Dance, and everyone joins in the fun. Gerald dreads this dance because he knows he isn't very good at it. As Gerald approaches the clearing, all the animals laugh because not only can he not dance, he has trouble walking. So, ashamed and saddened, Gerald walks away and beats himself up for even thinking he could. Then a cricket approaches him and tells him that maybe, because he is different, he just needs to find a different song. Slowly but surely he finds a groove and a rhythm, and sure enough he CAN dance. I love it because it teaches many important lessons about tolerance, about daring to be yourself, no matter what your abilities and talents are, and that being different is okay. We are all different from each other, and all we need is to find our own song. I can't even tell you how many times we've read it, but I'm sure 100 wouldn't be too off the mark! 

The Alchemist 

Olga: This was hell to pick. My favorite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Why? Because Coelho nailed it in this novel. Because "when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true". It's not just a story, it's a philosophy by itself. The Alchemist is your destiny packed in a small novel. Right there, under your nose.

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3) 

Angela: My pick is A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin, Book 3 of A Song of Ice and Fire. The reason I love this book so much is it was the last book before GRRM separated out the characters for Book 4 and Book 5. It was action packed with special mentions to Jaime Lannister, Joffery Baratheon, and Robb Stark's story lines. Doom continued to permeate the kingdom and everyone continued to be scattered.

Zee:  I can't narrow it down! There are tons of books I read over and over and over again (and have been reading since I was 11... I still have those exact same copies),  Dracula, Persuasion, The Count of Monte Cristo, Frankenstein, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Lord of the Rings, and the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes. And, the ones I've been rereading since I was 15-16, Desperation, The Godfather, The Picture of Dorian Gray, every single one of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot mysteries. I'm sorry... I think it would be best to just say I'd rather give away a vital organ than have to pick between all my favorites!

Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3) 
Amanda: I'm not sure I can pick a favorite. I really don't read books more than once, except for the Fever series. Even with that, I've read bits more than once, but not the whole series over and over. Now, when I first read the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward, I did read Zsadist's book (Lover Awakened) three times in a row before I moved on to Butch's book. And I think I've read it once more since then. But, I think that's the closest I can come to saying something is my favorite.

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)  

Merit:  After a lot of thinking and rummaging inside my mind, I narrowed it down to one book that I have read over and over for a few years: The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien. I was fascinated by the rich world Tolkien created and determined to know and remember EVERYTHING and everyone in the story.

Barb: I can't narrow it down to just one book! My choices are Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle, both of which I have read repeatedly since middle school. Red Fern was the first book that I ever remember making me cry, and now that I have my own dog for the first time, it makes me sob uncontrollably. I love a book that can do that to me. A Wrinkle in Time is the first fantasy book (besides fairy tales!) that I remember loving, devouring, and going back for more. I read every book in that series, but none compares to the first one. It's just a wonderful book with wonderful characters and a theme that resonates with me to this day. 

Shadowfever (Fever, #5) 

Jaymie: The book(s) I always go back to are the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. I'm usually a "one and done" book reader, even if the book captivates me, but Fever grabbed me from the first time I read it and never let go. The main one out of the series is Shadowfever. That's the one I tend to go back to.

Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1)Kathi: Dune was the book that matured me into an adult reader. Considered by many to be the most popular science fiction book ever, it elevated the science fiction I loved to a brave new level (much as The Lord of the Rings did for fantasy). On the masterfully crafted world of Arrakis, author Frank Herbert combined science fiction, fantasy, politics, environmentalism, world economics, sociology, religion, science, and philosophy into a sweeping epic of galactic proportions. Many readers insist the book purposefully predicts current oil-based, Middle Eastern political issues, but I was oblivious to that. As a teen who lagged just enough behind the “hippie” generation to be grasping at their philosophical coattails, this book set my mind on fire with the grand possibilities of what books could be. 

Crime and Punishment 

Shau: My fave is Crime and Punishment by . I just fell in love with it the first time I read it. I devoured it in two days and can read it all the time. I don't know why, honestly. It's such an unusual choice. There's something about the way it speaks about the human psyche, the way we always have a choice, and how seemingly the easiest way out of something can cost us more than we are willing to pay.

Beta: I can't think of a book of ALL TIME. When I was a kid I loved The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton and read them over and over again as well as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Today, I don't do many rereads, but I browse through books occasionally, like the Fever and The Chicagoland Vampires series, to read favorite parts.

So, dear readers, what is your favorite book of all time? Can you pick just one? Let us know in the comments below!

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**Book cover from


  1. I'm reading through this thinking, Oh, but I love that book, too! And that one! And that one!

    So not a fair question. But that's okay. Stay gold, Anne.

  2. Jennifer ChloeJaneMarch 4, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    I love Giraffe's Can't Dance too! I paid full price for that book for my kids after reading it, I loved it so much. It's been read many times in my house even now my kids are almost 12.

    This is a hard one...I'm not sure about all time favorite but I can say Dreamfever and Shadowfever are probably the books I've re-read the most recently.

    However, my first favorite fantasy novel that I read as a 16 year old (and still love and probably read once a year from 16 till 35) is Moonheart by Charles DeLint. This book is the one I would credit with making me love urban fantasy. While now, it has fierce competition, it has a special place in my heart.

  3. I thought we were friends, but friends don't ask their friends to choose just one.

    1. Hahaha! Don't worry Krista some of the girls couldn't choose just one either! This is an easy question for me. I didn't realize it was so hard for everyone else!

    2. Lol, I gave it some thought and if I took romances and my favorite series out of the equation (because I never could pick just one), I think I would pick The Ordinary Princess by MM Kaye. It was my favorite book as a kid, and it made me fall in love with reading and princesses.

  4. Chloe Jane!! I'm so happy that you and your kids love it too! I swear when it's my turn to pick out the book of the night, both kids say in unison, we know, Giraffes Can't Dance! I still tear up from time to time.


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