Narrowing Down My All Time Favorites

One of my favorite booktubers to watch is Books and Lala and a couple of years ago, she made a Tier Ranking Video where she went back to all of her old favorites list and ranked them into five categories. She then has re-read ten of them that she put into the need to re-read category to determine where they would actually fall. I don’t think blogging is the best format to straight up copy her, but I have been mulling over this idea for many months wanting to somehow figure out and narrow down what my FAVORITE books are. So what I’ve done is gone back through and looked at all of the different favorites lists I’ve made (and I’ve admittedly ignored all of the honorable mentions) and put them into categories. There were 159 books that I have included in a favorites list since 2017, which, you know, in hindsight seems ridiculous. I’ve whittled that list down and then gone through and added books I loved before I started blogging so there are a ton of books in this post. I went ahead and separated them out by genre just so it wouldn’t seem quite so overwhelming and because I really do think that it’s only fair to have favorites in different genres!

Figuring Out My All Time Favorites || Firewhiskey Reader

Nonfiction Favorites

As you can see, I tend to gravitate toward memoirs in my nonfiction reading, but Hood Feminism was such a stand out in the essay genre that it tipped over. And, to be fair, Kendall does a lot of memoir style references, but her book is definitely unique for my reading. I’ve also loved Shrill, Thick, and Becoming, but ultimately, I didn’t find it too hard to narrow this list down to five instead of eight.

Favorite Classics

For the most part, my favorite classics were already nailed down before I started blogging because I don’t tend to voluntarily read them these days. What’s interesting though is that those three on this list from before blogging are all books I picked up myself. I can’t actually think of a single classic I read for school that I would put on this list, even if I did really enjoy Night by Elie Weisel. Anyway, the one I have added to the list since I started blogging is Passing by Nella Larsen, which just captivated my attention. I enjoyed it tremendously.

Adult Favorites

I feel like this list is maybe a wee bit in flux on a regular basis, other than the fact that it has my ultimate favorite book on here: Daisy Jones and the Six. But what was interesting to me is that I don’t think I actually included Stay with Me or Maybe In Another Life on favorites lists? And yet, I think about them all the time. Maybe I just overlooked them.

YA Favorites

This list is probably the one I don’t know that I feel the most confident in it fully representing all of my YA favorites (except for the YA fantasy), but these are at least two YA contemporary novels that I do think about all the time. Maybe if I added more it would be the Gallagher Girls series from Allly Carter.

Contemporary Romance Favorites

Always good when my initial list of all time favorite contemporary romances has twenty six on it and my books I need to re-read carries an additional seven (People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry, The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon, The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand, Pretty Face by Lucy Parker, The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan, Beginner’s Luck and Best of Luck by Kate Clayborn). So that’s 33 books in total. I’m… honestly not sure what books to eliminate from this list to narrow it down to a Top Ten. I may just have to re-read all 33 books and do a forced ranking. Oh dear. Although, tbh, that sounds like a delight

Favorite Fantasy/Paranormal Romances

I really need to find authors to love as much as Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh in this category. Please feel free to recommend me your favorites down below. But I will say, I love these books so much.

Historical Romance Favorites

I think I’ve nailed down my favorite historical romances here, but there are some that I could probably trade in or out. Historical romance is an odd genre for me because it’s how I got back into romance fully in law school and, tbh, a lot of the romances I read during the summer I was in Miami between 2L and 3L and then the romances I read for a break while studying for the Bar are a blur for me. I really should re-read Sarah MacLean, Tessa Dare, Julia Quinn, Courtney Milan, and well, you get the picture, to make sure I know what I’m talking about. But at the same time, I feel pretty confident in these books I’ve pulled out as my true favorites.

So, here is step one in this process of figuring out my favorite books of all time. I definitely think I need to do a full re-read of all of those contemporary romance books I’ve listed so you’ll be seeing some additional parts of this post. Also, we’re currently blatantly ignoring that I’ve already read some books this year that I know I’m going to want to add to these lists. That is for future Jenica to figure out.

Anyway, please share with me some of your favorites! And also, now that you’ve seen mine in all of these different genre breakdowns, do you have any recommendations for me?


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