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  • Writer's pictureAnd She Writes

Monday Musings: Our Top 10 for our Top Shelf

Updated: Nov 22, 2020

As summer transitions to fall, the days get a little shorter and the leaves begin to change, and we find ourselves inspired for a new season. Perhaps because we both work in higher education and we have school-aged children, our "new year" begins in late August/early September. During this time, we refocus and recharge for the months ahead.

Reading is an important part of our lives and something we enjoy for entertainment and self-improvement. Both of us have compiled a list of our 10 favorite books and literary series along with our runner-ups and honorable mentions for And She Writes' Top Shelf collection. We hope our lists inspire you to read a new book or re-read one of your favorites as we look forward to the fall season.


Some of these books and collections make me think, while others I've read and re-read out of pure enjoyment.

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

  2. Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

  3. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

  4. The Physician by Noah Gordon

  5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

  6. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

  7. Mating Rituals of the North American Wasp by Lauren Lipton

  8. Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy

  9. Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

  10. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Runners Up: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, The Last Jew by Noah Gordon, Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne


You'll notice that the majority of my list is composed of classics or books that have withstood the test of time. My personal philosophy is that a book can only become one of my favorites if I've spend several years reflecting on it or have read it more than once. I love these books because they have influenced and challenged me emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

(In alphabetical order)

  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  2. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

  3. Night by Elie Wiesel

  4. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

  5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

  6. The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trijiani

  7. She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

  8. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

  9. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

  10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Honorable Mention: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, If Nuns Ruled the World by Jo Piazza, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Fun reading lists to explore online:

Happy Labor Day!

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