9 Readers Share Their Favorite Books


Do you have a favorite book? It’s so hard to pick just one — as CoJ reader Ragon said, “choosing a favorite book is like choosing a favorite ice cream, it depends on what you’re in the mood for” — but we asked the Cup of Jo community to name names. Here, nine readers share their all-time winners…

Says Nazeefah (above): “The short story collection Unaccustomed Earth took my breath away. Jhumpa Lahiri is an expert at writing about family relationships: dads and daughters, mothers and sons, brothers and sisters. I’m jealous of everyone who gets to experience her breathtaking prose for the first time.”

Readers Share Their Favorite Books

“I just re-read this book, as I approach two years sober. While most ‘quit lit’ focuses on the detrimental effects of alcohol, The Sober Lush celebrates the joys of a sober life in and for itself. I gift this to anyone trying out sobriety, whether they’re just sober-curious or have hit rock-bottom, to reassure them that a life without alcohol can be one of abundance, indulgence and adventure.” — Elise

Readers Share Their Favorite Books

“With work, parenting and life, I find it easier to listen than sit down and read. My favorite audiobook is Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. It’s funny, and the characters are so lovable — especially Elizabeth Zott, a scientist who becomes a cooking-show host. I can’t wait to see Brie Larson take on the role for the TV series.” — Allyson

Readers Share Their Favorite Books

Totto-chan by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi tells the story of a Japanese girl going about her days and having funny, touching interactions with people. What I love most is a) how the story’s told from her perspective and b) how the adults interact with children. This one is a must-read for anyone who enjoys connecting with kids.” — Raras

Readers Share Their Favorite Books

“I’ve always loved being outside (hiking, running, lying in the grass), but The Overstory by Richard Powers affected how I think and feel about trees on a deep level. I usually give away books after I read them, but seeing this one on my shelf makes me smile.” — Merridy

Readers Share Their Favorite Books

“This summer, I learned I had a rapidly growing fibroid in my uterus; and long story short, at age 39, I had to have a hysterectomy. I didn’t realize how common this was until I went through it myself. For my recovery, we canceled all our August summer plans, and I decided to read East of Eden for the third time. My first read was in college, and I was terribly moved. I read it again after I had my first daughter, and it opened up for me even more. The book is an intergenerational story about two families, with themes of good and evil, free will, and love. John Steinbeck said he wanted readers to experience this book in a way that ‘perhaps after a little while [the reader] will not know whether [they] read it or whether it happened to [them].’ And this book accomplishes that.” — Christine

Readers Share Their Favorite Books

“I’ve read Anne of Green Gables (and its sequels) countless times. It still makes me cry and laugh out loud, and reading it feels like visiting a childhood friend. In fact, a friend and I bonded so much over our shared love of Anne that we started a podcast about it, and we can’t believe how much there is to talk about!” — Ragon

christine pride

“The star of this Pulitzer-Prize-winning chronicle is an indomitable little girl, Dasani, who navigates the sort of racism, homelessness and poverty that our society should be ashamed to subject children to. Invisible Child reminds us that we have a moral imperative not to look away. It also reminds us of the power of family and the human spirit. I find myself thinking of Dasani and her family often.” — Christine

Readers Share Their Favorite Books

“I was an English major, and for so long I read only dark, symbolic literature with mostly sad endings. Then I went through a phase of life where things felt heavy — a global pandemic, my dad’s terminal illness — and I wasn’t looking to read books that worsened those feelings. CUE EMILY HENRY. I bought Beach Read on a whim, and it was everything I needed and more. Fun, sexy, witty, and SMART. (I’ve since loved Henry’s books People We Meet on Vacation and Book Lovers, as well.) I’m a forever fan of lighthearted reads that make people laugh and feel good!” — Julie

What is your favorite book, or a book you recently enjoyed? Please share below…

P.S. My top three books, the perfect evening activity, and a darkly funny book I always think about.


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