"Favorite" might not be the right word to describe the fiction books we love. It implies some kind of hierarchy, and while there are books we like more than others, it's hard to arrange the ones we like very much into a least-to-greatest list. You won't find anything like that here, just collections of our best-loved stories and poems in no particular order (collections, it should be said, that are subject to change).
Not every book that makes it on these lists is a great book, either—sometimes our favorites are simply those that had a major effect on us, or to which we have a sentimental attachment, or simply that we liked for some ineffable reason. At the same time, bad books weren't included. Not that any of us around here like bad books, but we didn't include titles that were inappropriate or of noticeably poor quality.
The purpose of fiction is to broaden our horizons, help us grow in character and virtue, and provide genuine entertainment. Each of us kept that in mind while compiling our list (though naturally those elements are interpreted a little differently by each of us). It's pretty easy to see what's important to us collectively and individually from these lists, so that should help if you're using them to get reading suggestions for yourself or your kids.
Eli made a decree when he asked if we'd pull together our favorite books: no more than 50 titles were to be included. For avid bibliomaniacs that was a pretty tall order, but we managed, and in consequence you have less than 200 books to scroll through. If the limit hadn't been set, a couple of us would still be hunched over computer screens searching the Exodus catalogue for items to add.
Oh, and the bios at the top of each list? Those are just so you can know what we're into, how we evaluate a good versus a bad book, whether we have a sense of humor (a rare commodity these days), etc. It's like we're chatting about our favorite books with you, though certainly the conversation is a bit one-sided and we can tend to run at the mouth. To prevent that, we'll simply leave you now to browse.