Staff Favorites: Fiction

"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 theones 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.

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202 Items found Print
100 Cupboards - Paperback Trilogy
by N. D. Wilson
from Random House Books for Young Readers
for 3rd-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$22.07
1984
by George Orwell
from Harcourt
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$13.60
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Sterling Classics
by Jules Verne
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 5th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Conan Conan Doyle
from Penguin Classics
for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$11.90
Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
Sterling Classics
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 7th-12th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Sterling Classics
by Mark Twain & Scott McKowen
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 6th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
$11.96
Adventures of Tintin - Complete Package
by Herge
from Little, Brown & Company
Comic Book for 2nd-6th grade
in Adventures of Tintin (Location: COM-TIN)
$234.99
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Sterling Classics
by Mark Twain & Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
Alas, Babylon
by Pat Frank
from HarperCollins
Apocalyptic novel for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$13.59
All-of-a-Kind Family
by Sydney Taylor, illustrated by Helen John
from Yearling
Family Stories for 2nd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$5.94 $2.98 (1 in stock)
Animal Farm
by George Orwell
from Plume Books
Utopian/Dystopian Literature for 6th-12th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$13.60
Around the World in Eighty Days
Sterling Classics
by Jules Verne & Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Adventure for 6th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
$7.96
As I Lay Dying
by William Faulkner
from Vintage Classics
for 11th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$11.90 $6.80 (1 in stock)
Asimov's Foundation Trilogy
by Isaac Asimov
from Bantam Books
Science Fiction for 9th grade-adult
in Science Fiction (Location: FIC-SCI)
$20.37
At the Back of the North Wind
Everyman's Library Children's Classics
by George MacDonald
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Fairy Tale for 4th-Adult
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$15.30
At the Back of the North Wind
by George MacDonald, Illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
Fairy Tale for 4th-Adult
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Bear Called Paddington
by Michael Bond
from HarperCollins
Animal Fantasy for 2nd-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$8.49
Bear Called Paddington
by Michael Bond
from HarperCollins
Animal Fantasy for 2nd-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$5.09
Beauty
by Robin McKinley
from HarperCollins
Fantasy/Retold Fairy Tale for 5th-8th grade
$5.94
Beauty
by Robin McKinley
First Paperback Edition, 2018 from Greenwillow Books
Fantasy/Retold Fairy Tale for 5th-8th grade
$6.79
Bedtime for Frances
by Russell Hoban
from HarperCollins
Animal Fantasy for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$6.79
Belles On Their Toes
by Frank Gilbreth & Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
from HarperCollins
Family Stories for 4th-9th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$11.04
Beowulf
by Anonymous (translation by Seamus Heaney)
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Medieval Poetic Epic for 8th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$13.56 $7.60 (1 in stock)
Book of the Dun Cow
by Walter Wangerin Jr.
from HarperCollins
for 8th grade-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$14.44 $7.65 (1 in stock)
Bounty Trilogy
by Charles Nordhoff & James Norman Hall
from Little, Brown & Company
Nautical Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$25.49
Bounty Trilogy - Wyeth Edition
by Charles Nordhoff & James Norman Hall
from Little, Brown & Company
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Buford the Little Bighorn
by Bill Peet
from Houghton Mifflin
Animal Fantasy for Preschool-4th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.49
Cannery Row
by John Steinbeck
from Penguin Putnam
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$13.60
Cannery Row
by John Steinbeck
from Penguin Putnam
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$2.98 (1 in stock)
Captain Blood
Penguin Classics
by Rafael Sabatini
from Penguin Classics
Historical Romance for 7th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$13.60
Castle in the Attic
by Elizabeth Winthrop
from Yearling
for 4th-6th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$5.94
Cheaper By the Dozen
by Frank Gilbreth & Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
from HarperCollins
Family Stories for 4th-9th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$13.59
Children of Odin
by Padraic Colum
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Norse Mythology for 3rd-8th grade
$9.34
Chosen
by Chaim Potok
from Ballantine Books
Realistic Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Chronicles of Narnia - Deluxe Hardcover Set
by C. S. Lewis
from HarperCollins
Allegorical Fantasy for 3rd-9th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$102.00
Chronicles of Narnia - Quality Softcover Set
by C. S. Lewis
from HarperCollins
Allegorical Fantasy for 3rd-9th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$55.24
Chronicles of Prydain
by Lloyd Alexander
from Henry Holt and Company
Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Complete English Poems of John Donne
Penguin Classics
by John Donne
from Penguin Classics
Lyrical Poetry for 9th-Adult
in Poetry (Location: POET-GEN)
$17.85
Complete Fairy Tales
Penguin Classics
by George MacDonald
from Penguin Classics
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Folklore for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$14.45
Complete Plays of Gilbert and Sullivan
by William Gilbert
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Drama for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$25.46
Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh
by A. A. Milne
from Dutton Children's Books
Animal Fantasy for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$28.00
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Penguin Classics
by Mark Twain
from Penguin Classics
Social Satire/Comedy for 8th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$8.50
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Books of Wonder
by Mark Twain (illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman)
from HarperCollins
for 8th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Corduroy
by Don Freeman
from Puffin Books
Personification Stories for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$6.79 $3.83 (2 in stock)
Coronation of Glory
by Deborah Meroff
from Inheritance Publications
Biography for 8th-10th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$15.22
Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas
from Penguin Classics
Realistic Fiction/Adventure for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$13.60
Count of Monte Cristo (abridged)
Signet Classics
by Alexandre Dumas
from Signet Classics
Realistic Fiction/Adventure for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$5.91
Cry, the Beloved Country
by Alan Paton
from Charles Scribner's Sons
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$14.45
Dandelion Wine
by Ray Bradbury
from Spectra Books
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$6.79
Dandelion Wine
by Ray Bradbury
Reprint from Avon Books
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$16.14
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