Let’s Talk Bookish – What Qualifies as an “All-Time Favorite Book?”

Hello, everyone! Today I’m participating in Let’s Talk Bookish. Let’s Talk Bookish is a bookish meme that was created by Rukky @ Eternity Books where each Friday, bloggers write posts discussing the topic of the week. Since April 2022, Aria @ Book Nook Bits has been the host of LTB, and she posts each month’s topics on her blog! This week’s topic is about what qualifies as an all-time favorite book.

What books would you say are your all-time favorites?

This is such a really hard question to answer. I read such a wide variety of genres and have different expectations for each of them. It makes it nearly impossible to compare them all and choose overall favorites. However, some books/series do stand out to me as ones I cannot stop thinking about even long after finishing them. Here are a handful of them:

The Green Bone Saga by Fonda Lee, More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer, The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez

Do you have lots of them, or just a few?

The short answer is that I have lots of favorites. It is the main reason my bookshelves are always overflowing. I never want to get rid of a book I’ve loved. Sometimes I wish I was a bit more discerning in what I read and end up loving, but I just enjoy getting lost in stories so much that I’m normally not that picky. I actually have a Goodreads shelf of favorites, which you can find HERE, with lots of books on it. Check it out if you want to see some of the other books I’ve really loved.

What makes a book one of your all-time favorites?

My all-time favorite books are so different, but there are some characteristics that are present in all of them.

Emotional Connection

One of the most important things is the author’s ability to make me build an emotional connection with the characters. I can appreciate and enjoy a plot, steamy scenes, or cool world-building, but a book won’t be a favorite without making me feel some type of intense emotion. I don’t necessarily need to like the characters, but I do have to feel something for them, whether that be hate, love, sadness, etc.


I typically tend to love diverse books, whether they be stories by authors from diverse backgrounds or ones with characters from marginalized communities. I’m partial to stories about queer people and tend to relate to them given my own background as a bi man. However, I also really love stories from other cultures because it is like looking through a window into a new perspective, which helps me understand other people better.

Opportunity to Learn

I’m always excited to read books that include themes that are relevant and allow me to learn something or process an important topic. I especially enjoy books that use fascinating sci fi and/or fantasy elements to explore these themes. For example, The Darkness Outside Us uses the isolation of deep space travel to expound on the importance of social connections while also delving into deep existential questions. I love getting to read about fascinating worlds or experiences while also consciously, or unconsciously, being confronted with important things to think about.

What about you? What makes a book an all-time favorite? Let me know down in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish – What Qualifies as an “All-Time Favorite Book?”

  1. I 100% agree with the emotional connection requirement. The character(s) need to be compelling enough if the author wants me to keep reading. I don’t have to be able to relate to every character ever, but I do want to at least understand them.

  2. Oh, emotional connection for sure, but it also has to be something new, something different, something that changed how I read. All-time favorites for me would be:

    Imajica by Clive Barker
    Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Weis & Hickman
    The Bone Doll’s Twin by Lynn Flewelling
    Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
    In Pink by Miss Irene Clearmont
    A Brother’s Price by Wen Spencer

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