Recently, Erlanger staff had a fun competition where they anonymously submitted their five favorite books of all time, then tried to guess which books matched with which staff member. Here are a few of their favorites, including some favorite quotes and why they love the books on their lists. Look for the display near the entrance of the Erlanger Library to check out some of these books for yourself!

Hannah Ash, Library Associate

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Why I love it: I fell in love with this book while reading it during my junior year of high school. Normally, I’m the odd type who enjoys reading the books teachers assign, but this one is, and I believe will be for quite a while, my favorite book.

Favorite quote: “Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.”

Turtles All the Way Down – John Green

Why I love it: Reading this book, I didn’t want it to end. It was a wonderful story to keep my mind going. I related to the main character more than I ever had in any other novel.

Favorite quote: “It’s a weird phrase in English, in love, like it’s a sea you drown in or a town you live in. You don’t get to be in anything else—in friendship or in anger or in hope. All you can be in is love.”

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Johnathan Safran Foer 

Why I love it: I read this novel in my sophomore year of college, and immediately fell in love with it. This was the first realistic/historical fiction novel that I truly enjoyed, and it sparked my love for novels of those genres.

Favorite quote: “I regret that it takes a life to learn how to live.”

It’s Kind of a Funny Story – Ned Vizzini

Why I love it: This book brings about the aspects of depression in a very real light, unlike a lot of books. It was a quick, cover-to-cover, ‘I cannot put this down’ sort of read.

Favorite quote: “So why am I depressed? That’s the million-dollar question, baby, the Tootsie Roll question; not even the owl knows the answer to that one. I don’t know either. All I know is the chronology.”

I’m Thinking of Ending Things – Iain Reid

Why I love it: This book is a wild, mind-boggling ride that I’m sure most readers aren’t sure they’re even going on when they open the book. Huge plot twists, but it might be triggering for some.

Favorite quote: “Just tell your story. Pretty much all memory is fiction and heavily edited. So just keep going.”


Lisa Clark, Library Associate

East of Eden – John Steinbeck 

Favorite quote: “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”

The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen 

Favorite quote: “I like flaws. I think they make things interesting.”

Lily’s Crossing – Patricia Reilly Giff 

Why I love it: My favorite book as a kid! Poignant, heartfelt, and timeless.

My Favorite Thing is Monsters – Emil Ferris  

Why I love it: Beautiful and unique illustrations that enhance an engaging story.


Janice Shepherd, Programming Librarian

Sabriel – Garth Nix

Favorite quote: “The Clayr saw me, the Wallmaker made me, the King quenched me, the Abhorsen wields me so that no Dead shall walk in Life. For this is not their path.”

Persuasion – Jane Austen

Favorite quote: “Now they were as strangers; worse than strangers, for they could never become acquainted.”

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa 

Favorite quote: “She was of the moon…she was of the weird woods…and the salty earth…and the warm-cold wind that was blowing that night…”

The Raven Cycle series – Maggie Stiefvater 

Favorite quote: “He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn’t want it to be over.”

Mara, Daughter of the Nile – Eloise Jarvis McGraw 

Favorite quote: “[The clothes] were not too lavish…but to her it was unimaginable luxury. And as she shook the garments out one by one and looked at them, she felt again the fierce determination that nothing, nobody must stand in the way of her possessing such things always, freedom and gold and a life worth living – gardens with lotus blooming in the fishpool… rows and rows of papyrus scrolls on the shelves in a beautiful room. So she dreamed.”

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