Our Top 10 Favorite Books

Our Top 10 Favorite Books

In celebration of National Book Lover’s Day, staff members and friends of Victoria magazine share the most beloved titles on our bookshelves. From classic works of fiction to inspirational guides, these are the volumes that claim a permanent place in our hearts.


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott was my childhood favorite. I loved the determination of the sisters to persevere as they worked toward their dreams. As an adult, I appreciate the wisdom offered by Alexandra Stoddard in Daring to Be Yourself and Living a Beautiful Life. Her insights to enjoying every detail of life and adding touches of yourself in your world inspire me to surround myself with colors, textures, and objects that bring joy.”
Victoria Editor-in-Chief Phyllis Hoffman DePiano

“Discovering The Spirit of Loveliness by Emilie Barnes in my early twenties profoundly shaped my views on cultivating a gracious lifestyle. ‘Welcome home!’ the author writes. ‘That’s what I want my life to say to everyone whose path crosses mine. I want to create an atmosphere of serenity and joy, blessing and belonging that embraces people (myself included) and draws them in—that makes them feel loved and special and cared for.’ This message influenced me as a newlywed setting up housekeeping in a cozy space, as a mother raising my four precious children, and every day in my work with Victoria.”
Victoria Managing Editor Melissa Lester

“I have always been fascinated by history, and when I was a young girl, I fell in love with the book Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which I lived and breathed for three solid years during elementary school. I was inspired by Laura’s pioneer-years adventures and the heartwarming closeness of her family—and as a ‘half-pint’ myself, I learned that it truly is the size of your heart that matters most of all.”
Victoria Associate Editor Karen Callaway

“Like many children, my heart was filled with wonder as I read C. S. Lewis’s tales of the magical land of Narnia. The entire seven-book series was a staple on my family’s bookshelf from the time I could first turn a page, but it was The Silver Chair that captured my affection most securely. Considering the author’s extensive nonfictional writings on his faith, one can’t be surprised to learn that the series is often regarded as a metaphor for the Christian life. In re-reading this childhood favorite, I saw these connections more clearly and appreciated their guidance more deeply—how God sets a path and purpose before me, how I frequently misstep, and how good He is to gently bring me back with forgiveness and grace.”
Victoria Associate Editor Leslie Bennett Smith

“My favorite childhood book was Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne. I was smitten with the ‘silly old bear,’ timid Piglet, gloomy Eeyore, temperamental Rabbit, and scholarly Owl, although Tigger quickly became my favorite. Looking back, I love how each character had their own strong, distinct personality, and when they needed help or failed due to their own shortcomings, their friends were quick to rally to their aid.”
Victoria Copy Editor Rhonda Lee Lother

“It was only after becoming a member of the Victoria editorial team that I learned of a beloved novel inspired by an article in the pages of a 1990s-era issue of our publication. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly is a fictional telling of the real-life generous work of New York socialite-turned-philanthropist Caroline Ferriday. Her story takes place in the devastating throes of World War II, painting a harrowing yet hopeful story of the lives of several women. Weaving a thread of extraordinary friendship through its pages, Lilac Girls reminds me compassion is the answer to so many of life’s challenges.”
Victoria Assistant Editor Kassidy Abernathy

“I was introduced to Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder during middle school. This novel follows a Norwegian teenager as she is introduced to the history of philosophy through a series of mysterious letters, postcards, messages, and impromptu adventures. This literary rollercoaster encouraged me to learn about a wide range of philosophical teachings, consider worldviews outside of my own, and become a critical thinker at an early age. It showed me that digging beneath the surface of anything presented will give you a greater understanding of yourself and the world at large. I gained the belief that a life well lived includes a continual hunger for learning, growing, and evolving to become a better person. Overall, it showed me there is always room to discover something new if you possess firm moral principles and an open mind.”
Victoria Online Editor Janece Maze

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett has always been my favorite story. It follows Mary Lennox, a disagreeable orphan, who comes upon a garden hidden away for many years. Mary and her friends work together to revive it and learn beautiful lessons along the way—lessons that continue to inspire me, even as an adult. As with many classic books, The Secret Garden is sprinkled with lovely quotations perfect for recording amongst journal pages or pinning on an inspiration board. My favorite is a special reminder that beauty is all around us at any given moment: ‘Of course, there must be lots of magic in the world.’ ”
Victoria Classics Book Club Contributor Hayley Solano

Photography Hayley Solano

Join our community of devoted readers in the Victoria Classics Book Club, where you can discover quarterly selections, explore the discussion forum, and sign up for our complimentary newsletter.

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