2014 GNB Favorite Classics square copy

Over the past months, the nine of us on our GNB team — Lindsey Mead, Nina Badzin, Jess Vealitzek, Hallie Sawyer, Stacey Loscalzo, Cathleen Holst, Katie Noah Gibson, Julia Munroe Martin, and Jennifer King — have talked about our favorite classic books to recommend here during this 2014 holiday season.

Between the nine of us, we’ve read over 450 books this year, and last week, we recommended our favorite books from this past year in our GNB Best Books of 2014 post. It isn’t easy to choose a single book, a classic and favorite of 2014, apiece. But here, after long deliberation, are our favorite classic book picks …



THE GNB Team Favorite Classic Books

Lindsey’s pick: 

CROSSING TO SAFETY by Wallace Stegner

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

Crossing the Safety is the only book I have ever read four times, and each time I have adored it more.  Stegner’s story is about the deep joys and profound challenges of marriage, adulthood, and friendship.  Sally and Larry Morgan and Charity and Sid Lang are among the most compelling, human, and full-of-heart characters I’ve ever met between the pages of a book.

Read more from Lindsey by clicking here.

Lindsey can also be found on Twitter @lemead.


Nina’s pick: 


AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton

Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

AGE OF INNOCENCE, which I first read during a trip to Spain the summer I was 17, taught me about the art of tension in a novel. I loved following the saga of forbidden love between Newland and Countess Olenska. I still remember the detail of how he reacted to seeing just a glimpse of her ankle or hand. Oh, what a different and innocent time.

Read more from Nina by clicking here.

Nina can also be found on Twitter @ninabadzin.


Jessica’s pick: 



Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery

This book is the single biggest influencer in terms of who I am as a lover of nature and as a writer. It is the first book I ever read, as an 11-year-old, that inspired imitation. After finishing it, I spent hours describing the beauty of a meadow or an oak tree. One of those descriptions, of crabapple blossoms, won me an award in school and from then on I took my writing seriously.

Read more of Jess’s recommendation by clicking here.

Jess can also be found on Twitter @jessvealitzek.


Hallie’s pick:



Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen; I didn’t read it until about ten years ago and have read it two more times since then. It is a romantic tale that tugs at my heart every time I read it. While it may be elementary in plot, the characters and setting transport me back in time every time I read it.

Read more by Hallie by clicking here.

Hallie can also be found on Twitter @hallie_sawyer.


Stacey’s pick: 


LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I read this book over and over again as a child. I loved the story, I wanted to to be Jo when I grew up and I’m pretty sure I loved carrying around such a heavy book! All these years later, this is still the book I call my favorite.

Read more about Stacey by clicking here.

Stacey can also be found on Twitter @staceyloscalzo.



Cathleen’s pick: 


THE SHINING by Stephen King

The Shining by Stephen King

This book. THIS book haunts me to this day. I love a good scare, and this story has it in spades. I reread it as an adult a couple years ago and found myself nodding my head, thinking, “Yep. Still terrifying.” There’s not a time since discovering this story that I can 1) use the bathroom without turning on the light (mind you, we have a pretty powerful nightlight in there). And 2) not check behind the shower curtain, making sure, double sure, triple sure, that there’s no creepy old lady lurking in my tub.

Read more from Cathy by clicking here.

Cathy can also be found on Twitter @cathleenholst.




Katie’s pick: 


LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This is the first book I remember reading over and over again, with characters who became real to me. It remains one of my favorite stories – so rich and lovely, wise and heartwarming.

Read more from Katie by clicking here.

Katie can also be found on Twitter @katiengibson.



Julia’s pick: 


THE SCARLET LETTER by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

This was the first book I read in my first American Literature class in college and it remains my favorite classic. I love how modern Hawthorne’s themes are, but probably more than anything I love this book because it made me want to be a writer.

Read more from Julia by clicking here.

Julia can also be found on Twitter @wordsxo.



Jennifer’s pick: 


JANE EYRE by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

To me, Jane Eyre’s story is a personal one, of a woman who struggles to find her place in the world. It tugs at me every time I read it. Jane Eyre, I think, applies to today as it’s about the universal search for affirmation in a difficult and hostile world, and of the unlikely places we might discover life, love, and ultimately ourselves.

Read more from Jennifer by clicking here.

She can also be found on Twitter @JenniferLynKing.




At GNB, we’re very proud to say we’ve officially recommended 52 great books in 2014, which means we have over 100 books we think you’ll love to read here on our site. Please browse our archives and find a few books to add to your to-read stack. And subscribe (on the right sidebar) to our weekly email to receive each new weekly recommendation direct in your inbox.


For You: More than anything, we enjoy getting to share and talk great books with you. We’re glad you’re here with us! We’d love to hear about your favorite classic book  — please share your favorite classic with us in the comments below. Thank you for joining us this year at GNB!