Jackson’s Top Five Favorite Books of All Time

Jackson Nielsen

Unfortunately, this week there will be no regularly scheduled in depth book review as there has been in weeks prior. The reason being I am tirelessly reading through all 849 pages of Stephen King’s 11/22/63; so be on the lookout for that review in the coming weeks. In the meantime, to satiate my hunger for book related blog posts I decided to document my top five favorite books of all time and give the reader a few details of what makes them so special to me.

5. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

I read this short novel a few years back after seeing it on the website, https://www.artofmanliness.com/. I did a little research prior to my reading of the book and learned that it was initially created as a children’s story back in 1818. What I loved most about this book is  the way it is written. Shelley has such an elegant way of writing and to quote one of my best friends, Joseph Reimers, “I wish I could speak the way Mary Shelley writes”. Furthermore, the story isn’t what I typically think of when I think of Frankenstein. The monster in this tale is so full of sadness and feels as though he wasn’t meant to be created. A really unique read I would highly recommend.

 4. Pet Sematary – Stephen King

Naturally, Stephen King has made his way into my top five, no surprises there. At number four, Pet Sematary is one of few books that has left me stunned upon completion of the final page. I don’t get disturbed easily but this book left me with a touch of trauma. After discovering an ancient burial ground that has mysterious powers, the main character, Louis, takes advantage of it in dark and unnatural ways; bringing back the deceased. King did such a good job of detailing the grief and delirium felt by the main character as he suffers through unthinkable circumstances. If you like horror, this is a must read. 

 3. The Return of the King – J.R.R. Tolkein

I had the Lord of the Rings trilogy for a few years before I ever cracked them open to read through them. I don’t know why I waited so long because they were amazing. The whole trilogy is such a good adventure tale but the final book, The Return of the King, stood out to me the most. Especially after seeing the movies, the level of detail and complexity in the books is almost overwhelming. The battle scenes get the reader excited and it is just such a good book full of action, friendship, and adventure.

 2. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

I have blogged about this book in my blog previously and it can be read here. But to be brief, as I’ve already reviewed it, this is a classic book that is full of life lessons that I still think about to this day. Santiago, a fisherman cursed with bad luck, finally hooks the catch of a lifetime. But it is not so easy to reel in. In the process, Santiago is pulled out to sea where he learns countless lessons about mental toughness and never quitting, even in the face of hardships. Such a good book that isn’t very long, it can be read in a single sitting!


1. Gates of Fire – Steven Pressfield

Coming in at the number one spot is Steven Pressfield’s Gates of Fire. This is a historical fiction story about the legendary Battle of Thermopylae. 300 fearless Spartans stood their ground at the Hot Gates, outnumbered by the enemy Persian army. This book gets me fired up every time I read it. There is so much action and instances of bravery and mental toughness that get me excited. I really couldn’t recommend this book enough.