Judy Blume’s 5 Favorite Books

Judy Blume is one of America’s most beloved authors. She has been the queen of YA since before YA was a thing, her books resonating with readers well through adulthood. She has become a staple in the literary diet of growing readers and with over 28 titles including Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; Forever; Summer Sisters; and her most recent In The Unlikely Event selling more than 85 million copies in 32 languages, remains an influential voice all over the world. She is a champion of intellectual freedom, working with the National Coalition Against Censorship in support of writers, teachers, librarians, and students. In 2004, Blume was awarded the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

So what does a writer like this like to read? Here are a few of her favorite books!


Judy Blume’s top 5 favorite books, in no particular order.
  1. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

The first book I fell in love with at the Elizabeth (NJ) public library. I found it on my own, memorized it (I must have been around four and couldn’t read yet). I loved it so much I hid it so my mother would not be able to return it to the library. I thought it was the only copy in the world. To this day I feel guilty. It was the first book I bought for my daughter’s library when she was born.

2. The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow

One of the books I found in the bookshelves flanking the fireplace in our living room. I was 12 and interested in the world of adults and the secrets they kept from children. I still remember a steamy scene involving an eagle, one I must have read hundreds of times. Fortunately, my parents placed no restrictions on what books I could read. In our house reading was a good thing.

3. Them by Joyce Carol Oates

I had two small children. They were playing in the backyard sandbox. It was summer. Bath time came and went, suppertime came and went. But I could not put down this book. It was unlike anything I’d ever read. When my then husband came home and found me reading and the children still playing outside, he was not happy. But I was.

4. American Pastoral by Philip Roth

One of my go-to novels for inspiration as a writer. It never fails to amaze me.

5. Martha Quest and the Children of Violence series by Doris Lessing

I was swept into another world by these five novels. I went from reading one to another to another. Still, the first, Martha Quest, remains my favorite. It was my husband, George, who introduced me to them.


Make sure to check out all 50 of Judy’s favorite books. Her newest book, In the Unlikely Event, is out now from Alfred A. Knopf.

Subscribe to Strand’s Insider newsletter for more of the literary scoop here!

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.