I was asked today to fill out a survey for a publisher, and one of the questions was about favorite books. I won’t reprint the entire survey since I’m sure they intend to use it, but thought this was interesting. Now my top two books stay the same pretty regularly. I know this because they’re the only books I’ve read more than twice. But beyond that it varies. I’ll list the three I gave and reasons then give a broader list below:
The Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey – This book is great for me on a lot of levels. It starts out with the main character, Killashandra, who is in essence being told she’s not good enough to continue from her training at her music school to the professional world. I’ve been told that before, and actually succeeded where I was told not to bother. I won’t give specifics to embarrass someone, but that character immediately resonated with me. Beyond that, the science fiction world that was set up in this book is incredible. Using music to actually matter for the universe to function is ingenious.
Stardance by Spider and Jeanne Robinson – I’m noticing a theme in my own favorite works where producing art in a futuristic environment seems to be a motif. I don’t think that’s the actual reason I love these books so much though. It’s because their characters are so cool, and so real. This story is one of those “next step in human evolution” types, and is beautifully constructed. The attention to detail on both the aspects of dance and the science of existing in a zero-g environment are wonderful, but Sharra is such a cool character that it’ll keep you reading this repeatedly.
A Civil Campagin by Lois McMaster Bujold – I struggled here, because probably ¾ of the Vorkosigan books could have made this spot. Usually I waffle between The Warrior’s Apprentice, Memory or this book. For those who haven’t read this series, Miles Vorkosigan is the greatest character ever to hit science fiction, period. He’s a snarky little genius with real physical problems that get in his way. This book is Lois’s romantic comedy, and she’s one of the few people that can make me laugh and cry all in the span of the same book. A true master at manipulating people’s emotions through art, and I mean that in the best way possible!
Now as I mentioned, different Vorkosigan books slide into my favorites, always in the top five somewhere. Here’s more books that are in the “favorite” category but didn’t make the top three today:
– Emergence by David R.Palmer
– The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
– Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
– The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan (read the first book first!)
– Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
– Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
– The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson (read the first couple first!)
You’re out of excuses, now go read!