Favourite Books

Over on Twitter folks are currently doing their Seven Favourite (Things) and in a fit of madness I started trying to work out my seven favourite books. I did not get very far. I got as far as twenty five, whittled it down to 21 and now I’m stuck.

There are some sad observations in this list, ones that I suspect will be depressingly common across many people’s lists: the books’ writers are very white, very male and very straight. I’m not unaware of this, and I’ve been making a point of reading one-for-one between male and female writers this year. With any luck the next time I go back to write something like this, it won’t be quite so male, quite to white. In fact, I suspect that if I had a little more time to read more of their books Nnedi Okorafor, Aliette de Bodard and Louise O’Neill would place quite highly. Looking at my list, Frank Herbert, Stephen King and George RR Martin in particular do not need your support, so consider reading something by someone from those names above, or those other names below.

I have also elected not to describe the books. They are all weird, fantasy or science fiction genre books and they are fantastic. Read blind. Expectations are limiting. Or Google them, if you want like. That’s fine.

Now, in alphabetical order, I present a list of my twenty-one favourite books.


A Long Way to a Small, Angry PlanetBecky Chambers

A Song for Ella Grey – David Almond

A Song for Ella Grey – David Almond

A Song for Ella GreyDavid Almond

AnnihilationJeff VanderMeer

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games: Book 2)Suzanne Collins

DuneFrank Herbert

FrankensteinMary Shelley

Otherland: City of Golden Shadow (Book 1) – Tad Williams

Storm of Swords (A Song of Fire and Ice: Book 3)George RR Martin

The Bone ClocksDavid Mitchell

The Book of All Hours (Vellum and Ink) – Hal Duncan

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle: Book 2) Maggie Stiefvater

The Fifth Season - N.K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin

The Fifth SeasonN.K. Jemisin

The Hogfather – Terry Pratchett

The Lies of Locke LamoraScott Lynch

The Ocean at the End of the LaneNeill Gaiman

The Rest of Us Just Live HerePatrick Ness

The ScarChina Miéville

The StandStephen King

The TalismanStephen King

This Census-TakerChina Miéville

Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë