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 Planet – Becky Chambers
A Song for Ella Grey – David Almond
Annihilation – Jeff VanderMeer
Catching Fire (The Hunger Games: Book 2) – Suzanne Collins
Dune – Frank Herbert
Frankenstein – Mary 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 Clocks – David 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 Hogfather – Terry Pratchett
The Lies of Locke Lamora – Scott Lynch
The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neill Gaiman
The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness
The Scar – China Miéville
The Stand – Stephen King
The Talisman – Stephen King
This Census-Taker – China Miéville
Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë