One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

10 Books That Should Be On Your Bookshelf

I wish this was what my Man Cave looked like!
Like many people I'm a book lover. I don't buy a lot of books, and when I do I tend to pick them up second hand from a used book store. If I borrow a book from the library or a friend and read a book or author that I feels really kicks ass I try to pick up a copy for my own personal library in the Man Cave. Yeah, I have a Man Cave, and it is my personal opinion that everyman should have his own personal sanctuary, a home away from home if you will.

Anyway, I thought I would share some of my personal Top 10 novels  from my collection. These are books that I would actively replace if my house ever burnt down (knock on wood), or would re-read if the right mood struck me.

10. The Witching Hour- Anne Rice
This is the first in the Mayfair Witches trilogy. Strangely, I've never read her vampire chronicles.

9. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams
Hilarious, I've re-read this classic a few times now.

8. Clear and Present Danger- Tom Clancy
One of my favorite of Clancy's and his Jack Ryan stories Patriot Games, and The Hunt for Red October (the books, not the movies) also really good.

7. Druss the Legend-David Gemmell
My first introduction to the Drenai stories, Druss, and Gemmell's writing. Gemmell is AMAZING. If your into fantasy you need to read Gemmell's stuff. It's a major bummer he'll never write again.

6. The Dragonbone Chair-Tad Williams
The first in the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series, this is great epic fiction. Totally on par with Tolkien in my opinion.

5. Imajica-Clive Barker
Barker's imagination and ability to create weird magical worlds is amazing. This book so big it's sold in two separate volumes is a great sample of his genius. His more recent and uncompleted Abarat series also stands out.

4. Bag of Bones- Stephen King
King is the master. This compelling modern ghost story was haunting and brilliant and proves that King is a great writer.

3. Altered Carbon- Richard K. Morgan
Modern hard boiled science fiction. Morgan does cyberpunk right in his first of the Takeshi Kovacs trilogy.
while his stand alone novel Market Forces showcases and interesting twist to the corporate side cyberpunk fiction.

2. The Gunslinger-Stephen King
There's a reason King is on this list twice. The first novel in the Dark Towers series is short and sweet, leaving you with a hankering for more. I've re-read this multiple times as well.

1. Hyperion-Dan Simmons
Dan Simmons is my all time favorite writer. It's hard to go wrong with almost any of his novels, but Hyperion is just so original and fresh. It's like a mixed bag of sci-fi and fantasy. In it's composition it's almost like reading a series of connected short stories combined into a larger narrative. I've also re-read this multiple times and loved it every time.

Obviously this list just scratches the surface of my reading and favorite authors. I love a lot of books and authors so this list might fluctuate a little. Consider this list more of a wine sampling than anything else. I also really love discovering new authors as well. So who are your favorite authors and books? What are the gems of your collection? Have problem with my list? Lets here it in the comments section.      


  1. Not sure if I can give a top ten, as my tastes vary and I'm always buying new books and devouring them; but here's a list of what is my most favourite and/or most influential reads (but in no particular order):

    1. The Lord of the Rings: just finished reading it, only for the second time, and enjoyed it immensely. A perfect example of a well-crafted world;

    2. The Hobbit: because not only is it a good read, well-written, but it is also quite funny and a good adventure story;

    3. Rhapsody, by Elizabeth Haydon: great characters, another well-crafted world, and one I have and will re-read again;

    4. Magician, by Feist: my first introduction to the fantasy genre, and one of my favourite series despite the poorer quality of the later books;

    5. House of Leaves, by Mark z. Danielewski: a cracking ghost story/experimental writing/meta-story book that I got a lot out of;

    6. Nymphomation, by Jeff Noon: another example of experimental writing, and a book that made me realise that when it comes to writing a story, you can freely break the rules;

    7. The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear, by Walter Moers: an entertaining and illustrated story, which I enjoyed enough to get the rest of his books;

    8. Lud-in-the-Mist, by Hope Mirrless: a classic and well-told fairy story;

    9. Quicksilver, by Neal Stephenson: my first true historical fiction novel, that daunted me by its length but was well worth the read;

    10. Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill: a good ghost/horror story.

    That's just a sample. I have too many books for a list like this :(

    p.s. wish I had a man-library of my own... one day, one day...

  2. Wow! Ive never heard of half of those authors. Thanks Simon, I will go check out some of those books. I know how you feel though, there are so many great books and writers out there its hard to narrow it down like that. I know there are many that could have easily made my list.

  3. Let's see...I've got your 9, and 7-1, and Simon's 1,2,5, and 9.

    My "must preserve" books (though not neccessarily my favorites, as those vary with time) would be special editions: the Wandering Star Robert E. Howard library, the slipcase collections of Karl Edward Wagner's Kane, my Best of C.L. Moore signed by the author, and the Night Shade Press Collected Clark Ashton Smith library.

    Some most of those would be amongst beloved favorites, but so would be Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus! Trilogy, King's Gunslinger, James Carlos Blake's The Friends of Pancho Villa, and Gibson's Neuromancer, and a whole lot of others.

  4. Cool list, going to read the Dark Tower sometime soon.