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Top 13 Book Picks

“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero, but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.”

– G. K. Chesterton

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I am an avid reader. I’ll read just about anything . . . but I’m fairly picky about what I’ll call good.

A quick glance will show you my preferences tend towards (but are not limited to) Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and the Paranormal. That said, you might notice some big authors in those genres don’t make my list. To which I can only reply that popular writers are not always good writers.

The bulk of this list concerns trilogies and other ongoing series rather than single books, so I’m going to list my picks alphabetically by Author.

1. Jean M. Auel – Earth’s Children. I think she’s been translated into more languages than any living author.

2. Jim Butcher – The Dresden Files

3. Orson Scott Card – I will read just about anything this talented author produces, but his best works, in my opinion, were Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead

4. Stephen R. Donaldson – The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever. The first trilogy was unquestionablly the best, the second was immenently readable, and the third isn’t really doing much for me because Covenant is no longer a worthwhile hero, let alone the superb anti-hero he was in the first series. Donaldson’s space books are not much worth mentioning. But the duology Mordant’s Need was well worth reading.

5. Robert A. Heinlein – I’ve read everything he ever wrote and immensely enjoyed it all.

6. Robin Hobbs – The Farseer/Assassin Trilogies. Fantasy at its brutal best.

7. Robert Jordan – It is a tragedy that he died before he finished his epic Wheel of Time series. I still look forward to the final book that is being published based on his copious notes.

8. Ursula K. Le Guin – Wizard of Earthsea books

9. C.S. Lewis – Narnia – Land of my childhood. His books dared me to dream.

10. Robert Ludlum – The Bourne books

11. George R. R. Martin – He’s coming along slowly, but his books are intricate, detailed, and capable of sucking you in with a depth of experience that makes suspension of disbelief almost unnecessary.

12. Anne McCaffery – I will read just about anything she’s ever written (though I am not always as fond of the books she’s co-written with other authors), but her original Harper Hall and Dragon Riders of Pern trilogies and her Crystal Singer trilogy were by far her best work.

13. J.R.R. Tolkein – Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit. He took up where Lewis left off. I was geek enough to attempt reading Tom Bombadil and the Silmarillion, but young enough that I lost interest fast in these more academic undertakings.

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