Your Top 10 favourite books of all time?

Silver Owl

Well-Known Member
Feb 2, 2014
Any genre, any author and I think we should stick to novels and not do short stories or novellas.

In no particular order

Lord of the Flies - William Goulding
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K Rowling
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
The Book of Lost Things - John Connolly
The Hobbit - J.R.R Tolkein

I am going to have to stop there as being only 18 I am not at all well read and if I kept going I would end up looking more and more of an idiot as the list went on:D

Interesting to see what others list though?

Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
Oct 5, 2011
blah - flags. So many flags.

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
To kill a mocking bird, Harper Lee
Captain Corelli's Mandolin, de Bernieres
Time traveler's wife, Niffennegger
Dark Eden, Chris Beckett
Maps in a Mirror, Scott Card
Rachel's Holiday, Marian Keyes
Paula, Isabelle Allende
The Vorkosigan books (yes, there's about a million of them - if pushed to one, Memory)
The Catch Trap Zimmer Bradley

Not much sff in there, and probably an odd mix but hey-ho, they're my comfort blankets. :)

Darn! Lord of the flies... Forgot that.:(

Heather Myst

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2009
As of today:

A Storm of Swords George R.R. Martin
A Clash of Kings George R.R. Martin
A Game of Thrones George R.R. Martin
Faith of the Fallen Terry Goodkind
Best Served Cold Joe Abercrombie
The Lion of Senet Jennifer Fallon
The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
Heir of Novron Michael J. Sullivan
Warbreaker Brandon Sanderson
The Name of the Wind Patrick Rothfuss


Well-Known Member
Sep 15, 2007
UK, Yorkshire
I get the feeling my list would change very often. Welcome to the site, incidentally, Silver Owl.

1. Hannibal, by Theodore Ayrault Dodge
2. The Hannibalic War, by Polybius
3. Red Country, by Joe Abercrombie
4. The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch
5. A Game of Thrones, by George RR Martin
6. The Outlaws of the Marsh, by Shi Nai'an and Luo Guanzhong
7. The Warlord Chronicles, by Bernard Cornwell [technically a trilogy]
8. The Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides
9. Byzantium, by John Julius Norwich [technically a trilogy]
10. The Early History of Rome, by Livy

I'm sure several of those would chop and change according to mood and memory.


The Enigma of Steel
Feb 5, 2006
Moved my books to the deep south. I have a loft/li
In no particular order, off the top of my head:
Dune Frank Herbert;
Jurassic Park Michael Crichton;
The Stand Stephen King;
Tarzan of the Apes Edgar Rice Burroughs;
A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking;
The Caves of Steel Isaac Asimov;
The Sign of Four Arthur Conan Doyle;
The Big Sleep Raymond Chandler;
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring J R R Tolkien;
The Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury.


Oct 11, 2007
Johannesburg, SA
The Stand - Stephen King
Pet Sematary - Stephen King
The Shining - Stephen King
Lightning - Dean Koontz
Phantoms - Dean Koontz
Dune - Frank Herbert
Doctor Sleep - Stephen King

Cant think of anymore right now

Vince W

Towel Champion
Sep 9, 2011
In no particular order:

Dune - Frank Herbert
Foundation series - Isaac Asimov
Doctor Zhivago - Boris Pasternak
Sharpe series - Bernard Cornwell
The Caves of Steel - Isaac Asimov
The White Plague - Frank Herbert
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C. Clarke
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Ringworld & Ringworld Engineers - Larry Niven

Ten is really too small a number though.


Physics is Phutile, Fiziks is Fundamental
Jul 17, 2013

The Vorkosigan books (yes, there's about a million of them - if pushed to one, Memory)


It has the same idea as The Cold Equations in a more complex story.

Physics does not care. It will kill you if you get it wrong.

I really don't like this favorites business since I like different books for different reasons.

The Two Faces of Tomorrow by James P. Hogan

There is so much SF out there with what I regard as bad AI even when the overall story is decent. Like Neuromancer.

Voyage from Yesteryear by James P. Hogan

We have a problem with what to do with technology and our cultural traditions. This story expresses that very well.

Citizen of the Galaxy & Door into Summer by Robert Heinlein

I just read these too again. Heinlein can be preachy and have a good story at the same time. But so much stuff today is decent stories with nothing to say. Heinlein was so ahead of is time in the late 50s. The world has gotten dumber.

The Ethical Engineer by Harry Harrison

An information hiding culture. It happens in the real world. It is so curious that we don't have National Recommended Reading Lists.

Brainwave & Tau Zero by Poul Anderson

The trouble with so much SF today is that it is a decent story while you read it but there is nothing to think about after you read it. You just have to find something else to read.

Last edited:

Mr Fraaz

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2013
It's really hard to pin down my favourite books. I read somewhere that "a book changes by the fact that it stays the same when the world changes". So this is rather a list of my favourite book experiences during my life. Some of the titles I read as a child wouldn't qualify as my favourite books today, but the experience of them during childhood was stronger than anything read as an adult. I included my approximate age at the time of the experience.

Also, I have incuded series of books because I couldn't pick just one.

Astrid Lindgren: The Brothers Lionheart (8-9?)
CS Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia (9-11?)
Tolkien: The Hobbit (I think 9)
Susan Cooper: The Dark is Rising series (10-11)
Howard Pyle: Robin Hood (11?)
Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings trilogy (from about 12 and reread with great succes several times up to 25)
Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita (around 20)
Egil Skallagrimsson's saga (around 20)
Wu Cheng'en: Journey to The West series(26?)
Vilhelm Moberg: The Emigrants series (32?)

The list would have been different if I had included modern non-fiction, poetry and graphic novels.


Be pure. Be vigilant. Beware.
Sep 22, 2010
This list will probably be different by tomorrow. It's favourite novels rather than best, and it's also not confined to SFF.

The Ninja - Eric van Lustbader
The Heroes - Joe Abercrombie
The Day of the Jackal - Frederick Forsyth
Daughter of the Empire series - Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts
Life of Pi - Yann martel
The Earthsea Chronicles - Ursula K LeGuin
Faerie Tale - Raymond E Feist
The Wolf's Hour - Robert R McCammon
Hyperion - Dan Simmons
Trinity - Leon Uris


Marquis Cyborg
Feb 14, 2014
How can I pick just 10?!

...pretty easily, actually, thinking about it. In no particular order, I present my top 10!

The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula Le Guin
The Night Watch, Sergei Luyanenko
Empire State, Adam Christopher
The Earthsea Quartet, Ursula Le Guin
Devil in a Blue Dress, Walter Mosley
Heir to the Empire, Timothy Zahn
Wild Cards, George R.R. Martin
Conan the Barbarian, Robert E Howard
Star Trek: Destiny, David Mack
The Shadow over Innsmouth, H.P. Lovecraft


Well-Known Member
Jun 2, 2006
Um... I don't know if I can do ten. Can I count series as one? I'm gonna anyway.

In no particular order:

The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud.
HDM by Phillip Pullman
The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix
The Liveship books by Robin Hobb
The Duncton books by William Horwood
Redwall by Brian Jacques
101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

I'm struggling to think of two more. Most of my list is YA. I might add The Back Passage by James Lear because it's hilarious. And... Oh, Queen Victoria Demon Hunter by A.E. Moorat. Argh! And Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

That makes 11. I'll swap one for Neverwhere. Dunno which one though.


Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2011
I also will count the series books as one, Janny's are really just one big novel anyway. And I still occasionally read my favorites from when I was a lot younger, I am just a big kid at heart

01. Wars of Light and Shadow series by Janny Wurts (Ships of Merior is my favorite so far)
02. The Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling (Prisoner of Azkaban was my favorite)
03. Sword of Shannara, Elf Stones of Shannara and Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks
04. Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series by Tad Williams
05. The Boney series by Arthur Upfield
06. All Creatures Great and Small and all the rest of the related books by James Herriot
07. Star Trek novels - The Price of the Phoenix and The Fate of the Phoenix by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath
08. These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
09. Little Women, Jo's Boys, Little Men, Good Wives by Louisa M. Alcott
10. The Magic Faraway Tree, The Folk of the Faraway Tree, Adventures of the Wishing-Chair and The Wishing-Chair Again by Enid Blyton

I loved all Georgette Heyer's historical romances, but having not read them for 20 odd years These Old Shades still stands out. Unfortunately I do not currently own it, or at least cannot find it. I had to sell off a lot of my books when I moved from the mainland 16 years ago, and I am still trying to collect all those Georgette Heyer books again, I seem to be still missing my favourite. I made a big mess looking through my books to do the list, will have to do a bit of dusting and sort them out better. Lots of books, not much space.


Zebra. With water.
Staff member
Nov 26, 2009
Arrgh. I hate these, and they change over time, but these are the ones I go back and reread all the time:

To Sail Beyond the Sunset, Robert Heinlein
A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
The Vorkosigan books (I'm cheating -- if I have to choose one, then it would be Memory, Komarr, and A Civil Campaign. What? That's more than one? Sorry, Bujold makes up new collections all the time, so that's mine. :D )
The Callahan books, Spider Robinson. Cheating again.
The Mrs. Pollifax books, Dorothy Gilman. I've got the hang of this cheat thing now.
The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, which is, too, one book -- I have it.
The Roma sub Rosa series, Stephen Saylor. If pressed for just one, The Venus Throw.
The Apprentice Adept
series, Piers Anthony. Better add the Incarnations of Immortality series, and the Geodyssey series.
Go back and add Friday and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and I Will Fear No Evil to the Heinlein collection.

I think I may have reached ten, there. :D

Silver Owl

Well-Known Member
Feb 2, 2014
It doesn't matter if people go over/under 10 or if you want to count whole series as 1. The whole point of the list is that it is meant to be personal:)

Heather Myst

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2009
I've revised mine since you said we can count a series as one selection.

A Song of Ice and Fire George R.R. Martin
The Second Sons trilogy Jennifer Fallon
The Sword of Truth Terry Goodkind
Riyria Revelations Michael J. Sullivan
Riyria Chronicles Michael J. Sullivan
Best Served Cold Joe Abercrombie
Kingkiller Chronicles Patrick Rothfuss
Lightbringer Brent Weeks
The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
Warbreaker Brandon Sanderson


|-O-| (-O-) |-O-|
Nov 6, 2008
In no articulate order;

The Player of Games and Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks.
The Forge of God and Anvil of Stars by Greg Bear
Revelation Space by Alistair Reynolds
Cloudwalker by Edmund Cooper
Weaveworld by Clive Barker
It and The Stand by Stephen King
Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams.


Traveller in her mind
Nov 10, 2013
In the Isle of Man (If only!)
My Favourite fantasy and Science Fiction as well as travelling writing books, are all in the English Language, as for non fiction, or non genre books, they are all in French and I would spare you those, if you are not Francophones and the list can be quite long, as well. Here we go, that would be the ones I save first from a natural catastrophy:(:

The Lord of the Rings
The Hobbit. JRR Tolkien
The Birthgrave,
Tales of the Flat Earth: Tanith Lee
Women Who Run With Wolves, Clarissa P. Estes
The mountain of the Soul :Gao Xingjian (Read it in French)
Calenture Storm: Constantine (Great imagery and story telling)
Encounter of the 3rd Kind (Love the movie, as well)
Zen in the art of writing: Ray Bradbury
The Right to write: Julia Cameron

Those are like to reread them, from time to time, when I just want a bit of comforting with things I know already and love.

Randy M.

Well-Known Member
Mar 7, 2012
As someone else noted, these things change over time, which includes week to week much less year to year. I could easily replace a few of these with other titles and not feel I wasn't being completely honest.

1) William Faulkner: Absalom, Absalom; As I Lay Dying
2) Dashiell Hammett: The Maltese Falcon
3) J. R. R. Tolkein: LOTR
4) Ray Bradbury: Something Wicked This Way Comes
5) Charles Finney: The Circus of Dr. Lao
6) Herman Melville: Moby Dick
7) Melvyn Peake: Titus Groan
8) Ross Macdonald: The Underground Man; The Goodbye Look
9) John Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men
10) Sir Arthur C. Clarke: Childhood's End

(Alternate titles: Twilight by William Gay; The Red of His Shadow by Mayra Montero; The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; etc.)

Similarly, I could, in good conscience, eliminate almost all of those titles and insert the titles of several single-author story collections:

1) Clark Ashton Smith: Zothique
2) Frank O'Connor: 12 Stories by Frank O'Connor (Irish writer, roughly contemporary to John Steinbeck)
3) James Joyce: Dubliners
4) Tim O'Brien: The Things They Carried
5) James Thurber: My Life and Hard Times
6) Jorge Luis Borges: Ficciones
7) Angela Carter: The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories
8) Ray Bradbury: The Martian Chronicles & The October Country
9) Dashiell Hammett: The Big Knockover
10) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes & The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
11) Edgar Pangborn: Good Neighbors and Other Strangers & Still I Persist in Wondering

Randy M.


New Member
Feb 19, 2014
My list would likely change if I did this tomorrow, or even 5 minutes from now. In no order:-

The Room - Hubert Selby, Jr.
American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis
Star Maker - Olaf Stapledon
Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy
Pnin - Vladimir Nabokov
High Rise - J. G. Ballard
At the Mountains of Madness - H. P. Lovecraft
2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
Ubik - Philip K. Dick
Crash - J. G. Ballard

Similar threads