This is a list of books that I particularly enjoyed, spent a lot of time with, learned something new or were just well written.
I'm just hope Moonlight doesn't send the internet gremlins to interfer with my computer. ;)
BOOKS I GREW UP WITH
Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley Holland
Der Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffman
Max und Moritz by Wilhelm Busch
The Three Investigators
Brother's Grimm Fairy Tales
Janny Wurts - . Cycle of Fire trilogy, Master of Whitestorm, Wars of Light and Shadow.
Everything this woman writes is amazing. Her style, her use of the English language, her world building, the depth of characters.
Sydney J Van Scyoc - Drowntide
The best and still most original "mermaid" novel I've ever read.
Girl of the Sea of Cortez by Peter Benchley
Poignant environmental and family story, the author's love letter to the sea.
Firebrand - Marion Zimmer Bradley
My first introduction to the Trojan War. My mother had no idea what she bought for me. She thought it was a tame kiddies book. This is what happens when adults think books with elves, dragons and generic fantasy covers are children's books.
C.J. Cherryh - The Chronicles of Morgaine
Mix of SF and Fantasy, family drama and relationship issues. Brilliantly written.
Yarrow - Charles de Lint
David Eddings - The Losers
Not fantasy, but something of a social commentary
David Eddings - The Elenium
For the humour and character dynamics and interactions and Sparhawk.
Raymond E. Feist - Faerie Tale
My first urban fantasy. And it has neither fluffy werewolves or sparkling vampires or cute faeries
Raymond E. Feist – The Magician and Silverthorn
Rich characters and world building.
Elf Defense - Esther M Friesner
Funny. Lawyer vs Elf King. I still wish my copy didn't look like the previous owner dropped it in the bath and then spilt tea over it, but I can't find another copy.
Mary Gentle - Golden Witchbreed
It took me a while to get into this book, but it turned out to be very different to anything else I had read at the time.
Mercedes Lackey - Four and Twenty Blackbirds
A murder mystery with strange not always human characters and a bit of magic. This is the way I like my mysteries.
Mercedes Lackey - By The Sword
First book that I read by this author. I hunted down other books by her and let’s just say they were educational. I didn't know same-sex pairings were even an option before reading her stuff.
Havenstar - Glenda Larke/Normaly
Megan Lindholm - Wizard of the Pigeons and Clovenhooves
Thomas Malory - Le Morte D'Arthur
I went through a King Arthur phase
Anne McCaffrey - Diversity of Dragons.
McCaffrey novels might be entertaining but I loved this one because John Howe painted all those delightful dragons.
Tolkien - Lord of the Rings and Unfinished Tales
I have an obsession with this book/author.
Dennis L McKiernan - Dragondoom and Eye of the Hunter
Emotional – I cried oceans.
Patricia A McKilliip - Middle Master's Trilogy.
Everything she writes is beautiful.
Peter Morwood - Tales of Old Russia Trilogy, especially Prince Ivan
Russian fairy tales. how could one not love these!?
Andre Norton - Flight in Yiktor
Delightful worldbuilding and fully-fledged, growing characters. I eventually tracked down the rest of the books in this series a few years ago.
Terry Pratchett - Guards! Guards!
Because...Vimes and the humour
Byron Preiss - Dragonworld
Original and it had dragons. I went through a stage where I read everything that had dragons in it or on the cover, no matter how bad it was. This was a pretty good book.
Melanie Rawn - Dragon Prince Trilogy
Politics, a novel magic system and delightful world building
Josepha Sherman - The Shining Falcon
Russian fairy tale and beautiful writing.
Dracula - Bram Stoker
One of the few horror novels I've read. I loved this.
Sherri S. Tepper - Beauty, also Gibbons Decline and Fall , also The Family Tree
Food for thought, good writing.
Margaret Weiss and Tracey Hickman - Rose of the Prophet Trilogy
Underrated, humorous characters and poignant. Probably their best work.
Kim Wilkins - Giants of the Frost
Norse mythology-based novel
Walter Jon Williams - Knight Moves
Aliens and genetically engineered centaurs. My type of fantasy novel.
Connie Willis - Passage, Doomsday Book
Interesting concept, great writing (despite the problems)
Beowulf: A Dual-Language Edition – Howell D. Chickering
Bulfinches Mythology - Thomas Bulfinch
The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
Murderbot Diaries – Martha Wells
Jim Butcher – Dresden Files
Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
Garden Spells – Sarah Addison Allen
Good Night, Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian
Revolting Rhymes Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illustrator)
All are well written, taught me something I didn't know and stuck with me:
Medusa by Stephen R. Wilk
Christopher I. Beckwith - Empires of the Silk Road
Roger Crowley - Constantinople: The Last Great Siege, 1453
Barry Cunliffe - Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek
Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe - Norman Davies
Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times by Radu Florescu
Mozart's Women: His Family, His Friends, His Music by Jane Glover
Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historyical Biography by Peter Green
Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power by Victor Davis Hanson
Empires and Barbarians: Migration, Development and the Birth of Europe by Peter Heather
Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin
A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons by Geoffrey Hindley
Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West by Tom Holland
Hellen of Troy: The Story Behind the Most Beauriful Woman in the World - Bettany Hughes
The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time by John Kelly
Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World - Dan Keoppel
The Tradition of Household Spirits: Ancestral Lore and Practices - Claude Lecouteux
Tarim Mummies: ancient China and the mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West by J. P Mallory
Gutenberg Revolution: How Printing Changed the Course of History - John Man
Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World - Adrienne Mayor
Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy - Adrienne Mayor
Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilizations by Richard Miles
White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and North Africa's One Million European Slaves - Giles Milton
Europe Before Rome: A Site-by-Site Tour of the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages by Douglas T. Price
Untold History of the Potato - John Reader
In Search of Immortals: Discovering the World's Mummy Cultures - Howard Reid
The Celts - Alice Roberts
Food in History - Reay Tannahill
Before the Flood: The Biblical Flood as a Real Event and How It Changed the Course of Civilizations - Ian Wilson
NOT a religious book, but about archaeology and the Black Sea.
Invention of Nature - Andrea Wulf
Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell into Tyranny by Edward J. Watts
Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King
Stradivari's Genius: Five Violins, One Cello, and Three Centuries of Enduring Perfection by Toby Faber
Wonders of the Ancient World: Antiquity's Greatest Feats of Design and Engineering by Justin Pollard
Witness to Extinction: How We Failed to Save the Yangtze River Dolphin by Samuel T. Turvey
The Spark of Life by Frances Ashcroft
Earth Matters: How Soil Underlies Civilization - Richard D. Bardgett
Emerald Planet: How Plants changed Earth's History - David Beerling
When Life Nearly Died: The Greatest Mass Extinction of All Time - Michael J. Benton
Sun's Heartbeat: And Other Stories from the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet - Bob Berman
Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills - Russell L. Blaylock
Nessa Carey - Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease and Inheritance
Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence and Survival? A Scientific Detective story - Dianne Dumanoski et al.
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life by Helen Czerski
Gecko's Foot: How Scientists are Taking a Leaf from Nature's Book by Peter Forbes
Horseshoe Crab: Biography of a Survivor - Anthony D. Fredericks
March of the Microbes: Sighting the Unseen by John L Ingraham
Nick Lane - Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life
Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David R. Montgomery
A History of Disease in Ancient Times: More Lethal than War - Philip Norrie
David Quammen - Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction & Spillover: Emerging Diseases, Animal hosts, and the Future of Human Health
Alice Roberts - The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being: Evolution and the Making of Us
Poseidon's Steed: The Story of Seahorses, From Myth to Reality - Helen Scales
Planet of the Bugs: Evolution and the Rise of Insects - Scott Richard Shaw
Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wrechage in a Land of Vanishing Predators by William Stolzenburg
Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker
The Worst of Times: how Life on Earth Survived Eighty Million Years of Extinctions by Paul B. Wignall
Restless Creatures: The Story of Life in Ten Movements by Matt Wilkinson
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life - EdJ Yong
Goldilocks Planet: The Four Billion Year Story of Earth's Climate by Jan Zalasiewicz
Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity by Jamie Metzl
The Fall of the Wild: Extinction, De-Extinction, and the Ethics of Conservation by Ben A. Minteer
A Portable Cosmos: Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World by Alexander Jones
Resurrection Science: Conservation, De-extinction and the Precarious Future of Wild Things by M.R. O'Connor
Voyage of the Turtle: In Pursuit of the Earth's Last Dinosaur by Carl Safina
Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World by Richard C. Francis
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler, & Charles Van Doren
Joseph Davidovits - Why the Pharaohs Built the Pyramids with Fake Stones
Yes, I read these kinds of books. But this is written by a scientist who is an expert on cement and geopolymers and there is nothing woo-woo about this book. It makes you think.
Christopher Dunn - Giza Power Plant: Technologies of Ancient Egypt.
Another thinking book by an engineer.
Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes: Flood, Fire and Famine in the History of Civilization - Richard Firestone et al
Earth Under Fire: Humanity's Survival of the Ice Age - Paul A. LaViolette
Voices of the Rocks: A Scientist Looks at Catastrophes and Ancient Civilizations - Robert M. Schoch
Interesting, informative and provides new information on ancient civilizations.
Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World After An Apocalypse - Lewis Dartnell
RHS Propagating Plants - Alan Toogood