Here are some of my favourite books. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and it is subject to change. I’ve listed these books in no particular order.
Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Despite the imitators that have come along since its publication, this book is still the pre-eminent fantasy novel.
I’ve re-read it at least four times and a lot of things are always coming back to me. Some seem brand new each time. Tolkien’s world is extremely rich and in so many of the scenes you can see the thousands of years of history. There’s a complete mythology here for the reader, but there’s also a very good story and characters to carry it.
by Arthur C. Clarke
Very poignant and powerful, this novel depicts the end of humanity as we know it. I found it moving and thought-provoking. This is perhaps Clarke’s best book.
The Price of Admiralty
by John Keegan
I read this in university as part of a course in naval history. This is the first history book I read in which I found the narrative engaging. I finished the whole book, despite only having been assigned the last few chapters. This was quite a compliment given my usual attitude towards assigned reading.
by Ray Bradbury
I can’t believe that I had never read this classic until I turned thirty. Even my wife read it before I did and she usually avoids science fiction.
This book was remarkable, a seminal novel, and one that seems even more appropriate today. The themes that Bradbury addresses with regards to giving the public a spectacle and dumbing down of culture are spot on.
The Hunt for Red October
by Tom Clancy
This was the first book by Clancy that I read, and is still the best. The pace seems right and the techno babble is reasonable. I really enjoyed the suspense.