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 BOOK LISTS

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Sunnie’s List  |   Ann’s List



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Sunnie’s List

100 books to read simply because they’re the best.
The rules: No non–fiction. No children’s picture books. No duplicate authors. No particular order.

Uh… this list has gotten a bit out of hand. So, at some point in the near future, I’ll be splitting it up into genres. Until then, though…



1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Teen fiction.


2. Wraeththu by Storm Constantine
Post-apocalyptic science fiction.


3. The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay
Fantasy.


4. Cagebird by Karin Lowachee
Science fiction. First, read the first two books in the series: ‘Warchild’ and ‘Burndive.’


5. What Happened to Lani Garver? by Carol Plum-Ucci
Teen fiction.


6. Finder by Emma Bull
Fantasy.


7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Children’s fantasy.


8. The Cygnet and the Firebird by Patricia A McKillip
Fantasy.


9. Life of Pi by Yan Martell
Fiction.


10. The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan
Fiction.


11. She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb
Fiction.


12. Love and Glory by Robert B. Parker
Fiction.


13. Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
Historical fiction.


14. A Cavern of Black Ice by J.V. Jones
Fantasy.


15. The Passage by Justin Cronin
Science fiction.


16. Traitor’s Moon by Lynn Flewelling
Fantasy. Read the first two books in this series, ‘Luck In the Shadows’ and ‘Stalking Darkness,’ before reading ‘Traitor’s Moon,’.


17. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Teen fiction.


18. Havemercy by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett
Fantasy.


19. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik
Historical fantasy.


20. Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Fantasy. Read the book before this, ‘Name of the Wind,’ first.


21. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Fantasy.


22. Misfits by Garrett Leigh
Romance.


23. The Cider House Rules by John Irving
Fiction.


24. In Legend Born by Laura Resnick
Fantasy.


25. The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
Fantasy. It’s not scary, even though it’s King.


26. Ironside by Holly Black
Teen fantasy. Read ‘Tithe’ first.


27. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Fantasy.


28. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
Children’s fiction.


29. Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech
Children’s fiction.


30. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Children’s fantasy.


31. The Farthest Away Mountain by Lynne Reid Banks
Children’s fantasy.


32. The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter
Fiction.


33. The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
Children’s fantasy.


34. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Children’s science fiction.


35. The Voyage of the Dawn Trader by C.S. Lewis
Children’s fantasy.


36. The Animorphs Series by K.A. Applegate
Children’s science fiction. I can’t pick one book from this series. Just start from the beginning.


38. Echo by Francesca Lia Block
Teen fiction.


39. Justinian by H.N. Turtletaub
Historical fiction.


40. Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
Fantasy.


41. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
Fantasy.


42. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Historical fiction. With time travel.


43. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Teen science fiction.


44. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Teen fiction.


45. The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V.S. Redick
Fantasy.


46. Zazoo by Richard Mosher
Teen fiction.


47. Gentlemen by Michael Northrop
Teen fiction.


48. The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan
Teen fantasy.


49. Puff by Bob Flaherty
Fiction.


50. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Teen science fiction.


51. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Teen fiction.


52. Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes
Teen fiction.


53. Pucker by Melanie Gideon
Teen science fiction/ fantasy.


54. Teach Me by R.A. Nelson
Teen fiction.


55. A Dog Called Kitty by Bill Wallace
Children’s fiction.


56. The View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
Children’s fiction.


57. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Teen fiction.


58. Bad Kitty by Michelle Jaffe
Teen mystery.


59. The Moorchild by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Children’s fiction.


60. Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes
Fiction.


61. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Historical fiction.


62. Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned by Walter Mosley
Fiction.


64. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
Children’s fantasy.


65. Transformation by Carol Berg
Fantasy.


66. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Fiction.


67. Song In the Silence by Elizabeth Kerner
Fantasy.


68. Of Darkness, Light, and Fire by Tanya Huff
Fantasy.


69. The Winter Prince by Elizabeth E. Wein
Fantasy.


70. Brethren by W.A. Hoffman
Historical fiction.


71. Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro
Science fiction.


72. The Book of Knights by Yves Meynard
Fantasy.


73. Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
Fiction.


74. Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn
Fantasy.


75. One for My Baby by Tony Parsons
Fiction.


76. The Autumn Castle by Kim Wilkins
Fantasy.


77. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Literary science fiction. (Is that a genre?)


78. Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater
Teen fantasy. You can read the trilogy that leads up to this book, but it’s not strictly necessary. Although it's good.


79. Winger by Andrew Smith
Teen fiction.


80. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Fiction.


81. Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
Teen fiction.


82. The Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee
Science fiction.


83. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Fiction.


84. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Teen fiction.


85. Holes by Louis Sachar
Children’s fiction.


86. China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh
Science fiction.


88. The God Eaters by Jesse Hajicek
Fantasy.


89. Divergent by Veronica Roth
Teen dystopian science fiction.


90. Shine by Lauren Myracle
Teen fiction.


91. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Teen fiction.


92. The Salisbury Key by Harper Fox
Fiction/ romance.


93.Countdown City by Ben H. Winters
Science fiction/ mystery. Read this trilogy in order, starting with ‘The Last Policeman.‘


94. Dance on My Grave by Aidan Chambers
Teen fiction.


95. For Real by Alexis Hall
Romance.


97. The Only Alien on the Planet by Kristen D. Randle
Teen fiction.


98. Among Others by Jo Walton
Fantasy.


99.Dirty Laundry by Rhys Ford
Romance/ mystery. Read this series in order, starting with ‘Dirty Kiss.’


100. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Teen fiction.


‐‐A quick note on non‐fiction: I’m not really a non‐fiction kind of girl. I could probably count on one hand the number of NF books I've read cover to cover, and most of those would be origami books written by Michael G. LaFosse (unless he has more than five books out, in which case it would be two hands.) So that’s who my non‐fiction recommendation goes to him. He and Richard L. Alexander, who writes many books with him, are geniuses. The origami designs are pretty much the best I’ve ever seen, but the entirety of the books, from paper making to creating to displaying, whatever information they give you, is not only extremely useful, but seriously, and weirdly, entertaining. I’ve honestly read all of Michael's books start to finish, word for word, which is… strange. But if you’re into origami, you’ll understand. -SEL


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Ann’s List

I remember reading fairy tales and other frighteningly horrible stories as a child. When I got older, my grandmother recommended Who Done Its for the puzzle and the story. So, I read a lot of Agatha Christie, and the ‘hard boiled’ detectives of Dashiell Hammett, Mickey Spillane, and Raymond Chandler. My favorites characters were Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle, and Rex Stout’s Nero Wolf and his orchids.

My favorite modern-day detectives are Robert B. Parker’s Spenser, and Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins. They both have deeply developed characters, so it’s not just about the puzzle and the clues anymore. I loved the Steig Larsson’s series The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Living a completely logical, scientific existence, I never got into fantasy until my daughter, Sunnie, recommended some of the books she thought were good. A lot of the ones I might put on a list are on her list. (She was so lucky to have grown up with Harry Potter!) Those by Guy Gavriel Kay and Patricia A McKillip flourish with colorful verbiage and imagination, and read like poetry. I loved Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, in spite of one or two far-fetched scenes. I couldn’t wait for the successor to come out, which was as good as the first. But, for the most part, fantasy and science fiction are a hard sell for me. I have to pick apart the details. - Like why didn't the eagles take Frodo to Mordor? After all, they picked him up there. At very least, they could have gotten Gandalf and the rest of the 9 off the mountain, instead of making them go through the mines of Moria.- However, Sunnie reminds me that most really good sci’fi and/or fantasy writers don't make this kind of error. And it's true - I've never found anything I can question in (for example) Guy Gavriel Kay's work.

Historical fiction is another genre I’ve found interesting. Jean Auel’s first couple of books about caveman times were fascinating. W.A. Hoffman’s four volumes about the gay pirates of the 1600s of the Raised by Wolves series were magnificently written. Diana Gabaldon’s characters, Claire, who time-travels between the 1700s and 1900s, and Jamie Frasier are featured in a lengthy series that is spellbinding and believable.

A friend recently recommended the novel Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts. When I finished it, I said it was the best book I ever read. A few months later, that still holds true.

Light books by Marian Keyes top my list of comedic fiction. She’s written a few, and they could all make me laugh out loud. Puff, by Bob Flaherty is one of the funniest books I ever read. (If you are from New England and lived through the blizzard of ’78, you find it that much more entertaining.)

I have a bookcase filled with astrology books. My favorite authors are Robert Hand, Nancy Hastings and Kim Rogers-Gallagher.

My favorite reference book is "HTML" by Eric Kramer and a team at Maran Graphics. Although out-dated now, I used it to create all of my websites.

-AEL





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