I put together a list of books worth reading for a friend of mine. It's based on a mix of his and my tastes and intended to introduce him to new works. Originally, it was more balanced, but I decided to flesh out some more of the speculative fiction works (which is my favorite genre, no doubt).
I've read everything on the list. I limited it to one book per author (mostly, an author might show up more than once due to collaborations).
It's not a ranking or anything. Many of the books are my favorites by a particular author, but not all. (For instance, Prelude to Foundation is probably my favorite Asimov book).
Note: Categories are fuzzy with overlap. Very Rough. I'd love to get feedback.
- QED, Richard Feynman
- The Age of Entanglement, Louisa Gilder
- The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene
- The Black Hole Wars, Leonard Susskind
- Group Theory in the Bedroom, Brian Hayes
- The Drunkard's Walk, Leonard Mlodinow
- An Introduction To Information Theory, John R. Pierce
- The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance, Henry Petroski.
- Roving Mars, Steven W. Squyres
- This Is Your Brain On Music, Daniel J. Levitin
- The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Robert Heinlein
- Red Thunder, John Varley
- A Deepness In The Sky, Vernor Vinge
- Snow Crash, Neil Stephenson
- Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds
- Footfall, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
- The Integral Trees, Larry Niven (This is an edit. Originally, I had listed A World Out of Time.)
- Neuromancer, William Gibson
- Tangents, Greg Bear (specifically for "Blood Music")
- The Uplift War, David Brin
- Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
- Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury
- The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
- The Complete Compleat Enchanter, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt
- David Starr, Space Ranger, Isaac Asimov
Fantasy (fairly broad definition of Fantasy)
- His Majesty's Dragon, Naomi Novik
- Small Gods, Terry Pratchett
- American Gods, Neil Gaiman
- A Spell For Chameleon, Piers Anthony
- Death Is Lighter Than a Feather, David Westheimer
- A World of Difference, Harry Turtledove
- 1632, Eric Flint
- Lest Darkness Fall, L. Sprague de Camp
- Birds of Prey, David Drake