Thursday, November 29, 2012

Some Books Worth Reading

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.

Non Fiction


  • 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

Speculative Fiction

Hard Sci-Fi

  • 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

Alternate History

  • 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

1 comment:

  1. Would you fix the typo in the Atwood title? Given its subject matter, and all...