- The Belgariad and the Mallorian by David Eddings. This is clearly cheating because, all told, this is approximately 11 books. And I would count Polgara in here as well. But the fact remains that I have read these books over and over again through the years. Probably every few months I will suddenly feel the need to immerse myself in the amazing world that Eddings created and to reacquaint myself with my old friends: Garion, Ce'Nedra, Polgara, Belgarath, Silk, Barak, Hettar, Mandorallin....Dad read these books to me when I was a child and I truly cannot wait until I can read them to my own children. I even got Andrew hooked on this series- he is rereading them right now for the umpteenth time.
- Sunshine by Robyn McKinley. Now THIS is a vampire book. There are no sparkles here. Just a cinnamon roll queen getting thrown in the the darkest Others. The heroine (Sunshine) is spunky and snarky (she calls herself a bitch) and discovers an unfortunate affinity for vampires after spending her entire life being blissfully normal. The vampire has a certain level of sex appeal, but also is very clearly a predator who is just as uncomfortable with his association with Sunshine as she is. I love everything about this book except that there is no sequel. And probably will never be because Robyn McKinley writes with integrity and won't write a sequel unless it will be just as good as the original.
- Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Yup- a nonfiction book. And a book that has truly changed how I look at the world. This book is the reason I started a garden and the reason I became interested in simple, local food. Yes, I still eat McDonald's and yes our garden was woefully neglected this year, but I have grand plans for when my life is not being eaten by vet school. Plans involving a garden and backyard chickens. It is also a book that just makes me feel happy when I read it.
- Arrows of the Queen/Arrow's Flight/Arrow's Fall by Mercedes Lackey. A pure sugar series that is the epitome of escape fiction. I am not particularly proud of this choice, but my well-worn copy of the first book in this series will likely gather many more dog ears before I need to purchase a replacement. Because I love it.
- Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King. Truly, this entire series should be on my list, but the first book is my favorite. This is the story of a young girl in the early 1900s who meets the retired Sherlock Holmes and ends up becoming his apprentice. It sort of sounds a bit lame. But it totally isn't. This series is pure awesomeness wrapped in amazing.
And now it is time for some audience participation: what are your top 5 books? Are you like me and trying to shove some extra books into your "end of the world necessities" kit? (so help me, I WILL fight for the entire Belgariad and Mallorean). Can you narrow it down to just 5 (ish)? I feel some series lacking in my list even as I write this. Specifically: The Pern Books by Anne McCaffery (especially Dragonsdawn), the Elenium and the Tamuli by David Eddings (not quite as awesome as the Belgariad and Mallorean, but running a close second), Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey (more escape fiction that plays into my own fantasy world rather nicely), Harry Potter (for obvious reasons), and probably many more. I will stick by my top 5 though.