- Meredith, Martin — The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence (736 pages)
- Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o — Wizard of the Crow (766 pages)
- Coetzee, J.M. — Life & Times of Michael K (182 pages)
- Saint-Exupery, Antoine de — The Little Prince (101 pages)
- Brunner, John — Stand on Zanzibar (661 pages)
- Dahl, Roald — Fantastic Mr Fox (79 pages)
- Walker, Barbara — TEENY-TINY and the Witch-Woman (29 pages)
- Shakespeare, William — A Midsummer Night's Dream (23 pages)
- Powers, Richard — The Time of Our Singing (631 pages)
- McEwan, Ian — In Between the Sheets (134 pages)
- Ishiguro, Kazuo — A Pale View of Hills (182 pages)
- Niven, Larry — Ringworld (284 pages)
- Anderson, Poul — Tau Zero (184 pages)
- Eisenberg, Bryan & Jeffrey, with Lisa T. Davis — Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results (273 pages)
- Andrews, Stephen E. and Nick Rennison — 100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels (205 pages)
Page count: 4470.
If there's one thing I enjoy more than reading books, it's reading about books.
(Okay, I admit there are a few other things I also enjoy more, but they don't quite make my point.)
I have lost track of how many hours I have spent on Amazon. Some days, my routine seems to be: wake up, go to work, spend lunch break reading about books on Amazon, go to rehearsal/performance/lesson, read about books on Amazon… oh shit, sleep! (That my Amazon Wish List — feel free to send goodies my way, if you're so disposed — is only
28 29 pages long is a minor miracle!)
So, when I discovered this little guide on Amazon for about a third the price of a normal book, I bought it (along with a companion in the series, 100 Must-Read Fantasy Novels).
Okay, so maybe 100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels wasn't meant to be read cover-to-cover. As I pointed out above, I'm a sucker for reading about books. And this book proved perfect for dipping into during a spare few minutes here and there. Plus, the foreword by Christopher Priest and the introduction by Stephen Andrews (explaining what makes a book SF (whether you take that to mean science fiction, speculative fiction, or structural fabulation — the authors prefer to refer to these books simply as SF) and giving a brief but interesting outline of the history of SF) made for fascinating reading.
100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels is not a "best of" list. It is meant to be a representative list covering all the bases. In several instances, the authors point out that a selection is perhaps not the featured author's best work but rather the work most representative of his or her oeuvre or perhaps of a specific sub-genre or theme. Most authors in 100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels get only one entry, but a few considered to be particularly important to the development of the genre (Asimov, Ballard, Bester, Bradbury, Dick, Heinlein, Le Guin, and Wells) get more. Each entry gives a brief, non-spoilerific synopsis of the book and explains what about the book or author is, to quote 100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels directly, "representative of [a] particular theme— [or] singularly important to the development of the genre." Each entry is followed by "Further Reading" suggestions and, where relevant, a list of movie and/or television adaptations, sequels, spin-offs, etc. Additionally, addenda are scattered throughout the book, providing information on awards winners, music inspired by SF, books on specific themes, and more.
I may have read 100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels cover to cover, but I anticipate I will be dipping back into it repeatedly for reading suggestions.