According to Goodreads I’ve read over 200 books in the past 5 years. Without a doubt, that’s more books than I read in my previous 30 years even including books for school. Hell, it’s probably more than double.
As I’ve read more, I’ve been better at figuring out what I take pleasure in reading versus the books I’ve simply enjoyed (or not enjoyed at all). When I started reading, I’d pick up anything that Goodreads predicted I’d like based on my love of Douglas Adams. But that first year I couldn’t help notice how almost every novel suggested to me was written by a straight cis white dude. So I made an effort to find writers with different identities.
I’ve definitely found my tastes have strayed away from most straight cis white authors, but I wonder if my favourites–the books I loved so much in 2015 or 2016–would still hold up now that I’ve read so much more? So I thought this year instead of reading all new-to-me books, I’d put half my reading goal into revisiting the top 26 books I loved most.
To make it possible to have a single list, I’ve limited the list to stand-alone fiction novels. So no books from a series; I could do another list of 25+ if I included those (Wayward Children? Ring? THE BROKEN EARTH?!?). They’re listed roughly in order, starting with what I think was my most favourite.
My favourite stand-alone fiction novels:
- The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (1955, science fiction)
- Island of Doctor Moreau by HG Wells (1896, science fiction)
- The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost (2016, horror/mystery)
- Bow Grip by Ivan Coyote (2006, fiction)
- Version Control by Dexter Palmer (2016, science fiction)
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (2011, fantasy/romance)
- Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice (2018, thriller/dystopian fiction)
- The Tiger Flu by Larissa Lai (2018, science fiction/thriller/dystopian fiction)
- Edge by Kōji Suzuki (2011, science fiction/horror)
- Spanish Fly by William Ferguson (2007, historical fiction)
- The Drowning Girl by Caitlín Kiernan (2012, science fiction/horror)
- Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi (2018, fiction)
- Middlegame by Seanan McGuire (2019, science fiction)
- Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D Jackson (2018, mystery/thriller)
- Viscera by Gabrielle Squailia (2016, fantasy)
- Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (2005, fantasy)
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (2014, science fiction/dystopian fiction)
- All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai (2017, science fiction)
- Small Beauty by jia qing wilson-yang (2016, fiction)
- After Dark by Haruki Murakami (2007, fiction)
- Every Anxious Wave by Mo Daviau (2016, science fiction/romance)
- Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai (2002, science fiction)
- The Summer We Got Free by Mia McKenzie (2012, fiction)
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman (2001, fantasy/horror)
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (1970, fiction)
- Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson (2018, fiction)