Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists of other bloggers who participate!

top ten tues flowers

June 7: Ten Reasons I Love Xcould be a certain book, character, author, your indie bookstore, a fandom, a tv show, reading, a hobby, a genre. Honestly anything you want to gush about.

I’m picking two genres and two decades–where most of my serious love of reading was born–1960s and 70s science fiction and fantasy. Because the classics are wonderful.

spell for chameleon

1. A Spell for Chameleon; Piers Anthony. These books tend to be pretty child friendly, which is good, because I read them as a kid–the Xanth series, for example, has some truly terrible puns, a great magic system, and a varied cast of characters.

last unicorn

2. The Last Unicorn; Peter Beagle. And okay, they can have more than a bit of a heartbreak, but it’s usually a beautiful one, and that makes it better.

princess bride

3. The Princess Bride; William Goldman. Nothing can’t be fixed with some sword fighting, witty banter, and maybe a princess, right?

stainless steel rat

4. A Stainless Steel Rat is Born; Harry Harrison. I found more than my share of clever rogues–and even better, rogues who work for the greater good (sometimes voluntarily, sometimes they need some help.)

Stranger in a Strange Land

5. Stranger in a Strange Land; Robert Heinlein. Some of the science fiction is heavier on the science, and much of it is really thought-provoking, so you get something out of it even after years of re-reads.

Wrinkle in Time

6. A Wrinkle in Time; Madeline L’Engle. “Wild nights are my glory.” Who wouldn’t love the great atmosphere you get by mixing the real world with some fictional dangers? And it’s fun to see some abilities you wish you had.

dragonsongship who sang

7. Dragonsong, Ship Who Sang; Anne McCaffrey. And sometimes scifi and fantasy blur, like a colony world forgotten by technology–with dragons! Dragons are a great part of fantasy for sure. And on the scifi side, the idea that with technology, we can do things we’ve only dreamed of…


8. Beauty; Robin McKinley. I’m more than a little obsessed with the way you can take an old story and tilt it just a little into the weird, which both genres embrace.

witch world

9. Witch World; Andre Norton. And nothing does worlds full of magic, heroes, and villains better!


10. Slaughter-House Five; Kurt Vonnegut. Sometimes it’s dark, sometimes it’s funny… often it’s both.

There’s such a flexibility to scifi/fantasy, a way to embrace old stories with new facades, to focus on characters by putting them in unfamiliar settings, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want magic/robots, unicorns/aliens, and far-flung and exciting worlds?


About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

12 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    Very cool list — I approve! I’ve read most of them, and several are my faves, too. Princess Bride, Stainless Steel Rat, McCaffrey, Norton … even Stranger in a Strange Land, although looking I can’t see what I saw in it.

    • SiaSL is weird–or should I say strange?–but I like it. On the other hand, I can’t defend many of my childhood faves beyond “I just love it.”
      There’s something about the books you read when you’re younger that stick with you, I think.

  2. tiareleine says:

    I loved A Wrinkle in Time and Slaughterhouse-Five! And I really need to get around to reading The Princess Bride. I’ve seen the movie a few times, and enjoyed it, so I think it’s probably time to read the book.

    Great list! 🙂

  3. Jamie Wu says:

    These books are really classics! I haven’t read any of them, but I’ve heard a lot about them. Definitely going to check them out. A little sad about what happened to Peter Beagle though.

  4. I loved The Last Unicorn!

  5. At first I was thinking I was going to learn of a lot of great books. And I did! But I was surprised by how many of these I have read and loved as a kid! The Last Unicorn, A Wrinkle in Time, Princess Bride–all classics! And all books I need to revisit. Thanks for sharing and stopping by my TTT earlier 🙂

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