Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Linkity-Link: Fantasy Reading Lists

Posted by Jennifer Baylor at The Writing Cocoon.  
Filed under "The Sunday Paper: SFF Links"

Everyone says that to be a good writer, you have to be a great reader. As it happens, I've always loved to read. I've read so many books, I can't keep track of what I have and have not read.

However, this is not to say that I couldn't use a good reading list or two, or that my reading is sufficiently varied. Like everyone (presumably), I get into reading ruts.

I'm particularly bad about finding new authors of the up-and-coming sort, usually being the last person to read that new book everyone is raving about. What can I say, I like authors who have been out for a while and thoroughly vetted, like, say Dickens or Shakespeare. 

I'm only kidding. Sort of.

So, I went digging through the Internet, looking for some inspiring fantasy novel reading lists and came up with the links, below. I may go through and compile my own master list, and if I do, I'll add it to the blog.

The Best of 2012 and Most Anticipated in 2013 

 From io9: Their best sf&f books of 2012. At the bottom of the article are links to their lists for previous years. I haven't read a single book on this list, but I have read some of the authors. 

This site has a list of the "most anticipated fantasy books of 2013." Some very interesting looking offerings. I don't think I've read any of the authors on this list, so definitely will be checking out at least a few of these titles.

Fantasy Books Every Author Should Read

Again, from io9, their list of ten books every fantasy author should read is here. I've read a couple of these, and some are reference books for fantasy fans and authors rather than novels. Reference books for fantasy authors - that's a whole other post.

This list of books for fantasy authors comes from Viable Paradise and has contributions from some well loved authors. It also has a link at the bottom to suggested non-fiction for the fantasy author or fan.

Another page I came across here, has a list of the twenty best fantasy writers, ever, from Mania.com. I've read a lot of these, so you probably have, too. Still, it is worth a look. I'm not sure I agree that some of these authors are in the top twenty, but I haven't read others on the list, so what do I know?

Fantasy Books Written by Women

Here is a great list of eleven books by female fantasy authors from a great little site I used to read (she no longer posts, but the blog is still there). I have read quite a few of these books and authors and it is a good list.

Over at Worlds Without End, they have a Women of Genre Fiction challenge starting, which asks that you write reviews of what you read. I've signed up and started to read my first book (science fiction, though). Still, they have a lot of reading lists you can peruse with plenty of fantasy books.

Other Fantasy Novel Reading Lists

I've been writing a lot of urban fantasy (and reading, too), so here's a little list I found of the best urban fantasy at Best Fantasy Books. Actually, this site has a lot of fantasy reading lists at your disposal.

Back in 2011, NPR compiled this list of their readers' top 100 science fiction and fantasy books. A good list to gauge how well-read you are compared to your average speculative fiction fan. 

Finally, there is this list from a blog of the same name: 101 fantasy challenge book list. If you click through the tabs, there is a mammoth list of 813 fantasy books compiled from a reader poll conducted by several book bloggers. Just in case these other lists leave you with spare time in 2013. 

Okay - who's got some good links or reading lists?


  1. Hey Jennifer!

    I found your site through Google+! I love the lists and I have read a lot of these book also. I am glad that the Top 20 list had both Brooks and Eddings. I often think that they are overlooked when it comes to epic fantasy.

    1. Hi Erin,

      Yes! I read your first book review. I'm loving Google+ for finding new book/writing friends.

      I admit I haven't read Eddings, and I only vaguely remember reading one or two of Brooks Shannara trilogy (though I can't remember anything about it). Thanks for recommending them - it is hard to choose from all of these books.

      I honestly don't know how I'm going to read all the books I'm adding to my reading list.

  2. Thanks for posting the list links. For as much as I've read over the years, it always irks me how many great books I still haven't found the time to read yet. Will have to bump a few of these up on my list.

    1. No problem and thanks for commenting. I'm a pretty fast reader, but the reading list just keeps getting longer. After this little list compiling exercise, I've realized I still have a lot of authors to explore. This year, I'm just trying to break out of my "comfort zone" and pick some new sub-genres and/or authors.