Since I’ve been reading more lately, I’ve been getting nostalgic for the favorite books of my youth, which is why I’ve been going through the Orson Scott Card library again in part. When I was a kid, there was an easy way to tell my favorites. I had a waterbed, and the headboard had a bunch of open space that I figured could hold books (er, and Nintendo games). The center section could hold about a dozen books neatly, so these were my most frequently read books. The rest got tossed in my old toy box, until I got around to re-reading them too. I did a LOT of reading.
I’ll try and put down what books were permanent fixtures in that spot below, though it’s a bit of a movig target – a book could get bumped if I found something better. Really though, the core books stayed, and are still ones that I re-read whenever the mood strikes me. And I have time.
- Ender’s Game (Amazon/Barnes and Noble), Orson Scott Card
- Speaker for the Dead (AMZN/BN), Orson Scott Card
I can’t really separate these two books from each other, they will always remain linked together. If there are books that would be nailed to the top 2 spots on a top 10 of my favorite books, it’s these two. The only problem is I can never decide which I like better. If you are not familar with them, these books follow Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin, a boy genius who is being groomed from 6 years old to command Earth’s fleets in a final battle against insectoid aliens, and then later, he must help protect another species of alien from certain death while mending a broken but brilliant family whose knowledge of the aliens’ biology is the key to everything.
I don’t want to go into any more detail than that, lest I spoil things, but seriously, if you like science fiction AT ALL, and haven’t read these two books, GET THEM.
I was a big military nerd growing up, thanks to my dad being in the Navy, and I devoured this book. A portrayal of World War 3 starting in the lat 80s over oil, it rang true of what modern war would be like, with real tactics being used. Many of the characters reminded me of people I met through my dad, furthering the realism to me. It also helped that one of my favorite computer games was based on one of the story lines in the book.
These books did nothing less than revitalize my interest in Star Wars for years to come. Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command built up my hopes for new Star Wars movies, more content, creating great new characters, adding a ton of stuff that has worked it’s way into other books, movies, the Star Wars video games, everywhere. That our hopes were crushed with the big flat rock called The Phantom Menace should not stop you from reading these books. Just know that the timelines presented for events here are quite different, as there hadn’t been any established for the Clone Wars at the time.
Once I owned these books (or took them from my brother, in the case of the OSC books), they were permanent fixtures. Any spots beyond these were normally filled with my favorite Star Trek novels, mostly by Peter David. What are your favorites?