In a discussion board at Rings of Orbis, people are posting lists of their favorite books. This is what I posted.
Oh boy o' boy! This is going to be tough. I'm sure a different night the list would be slightly different. To keep things more simple: I'm not including non-fiction. I am also avoiding putting anything I read most recently to avoid proximity bias.
In no particular order (keep the list to 10 was hard enough):
1. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
The epic and classic story of keeping one's independence and integrity in the face of peer, social, and career pressure.
2. Early Autumn by Robert B Parker
I love all of Parker's Spenser novels (some of the older citizens may remember Spenser for Hire from the 80s). This one is my favorite because Spenser is the most explicit about his philosophy of life.
3. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
A classic. Loved it as a teenager, and really identified with Holden. As an adult, Holden seems more immature and in need of some growing up, but I still love it.
4. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
An early Sci-fi classic. A story that has stuck in my imagination since I was kid.
5. The Maltese Falcon By Dashiell Hammett
My favorite genre is the detective novel (with sci-fi a close second!). Hammett's classic is just plain fantastic. If you like the Bogart movie, the novel is so much better.
6. Dennis Lehane's Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro Novels
I couldn't decide which one was my favorite, but I love the series. Darker and more realistic than Spenser.
7. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
One exception to my rule of not including recent reads. This is, I guess, an instant classic for me. I make the exception for two reasons: 1) it's fantastic and 2) I should have read it years ago.
8. Asimov's Foundation series
I loved it as a young teenager--but haven't read it in years so I often wonder if I would still like it. But I devoured the series in my tweens.
9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling.
Loved the whole series (Check out my Harry Potter and Philosophy on Amazon), but this one was my favorite.
10. The Counterlife by Philip Roth
This book is so interesting and weird, plus I've read it several times and still haven't quite figured it all out.
I'm working on a non-fiction list and will post it at some point.