These are my top ten. Not anyone else's. And they aren't new novels necessarily. I've been working on my 11th grade AmLit class, which I will be teaching in less than a month, and thought I would have them find out what the top fiction/nonfiction some reader they know has read/been influenced by.
I tried to write a list of only 10 fiction works that influenced me. That was hard. Some I loved but they didn't influence me, etc.
This is a list of the ten fiction works I have read most often in the last 12 months. (I re-read books if I like them.) Here they are, in no particular order:
Goddess by Mistake by P.C. Cast: This book has such an authentic voice! It's told in the first person from an English teacher from Oklahoma who gets sucked into a parallel universe. Fascinating stuff.
I Dare by Miller and Lee is the latest in their Liaden Universe series. I've read this book ten or more times and it still makes me catch my breath. It's the last though. The first are Pilot's Choice (a dual prequel) and Partners in Necessity (the original three). I've read Pilot's Choice a lot and Conflict of Honors, which is in Partners several times as well. Also a wonderful book is Plan B, which comes after Partners and before I Dare. (I guess I should count this as four since it's at least four in the new pubs.)
The Apocalypse Troll by David Weber from Baen is a wonderful book. My brother, a big Weber fan, didn't like it. I think it started slowly, but then it got really good. Of course, it helped that I read it after Sept 11, 2001 because the idea of an attack on the US was much more real. It's a scifi that starts out in space and ends up in the US in 2008. This is not his Honor Harrington series, for fans of that.
Her Majesty's Wizard by Christopher Stasheff is a fun book. Geocities review says that it is typical of the genre and reminiscent of Dickson's The Dragon and the George and someone else's Spellbinder. I just loved it for the realism of the Catholic belief system. I'm not Catholic, but the theology in here is the way they thought it was. It has interesting implications in the story.
The Dragon, The Earl, and the Troll by Gordon Dickson is a great book. I love this story. It's in the middle of his series which starts with The Dragon and the George, but this book is so poignant. You meet a troll's human daughter. Anarchism returns to trolldom. Christmas is a 12 day feast in which incredible things happen. It's a great book.
The Deed of Paksenarrionby Elizabeth Moon through Baen is a trilogy. (Okay, so I'm cheating again.) The first book is the story of a young sheepfarmer's daughter becoming a good mercenary soldier. Book 2 is the story of her advanced studies and her capture and fall from grace. I cried my head off, got out of bed at 2 am, and went to start the third book. I don't re-read book 2. However, book one is great and so is Oath of Gold, book 3. There's torture and bad stuff in it, but the purpose for it is there, visible, and Paks believes in it. She sees it, so you see it. It is a wonderful story of redemption. “Even in the worst of times despair is still the work of evil.” is one of my favorite lines in the whole book. In all books.
Okay, I said ten and I've already really pushed that by including trilogies which were republished in single volumes. Now I have to decide what the last is going to be. I'm thinking of McCaffrey's Pegasus series or Brockmann's Team Sixteen series or Lackey's whole Valdemar series.
But I think I'll go with Rick Cook's Wiz series. It's also been re-published in single volume, so I get more books that way. Okay, as far as I can find The Wiz Biz is book one and the Wiz Biz II is Cursed and Consulted. Anyway, it's the story of a computer programmer pulled by magic to another world. He needs to save the world to get the girl. Then he needs to save the girl. It's a great series. It is even better if you are a programmer or know one well enough to get the jokes.