Well, where do I start? I love so many different types of books I suppose I should list like a library.
Terry Pratchett. I have to list this author first, after my early teen years were spent reading general sci-fi/fantasy, I finally found a writer who wrote not just for escapism but somehow made me laugh out loud and subtley made me realise others thought the world was as stupid and marvellous as I did.
Of his books my stand out favourite is «Small Gods». I think it's quite clear his views on religion in this book. I like how the target is small minded mass belief as opposed to actual dieties themselves. Though I think we all recognise Om;). Please read it. I don't feel like explaining that believing is seeing and the loss of belief shrinks the object until it is no more than a voice on the wind. And turtles feature too.
A close second would be the city watch series, «Jingo», «Men at Arms», «Feet of Clay», «Guards! Guards!» and «The Fifth Elephant». Future titles suggest the city watch will be involved; «The Truth», «The Thief of Time». This latter is supposed to explain certain discrepancies in the series of .. more than 20 books.
The witches series come second as well as I can be like that.Of these I prefer «Lords and Ladies» for the dark side of folktales being revealed. Most of us forget what a terrifying world it was for our ancestors, not only physical dangers but the belief of evil forces ready to snatch you up at every turn that require special chants to keep at bay. Rather like childhood really.
Which brings me to «Hogfather», another second favourite, I have many of these. I should rather say Small Gods just pips the rest to the post for its very profound words on the human mind and its ability to block out every other person it should come in contact with.
«The Princess Bride» is a must read. It is rather more twisted than the movie, the humour much darker.
In the fantasy genre, two other authors I enjoy reading are Tom Colt and Robert Rankin. I base this on just one book per author, but am hunting out others of their ilk. Oh yes, they make me laugh too.
For pure fantasy, I have a very soft spot for «The Dark Angel» by Meredith Ann Pierce. A simply beautiful tale along the lines of the typical girl in thrall to an evil but appealing force. In this case one does not inwardly groan at the situation, but rather it's woven like a fairy tale with beauty and horror at its heart. I read it when I was 12 and pretty much once a year since then.
«Beauty» by Sheri Tepper is another fairly traditional fantasy. While I do not like the idea of being told all the most famous western fairy tales are from one source, when they are in fact so very very old that they appear in (nearly) every culture; I still find the book compulsive when I read it.
I'm fanatical about getting things right, so while in the past there was nothing I liked better than an historical romance, I found most were like too focused on bodice ripping than historical correctness.
But I do enjoy novels set in the past, «Gone With the Wind» is in my book shelves.
I have plays from «The Bacchae» to «Cosi», most of it is of course taken up by Shakespeare, but I do have some interesting plays from the age of Queen Anne written by women.
Saki is my favourite writer of the short story, but I have a collection of Russian short stories and a small tome containing the famous «Masque of the Red Death», «The Garden Party», «The Necklace» and co.
«Jane Eyre» is another once a year read, as with «Pride and Prejudice».
On the light end of this category I have «The Phantom of the Opera» (two english translations), «Trilby», «Dracula».
Well now here is a section too large, but basically books on:
Bored yet? I do like to read, and make sure I get a good hour in before I go to sleep each night;)