For those who want to know what the books were…
Roger Zelazny, Nine Princes in Amber. The first and best of the Amber series — read the first five, ignore the next five. Trust me on that.
Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale If I have a favourite book, this is it. Wonderful, rich storytelling, beautiful word-paintings, and an absolutely delightful set of characters. I buy used copies of this book whenever I find them, and give them away to people.
Jody Lynn Nye, Mythology 101 Undergraduate Kevin Doyle finds elves living in the library. Whimsical and fun. There are at least 3 sequels.
Emma Bull, War for the Oaks A masterpiece.
Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere My first exposure to this story was seeing some rough cut reels of the TV series that the novel is adapated from (also by Gaiman). I’ve still never seen the whole finished series, though I’m told it will be out on DVD this summer.
Robert X. Cringely, Accidental Empires Ok, cheating slightly, as this is non-fiction, but it’s as engrossing as any novel, and sheds a lot of light on why the computer industry is what it is today.
Tom Deitz, The Gryphon King I read this novel shortly after moving to Athens, GA, where it is set. Still my favourite of Deitz’s novels.
Larry Niven, The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton I’m not sure if this was the first Niven I read, but it’s long been one of my favourites. Niven talked in an essay about the difficulty of doing honest sf-mystery, but he pulls it off with flair in these stories.
Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird I don’t think I could find words to adequately sum up this book. It’s easily one of the most powerful books I’ve read, and affected me as a teenager more than anything else I was assigned to read. If you’ve never read it, run, don’t walk to the library.
Pamela Dean, Tam Lin I have a thing for fantasies set in the real world, it seems. (I could have also included Brad Strickland’s Moon Dreams on this list, but my copy has gone missing). Dean’s novel is stunning on many levels, and each time I read it, I find something else new in it.
So that’s the ten. Go find the ones you’ve never read and read them. I recommend them all.