If I could choose only 10 books to keep, 10 books to drag to a deserted island, these are the ones that would be nestled beside me. In no particular order:
1. The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn. This may be cheating, starting out this list with a trilogy, but it's my list and I can do what I want. Often called the pinnacle of Star Wars writing, these books by Timothy Zahn kicked off the Star Wars expanded universe and captured the spirit of Star Wars while allowing the characters to grow and change. Not to mention, Zahn single-handedly created numerous fan favorite characters - Grand Admiral Thrawn, Paelleon, Talon Karrde, and we can't forget Mara Jade.
2. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I think this trilogy is more justified as Tolkien considered them one book with multiple parts, not a trilogy. I've adored LOTR; I read Fellowship three times and it is by far my favorite book of the three.
3. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. This is not a particularly easy book to "get into"; I've had to read it three times in order to really wrap my head around this massive world. But I love it. It's beautiful, so painfully beautiful. Each time I read it, I want to cry as I near the end.
4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. This book, recommended to me by a wonderful Goodreads friend, exploded into my life and captivated me. I read this in a whirlwind 3 days, even amidst traveling for work. A great read for the 80's child.
5. Redshirts by John Scalzi. I'm not really a Star Trek fan, but I adored all the nudge-nudge, wink-winks in this book. Oh, yeah, and all the awesome commentary on what it means to be a good writer.
6. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. There are a few books in your life that you read and while they aren't necessarily the best books style-wise, they just hit all the right chords. That is this book to me. I just had such a great time reading this. It was fun and smart and clever and interesting. No, it's not the best book in the world, but while I read it, I was transported away. A shame that the sequels don't appear as good as this one, at least if my friends' reviews are any indication.
7. Steal the Dragon by Patricia Briggs. Another book like "Poison Study", one that grabs you and refuses to let you go, one in which you get to be the main character and have adventures. These are some of my favorite types of books, to be honest.
8. Angelfall by Susan Ee. This book redeemed the entire dystopian genre for me. It was smart, it had a great cast, it had sexual tension. I know angel books get bad raps because they tend to be bad, but I think this bucks the trend.
9. Darkhouse by Karina Halle. I found out about this book after the author/reviewer blowout. As it was a free ebook, I thought it would be harmless enough to read. Little did I know how deeply I would connect with Perry Palomino. She was about my age, lived in Portland, and started out in a humdrum job. While the book itself was a bit rough around the edges and cliched in places, the character interactions were what drew me in and refused to let me go.
10. TIE: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan or Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. One is a futuristic retelling of Romeo and Juliet, the other is classic scifi, both are immense fun to read. Honestly, I'd have a hard time figuring out which one would head off to my deserted island with me.
So there you have it! What are your top reads? What books could you not leave without?