And since I have nothing better to write, here's my *revised* list of SF&F Mainstream Reading List and SF&F Alternative Reading List on books that I've read (yes, there a several other books that should be here but since I haven't read them...).
SF&F Mainstream Reading List
1) Shannara series by Terry Brooks
- Hey, it's the series that got me into fantasy. The first book's a Tolkien-clone but the rest of the books get better as the series progresses.
2) Belgariad and Mallorean by David Eddings
- If there was a fantasy book(s) I'd give to non-SF&F readers to make them interested, this would be it.
3) Dark Elf series by R. A. Salvatore
- Heroic and dynamic characters makes this series intriguing. And a dark elf too!
4) Dragonlance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
- Heroes, anti-heroes, villains, and dragons. It's a world not too dark nor too bright. The only thing that keeps this series from being good is the fact that it's merchandise-driven that prevents the series from having a real closure.
5) Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
- Epic fantasy that utilizes Arthurian lore. Lots of characters, tons of villains, and a couple of insane men and women.
6) Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
- There's nothing more tragic than a child training for war...
7) Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlen
- The movie is TOTALLY different from the novel. And trust me, if you think science-fiction is all about escapism and has no relation with reality, think again. And it's a Filipino protagonist to boot!
8) Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton
- Buffy is nothing compared to Anita Blake. Lots of action, lots of romance, and a couple of sexy vampires and werewolves.
9) Pern series by Anne McCaffrey
- Perhaps nothing best showcases the thin line between fantasy and science fiction. Strong female protagonists and an enemy like no other makes this series an interesting read.
10) Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.
- The first book would be ideal for someone who's not familiar with the genre. However, I'm not too happy with the succeeding books though.
SF&F Alternative Reading List
1) Song of Fire and Ice series by George R. R. Martin
- Epic fantasy that succeeds where Robert Jordan fails: keeping the reader's attention span.
2) Dune series by Frank Herbert
- These standalone novels are intriguing and shows you what politics is all about. One of SF's greatest books!
3) His Dark Matters trilogy by Philp Pullman
- This is the kind of book I want my children to read. And it has depth that keeps adults and children alike interested and challenged.
4) Foundation series by Isaac Asimov
- It's all about second-guessing your opponent. Asimov's twist and turns will provide clean enjoyment for the reader, and while it lacks violence, it certainly doesn't lack action.
5) Empire series by Janny Wurts and Raymond E. Feist
- It's a feudal system where the female protagonist must struggle against her enemies, her government, and eventually herself.
6) Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny
- A fantasy novel that has mystery, betrayal, and intrigue so much so that you keep guessing until the very end.
7) American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- With all this talk about fantasy, let's bring the genre to a modern setting and examine America's pantheon... or lack of it.
8) Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
- It's the end of the world in a way you've never seen it.
9) Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson
- You don't know what an anti-hero is until you've read Donaldson. And if you think the setting is dark, wait 'til you reach the end.
10) Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
- Fantasy satire at its best! Need I say more?