Top Ten Science Fiction Novels I Love to Re-Read

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Since I’m in a mild panic busy studying for my Pediatric Advance Life Support (PALS) certification, I decided I’d share a list of the top ten science fiction novels I love to re-read. I am deliberately excluding pure fantasy from this list.  Now, making this list was not easy.  There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of books to choose from.  Yes, I’ve read a lot of science fiction.

Trying to narrow the list down to ten I learned a couple of things.  I’ve read a lot of what is considered classic science fiction, but there’s an awful lot that I’ve not read.  I’ve read many of the Nebula and Hugo award winners, but not nearly all of them.  And there are books that I like for specific reasons such as I love the characters, or the world, or the emotional feel of the book.  However, when push came to shove, some of the books are on my list because they spoke to me.  Sometimes, when I’m not burning a hole in my brain otherwise occupied, I may write lists of books with great characters, books with worlds and settings that felt real to me, or books that gave me a huge emotional payoff.  But today’s list is of favorites, in no particular order, but books I have and will read again and again because I want to.

The Top Ten Science Fiction Novels I Love to Re-read

Dune by Frank Herbert

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Downbelow Station by CJ Cherryh

Pride of Chanur by CJ Cherryh

Dawn by Octavia Butler

The Watchers by Dean Koontz

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Coma by Robin Cook

Any of the Tom Swift books (and I make no apologies!)

So that’s my top ten science fiction novels that I love to re-read.  And if you study those books, I’m guessing you’ll learn a little more about me.  But enough of that.

What about you?  You can choose any genre you like, but limit your list to just one genre or sub-genre.

What are your top ten favorite books to read? 


  1. Lynette,
    I’m impressed to learn you’re preparing for your PALS certification and are working in a field that demands so much of your energy and emotions. Whew!

    Lots of books “speak to me,” (love that expression!) and I have keepers, but I’m not big on rereading. One major exception: after 9/11 I reread Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ THIS HEART OF MINE ten or so times. It served as my escape and refuge from reality.

    1. Thanks, Pat. The day job does require a little more than just the hours I’m at work. That can make it difficult to keep the blog going, but I’m finding one day a week works for me right now.

      I find it interesting that you don’t reread many books. Do you rewatch movies?

      Oooh. This Heart of Mine is on my TBR list now!

  2. I’m with Pat, Lynette. I love anything by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, but my absolute favorite is What I Did For Love.

    BTW, Dune was the first sci-fi book I ever read. Loved it!

    1. Wow. Now I really have to read something by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Thanks, Sheila.

      Dune is one of my books that I’ll probably have to buy another copy because it’s been read or paged through for favorite passages so many times. πŸ™‚

  3. Good luck for your PALS. And thanks for sharing your SF list! It’s true – every so often there’s a book that just strikes that chord. For me, straight sci-fi I can re-read includes:
    1. Robert Heinlein – Have Spacesuit, Will Travel
    2. Arthur C. Clarke – Rendezvous with Rama
    3. Robert Heinlein – Starman Jones
    4. Robert Heinlein – Space Family Stone
    5. Arthur C. Clarke – A Fall of Moondust
    6. Isaac Asimov – The Robots of Dawn
    7. Isaac Asimov – Foundation and Earth
    8. Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle – The Mote in God’s Eye
    9. E. E. ‘Doc’ Smith – Spacehounds of IPC (it’s classic dieselpunk cheese)

    There are numerous others. I read ‘Flowers for Algernon’ many years ago, also watched the movie adaptation. Never got into Dune, it just didn’t appeal. I read non-SF too. And, of course, “the” book that can always stand re-reading, but which probably classes more as fantasy – or epic legend – is The Lord of The Rings. I liked it even before they made the movie around where I’m living! πŸ™‚

    1. Matthew, welcome! Oooh, number 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7 are books I considered for my list as well. I read Mote, it was an okay read, but for me, forgettable. I have not read Doc Smith. It’s on my TBR list, though. If I had included non-SF, my list would be miles long! Thanks for sharing your list.

  4. Clearly Lynette, I am not a science fiction reader. The only author that is familiar to me on your list is Ray Bradbury. Unlike some people, if I’ve enjoyed a book, I will re-read it. Especially if the writer is good with craft, I will immediately re-read the book. I like to see if I can get inside the author’s head and see why and how they laid out the story. Wow Lynette, you have a lot going on. That PALS certificate sounds like a pretty intense study. I wish you the best with that. πŸ™‚

    1. I completely get what you’re saying, Karen. I re-read for pleasure, but I also re-read for craft.

      Yes, PALS is intense. I’m actually re-certifying – doesn’t make it any easier, but at least I know what to expect.

      Thanks for your good wishes and for stopping by.

  5. Wonderful list, Lynette. I’ve only read the Dune and Coma but CJ Cherryh’s other books have been a pleasure. My to-read list just expanded, thanks to you πŸ™‚

    My top 7 re-reads have been:
    1. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
    2. The Emily series by L.M. Montgomery
    3. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    4. Children of the Earth series by Jean Auel (The Clan of the Cave Bear etc.)
    5. Outlander by Diane Gabaldon (time travel novel set to 1700s Scotland)
    6. Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (epic fantasy)
    7. Belgarion and Mallorean series by David Eddings (epic fantasy)

    The common factor is that I read most of these as a teenager. The two fantasy series have lost some of their shine but the rest I still love.

    1. Fantastic list, Reetta. Gone with the Wind is definitely on my list, too. And Several others are one my list to be read. I read one of Jean Auel’s and one of Diane Gabaldon years ago but I never got back to those, though they are on my list.

      Thanks for sharing your list.

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