Becky Chambers$17.99 $16.55
This is the first book in the four-book series Wayfarer's series, which won a Hugo award for Best Series. It has great characters and a richly developed world.
Lois McMaster Bujold$16.00 $14.72
This is the first in the Vorkosigan Saga. This series has over 20 novels, with a few novellas as well. Begin with either Shards of Honor or The Warrior's Apprentice. (These two novels are also the first books in the omnibus editions Cordelia's Honor and Young Miles.) The same main characters run all through the novels, and they develop in wonderful ways. Miles has a disability in a world that shuns and shames people with disabilities. He compensates with a fierce intelligence and absolutely manic adventures, which include hilarious and heart-rending interactions with his clone. The books are moving, fast-paced, exciting, thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud funny at times.
Lois McMaster Bujold$14.99 $13.79
This is the first in The Five Gods series. This series has three novels. There is also a series of 8 novellas if you prefer short books, beginning with Penric's Demon. Full disclosure: the five gods are the Mother, the Father, the Daughter, the Son, and the Bastard.
Lois McMaster Bujold$25.00 $23.00
This is the omnibus edition of the first three Penric novellas. There is also an omnibus edition of the next three novellas called Penric's Travels.
James S. A. Corey$16.99 $15.63
This the first in The Expanse series. This series is scheduled to have 9 volumes, and 8 are already published. Let us hope this world lasts long enough for the last one to be published. The books are way, way, way better than the TV series, by the way. The books are big and long and the characters develop wonderfully. Full disclosure: the inflection point is an extremely dangerous virus that turns people into vomit zombies. I never thought I would read a vomit zombie book. But these books are absolutely amazing and progress far beyond that.
John Scalzi$8.99 $8.27
This 6 book series and the first book share the same name. These are very funny and also sad books about a future in which some Earth dwellers can join the Colonial Defense Forces in space when they turn 75. This is very appealing because they get new and enhanced bodies when they volunteer! They have a great time rediscovering the joys of youth for a couple of weeks until they have to start participating in the endless wars with aliens and other humans. These books are rather violent, but they question why we behave so violently and whether there is any remedy.
John Scalzi$9.99 $9.19
This is the first book in the Interdependency series. This three book series is now complete. It is also very funny, even though the world faces a possible end event. Full disclosure: One character drops a lot of F-bombs throughout.
Sheri S. Tepper$23.00
This is the last book in the Grass trilogy.
T. H. White$9.99 $9.19
The Once and Future King is a long four-part novel that explores the life of King Arthur. It begins with The Sword in the Stone, a wonderful story of Arthur's boyhood and the training Merlyn gives him by transforming him into many different creatures. I return over and over to this section, which can stand alone if the later parts get too dark.
T. H. White$7.99 $7.35
The Book of Merlyn returns to the characters in The Once and Future King. It was intended by White to be the concluding section of the book, but its anti-war sentiments were perhaps too strong for the publisher to agree to in the WWII era. White incorporated some of the material into The Sword in the Stone when he realized this section would not be included in the larger book. This part was published posthumously, and is definitely worth reading.
C. S. Lewis$16.00 $14.72
The Space Trilogy consists of Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. This trilogy was written in the dark days before and during WWII. Lewis draws on a rich vein of English literature in these books about Mars, Venus, and our own planet in a cosmic struggle between good and evil.
J. R. R. Tolkien$16.99 $15.63
The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy beginning with The Fellowship of the Ring and continuing with The Two Towers and The Return of the King. A perennial favorite. In my opinion, the only thing the movies got right were the Orcs.
Connie Willis$18.00 $16.56
Blackout and All Clear are two connected books about time travel for Oxford history students of the future. They go to back to research the Blitz in WWII—and can't get out. An excellent book with the same basic premise is The Doomsday Book, in which a young woman travels back to 14th century England and endures an outbreak of the plague. Another interconnected book but with a lighter ambience is To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last.
Connie Willis$17.00 $15.64
The sequel to Blackout.