When I was a teenager, every time I read an exceptionally good book, I would exclaim, "That makes my best books list!" So, eventually, I really did start a Best Books List, and soon the highest praise I could give a book was to call it a "lister" or "near lister." The original list has long since been misplaced, and most of the books have ended up simply noted in my journal as a lister. As you can imagine, it's a massive project to go through over 25 years of journals to create an actual list, but it's a "someday" goal of mine. For now I will start with the first books that come to mind, and edit/update the list as I find/remember/read more. I have a rather arbitrary way of deciding how a book rates. Obviously 5 stars (* * * * *) is a lister. Four stars (* * * *) is usually a lister, but sometimes a near lister. (I also keep a list of "honorable mentions" that don't quite make the cut but are still worthy of mention.) Three stars (* * *) is either not a lister or a near lister, depending. I read very few books that fall below three stars, because I firmly believe life is too short to read a lousy book. Anyway, this is starting with the first listers that come to mind...
  • The Sword of Shannara (Terry Brooks)
    • Have to give special mention to the book that sparked my love of fantasy!
  • The Elfstones of Shannara (Terry Brooks)
  • The Wishsong of Shannara (Terry Brooks)
  • Danger in the Shadows (Dee Henderson)
  • The Negotiator (Dee Henderson)
  • The Truth Seeker (Dee Henderson)
  • The Protector (Dee Henderson)
  • The Healer (Dee Henderson)
  • The Rescuer (Dee Henderson)
  • Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers)
    • This book defies description. It's technically a historical inspirational romance, but it's more--way more!
  • Shadow Moon (George Lucas and Chris Claremont)
  • Shadow Dawn (George Lucas and Chris Claremont)
  • Shadow Star (George Lucas and Chris Claremont)
  • Cordelia's Honor (Lois McMaster Bujold)
    • Previously published in two volumes as Shards of Honor and Barrayar.