The holidays are here, and now it's time to say our thanks.
I'm thankful for each of these books for different reasons. They aren't all favorites per se, but have all made a positive impact on me.
Danse Macabre, Stephen King
This one got me into genre-specific reference books and pointed me towards several books that became favorites. I may never have discovered Harlan Ellison were it not for this, and that would've sucked.
Early Autumn, Robert B. Parker
This was the first Spenser novel I read, at my mother's request. After this, PI novels became one of my go-to subgenres and Spenser one of my favorite PI's. This one also had many solid lessons on how to be an adult male, something I needed at the time. It holds up, too.
Devil in a Blue Dress, Walter Mosley
Another PI novel, but this one showed me that genre fiction was super-flexible and able to tackle almost any theme or issue. It also introduced me to another favorite author and series.
Guilty Pleasures, Laurell K Hamilton
I'm not a fan of this series anymore, but this book introduced me (and may others) to the Urban Fantasy genre, which was one of my faves for years. I liked the first few (heavy on the horror, light on the sex) best, and walked away when the series became, essentially, Erotica. Still, this one had a tremendous impact on my own reading as well as the industry as a whole.
Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin
I'm not caught up with the series (got tired after binging the first three), nor have I watched much of the show, but this book got me back into traditional fantasy and introduced many to GrimDark. I will come back to these... eventually.
The Great Movies, Roger Ebert
These books introduced me to many, umm, great movies while giving me new perspective on many I'd already seen. Ebert has shaped how I watch and think about films, and his beautiful prose helped me see what criticism should be.
A Song for Arbonne, Guy Gavriel Kay
A very literary semi-historical stand-alone that introduced me to one of my new favorite authors. It also had an effect on what I look for in fantasy. It's awesome, and not even Kay's best.