Back when I was starting my bachelor’s degree, I decided that I wanted a solid lists of books to read. I had always been a reader, but I’ve never really been able to just pick books at random. I liked having recommendations from friends and family, but as I got older I learned that my taste in books differed greatly from theirs. That left me in a bit of a bind.
I really liked science fiction at the time, and rarely read any other genre (I still haven’t branched out that much). I started looking online for recommendations based on books I really enjoyed. The first book I thought of was Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, so I typed it into a search engine, and while browsing through the results found that Card was the first author to ever win back-to-back both the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel. For some reason this really struck me. I wanted to know more about these awards. I looked them up on Wikipedia and found that these were exactly the types of books I wanted to read. I decided then to read every book that had won both awards.
At the time I started, there were about 14 or 15 joint winners. I have always been an introvert, so between classes I usually just found a quiet place to read. That meant, of course, a lot of reading time, and those 15 books didn’t last too long. I really enjoyed reading new authors and thoroughly enjoyed almost every book on that list. I needed more. I decided to start reading every winner of the Hugo award, not only that, but I would read an entire series if one of the books in it had won.
I finally had a huge list of books to work through. I didn’t care if I read the books in order, so I’d pick the 1974 winner (Rendezvous with Rama) and follow it up with the 1999 winner (To Say Nothing of the Dog). It was great. Not long after I started working on this list I started to branch out into fantasy. I had a friend in one of my classes that recommended the Wheel of Time series, and although I was skeptical of it (Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter were the only fantasies I had really read at that point), I liked the series and started reading it. That, of course led to other fantasy series and my progress through the Hugo winners slowed.
Fast forward to today, and there are currently 63 novels that have won the Hugo (not counting the 4 retro awards). I can proudly say that I am 1 book short of having completed my list, and that single book is the most recent addition. (I was really close to having completed the entire list, but I finished Among Others after the 2014 winner was announced) It’s nice to know that even once I finish this list, it will only be for a couple of months, then a new book will be added and I can finish my goal all over again.
I plan on writing my thoughts on some of these books on this site. I’ve definitely found some favorite authors through this endeavor, and am happy to share my thoughts with you.