Favourite books

It's difficult, and somewhat arbitrary, to make a short list of favourite books. It would be even more difficult and arbitrary to list them in order of preference, so I haven't tried: these are in reverse chronological order. I've reviewed some of these books, and provided links to the reviews. See also short stories.

Science fiction

The Peshawar Lancers (SM Stirling, 2002)
Across realtime (Vernor Vinge, 1984-86)
The practice effect (David Brin, 1984)
The Ivanhoe gambit (Simon Hawke, 1984)
The mote in God's eye (Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle, 1974)
Patterns of chaos (Colin Kapp, 1972)
Celebrations: Star Well, The thurb revolution, Masque world (Alexei Panshin, 1968-69)
Babel-17 (Samuel R Delany, 1967)
World of ptavvs (Larry Niven, 1966)
The mind readers (Margery Allingham, 1965)
Lord Kalvan of otherwhen (H Beam Piper, 1965)
Time is the simplest thing (Clifford Simak, 1961)
Tiger! Tiger! (Alfred Bester, 1956)
Mission of gravity (Hal Clement, 1953)
The Foundation trilogy (Isaac Asimov, 1951-53)

Fantasy

The Eyre affair (Jasper Fforde, 2001)
Wizard's bane (Rick Cook, 1989)
Dirk Gently's holistic detective agency (Douglas Adams, 1987)
Lord Darcy (Randall Garrett, 1964-79)
Worlds apart (Richard Cowper, 1974)
The lord of the rings (JRR Tolkien, 1955)
All the Mowgli stories (Rudyard Kipling, 1895)

Historical fiction

The silver pigs (Lindsey Davis, 1989)
Crocodile on the sandbank (Elizabeth Peters, 1975)
The compleet Molesworth (Geoffrey Willans & Ronald Searle, 1953-58)
The commodore (CS Forester, 1945)
The picts and the martyrs (Arthur Ransome, 1942)
No bed for Bacon (Caryl Brahms & SJ Simon, 1941)
Sweet danger (Margery Allingham, 1933)
Stalky & Co. (Rudyard Kipling, 1899)
Arms and the man (George Bernard Shaw, 1894)

Non-fiction

Learning Python (Mark Lutz & David Ascher, 1999-2004)
Empire (Niall Ferguson, 2003)
Guns, germs and steel (Jared Diamond, 1997)
Food in history (Reay Tannahill, 1973, 1988)
Free to choose (Milton and Rose Friedman, 1979-80)
Jane Grigson's vegetable book (Jane Grigson, 1978-79)
The machinery of freedom (David Friedman, 1973-78)
My family and other animals (Gerald Durrell, 1956)