- GunsGermsAndSteel by Jared Diamond (Global human history in ~500 pgs, complete with plausible explanation of why contemporary global power balance is the way it is. Touches upon chaos theory a wee bit, too.)
- The DiscWorld? series by TerryPratchett? (aka Pterry)
- GoodOmens? by TerryPratchett? and NeilGaiman?
- The Last Unicorn, A Fine and Private Place, and The Folk of the Air, by Peter S. Beagle. The Last Unicorn is an excellent fairy tale. It has a more modern presentation than the Brothers Grimm, but it's not a fairy tale turned inside-out in the same way that, say, TerryPrachett? is. It's just a fairy tale with a unicorn stuck through it.
- The Hyperion series by Dan Simmons (Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion, Endymion, The Rise of Endymion), especially the first two.
- When Eight Bells Toll by Alistair MacLean?. It's not deep or literary, but very well written nonetheless (if possibly a bit cliched).
- Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks. Like a lot of Banks' stuff, the overall plot is a little shaky, but the dialogue and other writing is top-notch.
- The Dark Is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper
- Anything by Patricia Wrede, especially the Enchanted Forest Chronicles
- The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane (So You Want to be a Wizard, Deep Wizardry, High Wizardry, A Wizard Abroad)
- The Last Herald-Mage trilogy by Mercedes Lackey. And everything else she's written. Especially Brightly Burning.
- The Nightrunner Series by Lynn Flewelling
- Anything by Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters (if you go for "chick flicks," anyway)
- The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (I read the first book anyway -- the writing and the plot were totally awesome, but I hated all the characters. If you don't mind reading about characters you can't stand, go for it.)
- Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, and, surprisingly enough, the companion novel Ender's Shadow. And everything else he's ever written. Especially Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus.
- the Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster? Bujold the first of which is "Shards of Honor" *
- The Sword Of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. Unlike the Wheel Of Time series, it doesn't degrade in later books, and each book is fairly self-contained. The philosophy gets a little heavy in the latest book, but it's still worth the read. I'd agree that the quality of writing may actually improve as the series goes on, but I had some issues with the fourth book. I haven't read the fifth yet...
- A Canticle For Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. Post-apocalyptic story of the reemergence, growth, and second decline of civilization.
- Raymond E. Feist... starting with the Riftwar Saga ("Magician: Apprentice" through "Darkness at Sethanon"), then "Prince of the Blood" and "King's Buccaneer", then into the Serpentwat Saga ("Shadow of a Dark Queen" through "Shards of a Broken Crown"). He's written other books that continue in the same universe, like the Empire books and the three Krondor books based off of the computer games, but those are optional. I brought all of those books with me this summer and found several people instantly addicted to them. If you want to borrow, just come find me and ask -- NateCappallo
- And yes, it is definitely worth sticking it out through Silverthorn (which I thought was sub-par)... A Darkness At Sethanon is much better. --AndrewSchoonmaker
- The Mote in God's Eye, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. A classic science-fiction work about man's first contact with an alien race. The Gripping Hand, the sequel, has some neat bits but on the whole feels a bit wrong (not to mention that the first few chapters seem to serve no visible purpose but to justify the preview passage in the copy of TMiGE? that I have...)
- The Incarnations of Immortality series, and the first handful of the Xanth books, but definitely no more than that, by Piers Anthony.
- Almost anything by Timothy Zahn. Especially Spinneret and his Star Wars stuff.
- The "The Dresden Files" series, by Jim Butcher. Simultaneously a great gripping fantasy series and absolutely hysterious parody of the genre. Think the Harry Potter world, but the main character is an adult, a private detective and a total smart-ass.
- Dragon's Egg and sequels, by Robert L. Forward.
- The Adolescence of P-1, by Thomas J. Ryan
- Anything by Steven Pinker.
- Matilda by Roald Dahl, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. Yes, these are kids books. They were some of my favorites when I was 6, and they still are today. Another kids' author: anything by Louis Sachar.
- Anything by Dave Barry, that isn't a novel.
Since it's going to be approximately the size of this page, I'm just going to make EvilSouthiesGoodBooks.
Seconding EvilSouthie s move on this. I added a couple books to the above list and am now making further recomendations at KLGoodBooks. Work in Progress. Cheers!
Also, CurtisVinson has squirreled away a fair number of reviews at his namesake page:
Note: Books for loan - BookCollection (in the spirit of MovieCollection)
Further Notes: ShmackBooks EastLibrary STanBookNotes ScienceFictionBookList BookSale MuddTextBooks