Need some recommendations, will read anything as long as its good.
Life of Pi. I love that book so much. The movie is coming out soon and I might actually go see it (I've seen one movie in the last 8 years). You could probably get a good teaser for what it's about by looking up the movie trailer. I was in France earlier this year and saw the 10th anniversary edition and nearly bought it but it wasn't in french. I figured if I'm in France and buying a book I already have I'd better buy it in a language that I don't have it in so that was a no sale.
Ender's Game is definitely my favorite in the science fiction department due to how cerebral some of the bigger developments in that book turn out. I can't remember whether the short story or the novel version is superior, but the story in both are the same and it's a great read.
If you want a really epic story in the setting of revolutionary 19th century France, I'd definitely suggest Les Misérables. Considering there's about to be another major film adaptation of it coming up, I'm even considering revisiting it. It might be a lot harder to get into than Ender's Game, though, considering its daunting length, but it's considered one of the best novels from the 19th Century.
Count of Monte Cristo
May be super main stream and fadish, but Songs of Fire and Ice
Enders Game (loved this book, though reading it again after 2007, I couldn't help but imagine Ender as Captain Shepard the whole time)
Gates of Fire
Spanish Civil War: 1936-1939
Gun, Germs and Steel
American Hertiage History of WWII
Basically I really like historical fiction, and I read a lot of non-fiction.
Kung Fu High School is a fun quick read. It's probably a 8th grade reading level book, but I go back to it on occasion.
The Dream of Perpetual Motion (Dexter Palmer) is an amazing take on the "human condition", whatever that means. Just know it's about failure, of human weakness in the time of steampunk machines. You won't be sorry.
I dont read that many books anymore but the best book i've ever read was The Count of Monte Cristo, a great and classic tale of vengence.
I also really liked A Brave New World . Since i want to start reading again i might take some of these suggestions to try to learn how to read again
In recent years I've loved The Reader and Never Let Me Go.
Is the movie The Reader based on the book?
Was going to ask the same thing. Weird because I just saw that movie.
Love it, probably my favourite McCarthy novel, although I still need to read the Border Trilogy.
Moby Dick. The writing is just so bombastically ingenius. Melville was pretty much showing off.
Bought a copy in July and still havn't got around to it lol, guess I'll start with that then.
Thanks for all the suggestions guys, should keep me busy, looking into them now.
Recently started reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and I'm loving it. Absolutely cannot put it down, and that's after watching 2 different adaptations of the book (both the films), and I can say with the utmost certainty that the book blows them away, but I guess that's usually the case.
I also recently picked up J.K. Rowling's new book, which I hope will be incredible (Harry Potter was a pretty big part of my childhood).
"Rendezvous With Rama" by Arthur C. Clarke is my favorite book. He can say so much with so little. I find his writing fantastic. Because he evolved as a legitimate scientist he has a brevity about him that many authors do not. Some find his style dry, but I love it. For a contrast, some of Stephen King's character introduction is so descriptive that it takes pages to begin and end. Clarke's character building is a page, maybe. Probably less. You don't need to how blue the character's eyes are most of the time. It's not laziness, or inability to describe properly. It is a function of masterful descriptive tactics that don't need pages upon pages.
Not saying I don't like some of King's work, though.
The Alchemist by Cohelo
Einstein's Dreams by Lightman
Heart of Darkness by Conrad
Hells Angels but Hunter S Thompson
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway
Catcher in the Rye by Salinger
The Shining by Stephen King
A Clockwork Orange by Burgess
Call of Cthulhu and other Stories by HP Lovecraft
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski is one of the best experimental novels I've ever read. It basically a Lovecraft story set in modern times. The main story line is about finding out that your house is bigger on the inside and the insanity that follows. It has a companion book the Whalestoe Letters that helps in understanding character motivations and setting and tone. The less I say story wise the better but seriously you all owe it to yourselves to read it.
And the Dark Tower series by Steven King it's dark fantasy at its best. Think if the knights of the round table were gunslingers of the old west presiding of a magical kingdom that's falling apart. It's quite good and the first book is short enough you can burn through it in about 2 or 3 hours.
Also The Dante club its a murder mystery set in the post cival war reconstruction period in the US staring Mark Twain and a large group of writers from the era translating La Divine Comedia into english for the first time and all of the sudden people start dying in the manor that people are punished in The inferno and they have to solve it. Its so great.
Can't really say that I have a favourite book, but you can't go wrong with Slaughterhouse Five or Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Of the books I've read this year, The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman or Neuromancer by William Gibson are all fantastic read's.
If you're in the mood for some page-turning urban fantasy books, I can also recommend the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. The most I was into urban fantasy before reading these was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the 1990s. :) Oh, and while the books proper are very good, I can also recommend the audiobooks read by James Marsters. Outstanding!
The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss are goddamn amazing.
The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser is probably the best written book I've ever read, but the English is super archaic and as a result it's incredibly laborious to read.
Anything by Cormac McCarthy.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (the sequels aren't worth reading)
Ender's Shadow also by Card (Parallel novel to Ender's Game, it's sequels are worth reading)
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
All that being said, you can't really go wrong with anything that anybody else has said
Count of Monte Cristo is a great romp. Nothing fancy or high minded, just a really well executed revenge story. Warning, very long and the author was paid by the word (probably) so expect the prose to be kinda thick.
Hyperion and Foundation are the two best sci-fi books I've read. Hyperion is more of an action movie with really well written characters, while Foundation is an exercise in world building.
Can't think of anything else off the top of my head.
Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky is probably my favorite novel of all time, but you have to parse a lot out since many of the translations are transliterations and not really successful. If you can find a good one (and it is seemingly random by publisher between the handful of them), that is a phenomenal book on all accounts.
@DiscoViking: War and Peace is a bloody slog. The First 500 pages are a slow paced, boring boringboring description of the life of Russian aristocracy in the early 19th century. It does pick up after Napoleon arrives, then the last few hundred pages are just Tolstoy's philosophical musings on the nature of history which are only sometimes moderately interesting.
Speaking of slogs, my favorite books of the past decade or two are Stephen Erikson's Malazan decalogy, (ten books, all over 1000 pages.) The whole thing is an awesome exercise in world-building, interesting characters and an EPIC plot. Not to be missed if you've an interest in epic fantasy, the ability to make coherence of an absurd number of parallel plot threads and the patience to get through over ten-thousand pages of it.
Christopher Hinz' Paratwa saga from the mid-late eighties is an underappreciated masterpiece of action sci-fi. It's also oddly the only thing the dude ever wrote.
Graham Swift's Waterland is perpetually popping up in my mind as being one of the best books I have ever read even though I can never really remember anything about it. It's also the only general fiction book I list here. Why read fiction when you could read SCIENCE fiction? (or fantasy's alright too I guess)
Asimov's first two robot novels: The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun are almost single-handedly responsible for turning me into the sci-fi junkie that I am today.
Orwell's 1984 and Wyndham's Chrysalids are two I had to read in high school that I come back to read periodically despite the latter's ending being horribly out of place, contrary to the rest of the book's message and nearly ruining the entire thing.
I read the Lord of the Rings a dozen times when I was younger, but not recently.
I really like Atlas Shrugged. It's long, but very interesting. I'd say more interesting than exciting, don't expect it to be a page turner. It's worth it though, especially if you enjoy the movies.
In the Plex (about Google) is rather interesting, as is The Accidental Billionaires (though it's not incredibly well written) which is the book The Social Network is based on.
As for biographies I loved iWoz (Steve Wozniak) and Steve Jobs.