As a fairly voracious reader (three to five novels a week, if not more), I frequently find myself looking for something 'new' to read. To that end, I thought people could share book recommendations / their favorite books, maybe with a blurb about each. If this ends up largely self-serving, I'm good with that. I want recommendations for ME first and foremost.
But to get, sometimes you have to give first.
(Some of the) Best Books I've Ever Read: * The Watchers, by Dean Koontz. This is my litmus test. If anyone reads this and doesn't love it, they clearly have no soul. * The Name of the Wind / The Wise Man's Fear - The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss. This is an incredible saga, unfinished though it still is to this point. It's the epitome of the fantasy genre in my mind. I'm dearly awaiting Book 3, but have read these two many, many times. * 14, by Peter Clines. There's good horror (Steven King), but then there's a pure thriller. That's what 14 is. Most books have a series of plot or thematic climbs and falls. You build to a miniature peak, then come back down, only to rise to the next peak. This book doesn't do that. It's a steady, steep climb farther than you'd think was possible. * The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher. Noir fantasy with a fantastic sense of humor, action in spades, fantastic characters that develop over time... I can't say enough good things about this series. * The Nightlord Books, by Garon Whited. Realistic journal-style approach to a Vampire story, crossed with the sort of world-building that you might expect out of a Grand Strategy Game. (Incredibly) long novels, each of them, and they get a bit tedious in parts, but it's a fascinating journey all the same. * The Hellequin Chronicles, by Steve McHugh. The first book is NOT how the series goes. It's a one-off, with a completely different self-contained approach from the rest of the series. But it's a great storyline all the same. I'd summarize, but it would ruin the first book if I gave anything away. Suffice it to say: Great action, entertaining magic system, political intrigue (of sorts), believable bad guys and drama. Good reads. * Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. If you haven't read this, you should. It's fantastically funny, smart, witty, crass, crude, irreverent, silly, tender, and an incredible amount of fun. It's a light(ish) read, and make sure you get a version that includes the footnotes. * The King's Dark Tidings series, by Kel Kade (AKA the Rezkin books). These have a serious problem with suspension of disbelief. The basic premise they ask you to swallow right up front is very, VERY hard to stomach. Once you choke it down, though, these are fantastically entertaining books. There's so much backhanded humor woven into the interactions between the main character and his companions that it's a joy to read, and re-read. The action scenes are all fun, and there's a fairly strong plot rolling through the series. As I said, though, that initial premise sticks in the craw at first. * The Super Powereds series, by Drew Hayes. This is a series of books set in a world where super heroes are real. A character-driven series, this is a relentlessly entertaining read. Genuine good guys and bad guys, betrayal, tragedy, and a setup where almost NOTHING is what it seems. Currently re-reading these, and enjoying them more than I did the first time through, which is saying something.
Note about the above: Clearly I prefer series to standalone novels. This is largely because I read so much. It's comforting to have a whole series waiting on me when I start out. I prefer fantasy, but not too serious fantasy (No George RR Martin for me). I like action, I prefer a male protagonist, humor is a good thing, as is sexuality if it's not too overstated.
My biggest preference, though, is characters acting TOTALLY believably to an incredibly unbelievable scenario. 14 is a great example of that. Events spiral way (WAY) out of control, but the people involved react exactly how "real" people would. I'm a sucker for that above almost all else.
Also of note: I listen to almost everything I 'read' as an audiobook. If you recommend something that isn't available on Audible (or elsewhere) as an audiobook, it might get added to my list, but my physical reading of books is much slower than what I listen to (and there's a decent queue of them already).
So, if you're willing, post up some of your favorites, maybe with a blurb about what drew you to them. Maybe we can help each other find a new favorite book/series!