These are the books I'm most likely to recommend when you're just looking for something fun to read, but, you know, good.
  1. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
    Laugh out loud funny. Great main character. Everyone I've recommended this to loved it.
  2. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
    The second two books in the series are better, but you have to get started with the first book. And it is very good. I recommend this most to younger people, people who like fantasy, people who want a strong female character, and people who read YA. It's YA, but in a much more grownup way.
  3. The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett
    As well as his second book First Impressions (not a series, but similar style books). These books are both mysteries involving antique books. They feature bibliophile main characters surrounded by murder and mystery and trying to find the story behind antique books. The first book involves a Shakespeare mystery, the second Jane Austen. Great books!
  4. Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
    The main character of this book is old and going senile. She has trouble remembering things from one moment to the next. She's also trying to solve the mystery of her friend Elizabeth's disappearance as well as remember the story and clues of her sister's disappearance following WWII. Great book with great storytelling and characters.
  5. The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
    This is one of my favorite books. We meet the main character just after the close of his affair with a married woman. We see the relationship through flashback as the main character works his way through the mystery of his lover's current life.
  6. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
    This adventure, love story, historical fiction work is fast-paced and extremely fun. Its many sequels are just as good, placing Sir Percy in impossible to escape situations in his fight to save the French nobility. If you've never read this book, get ready for excellent characters, intrigue, a touch of romance, and adventure. A great book.
  7. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
    Because this book begins with a woman who actually knows how to handle antique books working in the Bodleian library on her research. Because modern vampires are what they probably would be - scientists (nobody suspects a thing when they work all night). Basically I thought, this character is a nerd. This author is actually a historian. This will be good. And, oh, it is.
  8. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
    This WWII story of two girls who crash into occupied France will have you fall in love with their friendship, the riveting plot, and the unique voices of the characters. It's a mystery that will convince you of one story and then flip it on its head. Brilliant.