Oh books! Fun! A couple of these are for younger readers, but they're really quite good. I'm an equal opportunity reader and will read any genre, though my favorites have some fantastical elements in them. I've marked all that I know to be part of a series. Some of the others have books written within the same universe, but it's not necessary to read all of them.
My handy little "Books I Love" list I keep for just this purpose:
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Contemporary Fantasy) (series)
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (Historical Fantasy) (series)
A Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka (Historical Fiction)
American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Urban Fantasy)
Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe (Young Adult, Fantasy Adventure)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Young Adult, Contemporary Fantasy) (series)
I Capture the Castle by Dodi Smith (Historical Fiction)
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (Time Travel Science Fiction)
Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver (Middle Grade, Fantasy Adventure)
Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb (High Fantasy)(series)
Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card (Science Fiction)(series)
Tam Lin by Pamela Dean (Contemporary Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling)
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan (Historical Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling)
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (Horror Fantasy, Fairy Tale)
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons (Historical Fiction)
The Child Thief by Brom (Horror Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling)
The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny (Science Fiction Fantasy)(series)
The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon (High Fantasy)
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (Fiction, historical elements)
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (Fiction, historical elements)
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (Middle Grades, Fantasy Adventure)(series)
The Girl With Glass Feet by Ali Shaw (Magical Realism)
The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist (Science Fiction Fantasy, Steampunk)
The Little Country by Charles de Lint (Urban Fantasy)
The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Contemporary Fantasy)(series)
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (High Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling)
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (High Fantasy)(series)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Historical Fantasy)
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Historical Fiction)
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx (Fiction)
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (Magical Realism, Fairy Tale)
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge (Science Fiction)(series)
The Wheel of Nuldoid by Russ Woody (Fantasy Adventure)
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Science Fiction, Steampunk)
The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston (Contemporary and Historical Fantasy)
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay (High Fantasy)
Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein (Time Travel Science Fiction)
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters (Historical Fiction)
Troll by Johanna Sinisalo (Magical Realism)
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (Gothic Horror)
If anyone has read and loved any of these, I wouldn't mind some recommendations either.
You should start with reading the rest of Sarah Waters' books, Fingersmith and The Night Watch are particularly good. I'd actually recommend most of the books I listed to you (especially Andrew Davidson's The Gargoyle, anything by Kate Atkinson and Joanna Harris' early books), as well as Audrey Niffenegger's Her Fearful Symmetry and The Time Traveler's Wife.
Originally Posted by redwoodfey
I just remembered a few more lovely books:
Carlos Ruiz Zafron - Everything, but start at the beginning ;)
Deborah Moggach - Seesaw
Diane Setterfield - Thirteenth Tale
Fransisco Goldman - Say Her Name (incredibly sad, it's the true story of how he fell in love with his wife and how she died)
Jonas Jonsson - The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climed Out of the Window and Disappeared
Julian Barnes - The Sense of an Ending
Madeleine Miller - The Song of Achilles
T.H. White - The Once and Future King
Can I just say we are a well-read bunch?
I wanted to recommend Julia Alvarez. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, which is semi-autobiographical fiction and In the Time of the Butterflies, which will make you love the name Minerva, and is semi-biographical historical fiction. It has also been made into a movie, which is not nearly as good as the book, but the movies hardly ever are. ;)
Wanted to second The Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. I actually read that one while lying on a beach in the Caribbean, so I can vouch for it being a beach read.
Didn't want to edit again- basically anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Isabel Allende.
I keep coming back to read suggestions and thinking of more to add! I'm still recovering from this one...but it's worth the read as long as you don't mind a good cry: The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.
For fantasy, I'd highly recommend the George RR Martin series, "A Song of Ice and Fire," if you haven't read it already. Anything by Robin Hobb is good too. "The Farseer Trilogy" is a good one to start with.
I love historical fiction too and I've recently gotten into the books by Sharon Kay Penman. I especially liked her Welsh Kings trilogy which starts with the book, "Here be Dragons."
It looks like you have gotten lots of other recommendations here! I hope some of this is helpful.
Even if you aren't into vampires, Dracula is a fantastic, suspenseful read. Also, The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux.
If you love Jane Austen, check out Evelina by Fanny Burney. She was a predecessor of Austen who influenced her writing, characters, and even the names she used.
I have a friend that gravitates to historic fiction that really enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl, Sister Queens, and similar books on the Tudor era that I cannot recall the names of at the moment.
i'm reading Cloud Atlas right now. The format is a bit quirky, and some of the stories are more fanciful than believable, but its very interesting. :)
Ooh I forgot Sarah's Key, by Tatiana De Rosnay. :)
Thanks! I have The Night Watch and The Thirteenth Tale, I'll bump them up my list a bit. :) I've read The Gargoyle, The Time Traveler's Wife, some Zafon, and The Once and Future King. Loved them all to bits. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who... sounds amazing!! That just shot up to the very top of my list. I used to read to the elderly at a retirement home and there was a woman who used to tell me her elaborate escape plans. She loved romance novels. Anyway, I'm excited for my next book shopping trip.
Originally Posted by ottilie