Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Sendak uses the language like a paint brush and paints a bold picture of an angry child's imagination. The illustrations are gloriously unrestrained. It's been my favorite for years.
Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice. In this novel, fifth in the series of her vampire chronicles, Rice brings her beloved Lestat in contact with God and the Devil which leads him to define for himself what is good, what is evil and the true essence of having a soul. Inspiring, yet at times very dark, this book questions the natural order of the universe and asks you to question your beliefs as you watch God and the Devil try to recruit Lestat to their cause. All the Vampire Chronicles are excellent but this is, by far, the best!
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Originally written as a young adult novel, the story of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen will appeal to any fantasy reader who enjoys a good vampire fiction with a touch of humor and teenage angst.
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. One woman's search for the mysteries of her father's life brings her face to face with the legendary Dracula. It's a long, enthralling read that keeps you guessing. A definite page turner!
Timeline by Michael Crichton. A group of archaeologist use modern technology to go back in time to save a friend, without understanding the dangers involved. There was a movie adapted from the book, but it certainly didn't do justice to the original plot. After all, time travel, sword fights, history and science. What more could you want in a novel?
The Belgariad by David Eddings. This series of novels tell the story of a band of adventurers out to save the world from the wrath of a vengeful god. Excellently written fantasy that doesn't take its self too seriously. A good, light read that I keep coming back to time and again. I've recommended the series to a lot of people, and most came back raving about how they enjoyed it. It's especially good for young adults who enjoy fantasy.
Try these other staff recommendations:
Auel, Jean Clan of the Cave Bear et al
Dai, Sijie Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Lemony Snicket series
Murakami, Haruki After the Quake
Rice, Anne Memnoch the Devil
Barker, Nicola Wide Open
Krusoe, Jim Iceland
Murakami, Haruki The Wind-up Bird Chronicle
Tartt, Donna The Little Friend
Wesley, Mary A Sensible Life
Clark, Martin The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living
Edgerton, Clyde Raney
anything by John Grisham
Guterson, Dan Snow Falling on Cedars
Steinbeck, John The Grapes of Wrath
Amis, Kingsley Lucky Jim
Capote, Truman Other Voices, Other Rooms
Shute, Nevil On the Beach
Tartt, Donna The Little Friend
Trumbo, Dalton Johnny Got His Gun
Divakaruni, Chita Banerjee The Mistress of Spices
Staples, Suzanne Fisher Shabanu
Gaiman, Neil American Gods
Carroll, Lewis Alice in Wonderland
Spinelli, Jerry Stargirl
Abu-Jaber, Diana The Language of Baklava
Berendt, John City of Fallen Angels
Dobson, Joanne Quieter Than Sleep
Fowler, Karen Joy The Jane Austen Book Club
Kandel, Susan I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason
Seierstad, Asne The Bookseller of Kabul
Southworth, E.D.E.N. The Hidden Hand or Capitola the Madcap