I almost blogged yesterday. I was this close. Oh well.
So, my favorite book, eh? My canned answer (as in, the one I tell myself is true for ease of answering such a question) is Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. And it's a great book, don't get me wrong. But I read it years ago; I think when I was a college freshman. I've read a lot of great books since then, and there were plenty of lovely ones before. Middlesex is deep and kind of heavy, but still I love it. It's about hermaphrodism, incest, sexuality, and acceptance. It's a coming of age story. And yes, it was an Oprah Book Club choice (I'm okay with that).
Another great book is The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Yeah, it's about a guy who can time-travel, but it's not a scifi. It's a drama and a romance. It's about what it's like to love someone who uncontrollably disappears sometimes, and lives his life out of order. It's sweet and tragic.
Poster for the recent movie, which I thought was enjoyable.
But I don't just like books that are kind of a bummer. And I don't just like books that are considered 'literature'. I like popular fiction, too. I don't really buy into the distinction. I mean, sure, there's a difference in the writing styles, but I don't think that you should bother with making yourself 'look good' by only reading 'literature'. I will read anything, as long as it's halfway decent or at least entertaining. I do follow the practice of ditching a book if I'm not into it by 50 pages (not a hard and fast rule - I've quit books after 100 pages or even halfway through). The latest book I've stopped reading was Atonement by Ian McEwan.
So, some other stuff I like: the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett (hilarious satirical fantasy), From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz (good thriller), anything by Neil Gaiman (invariably fantasy, sometimes a bit creepy), The Stand by Stephen King (a huge apocalyptic novel), Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (great fantasy with some romance thrown in), the Harry Potter series, and Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (awesome techy scifi).
There you go! A sampling of some of my favorite books! I think you should just read whatever suits your fancy. Even if it's Twilight, because yeah, it was addictive.