Books: recommended reading
I've read a decent amount of books so far, and there are a few I'd like to highlight. I'm sure I've mentioned them before, but that's beside the point.
First of all, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende is a true masterpiece. If you've seen the movies you've seen the worst book rape accomplished by Hollywood in known history. Forget the movies, but read the book. It, like most 'childrens books' is really much more of a book for adults. Its an adventure of intraspection quite unlike anything else
The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien may well seem like an obvious choice, but now that the rather excellent Peter Jackson movies have been made I suspect fewer people are inclined to actually read the books. You should. Nothing beats experiencing a book through your own imagination, and besides that, not everything in the books made it into the movies.
The Moomin books by Tove Jansson are really books for adults disguised as childrens books. Unlike Ende's books I mentioned earlier some of the Moomin books are not childrens books at all. Don't be fooled by the mangarific animated Moomin television series, the books have a completely different ambience: Subtly dark yet somehow optimistic.
Patrick Süskind's Perfume: The Story of a Murderer was recently made into a movie, but I really, really, really recommend the book. From what I've understood the movie is rather fateful to the book, but no movie can capture the essence of a book as good as Perfume. Just take my word for it.
Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder is really philosophy introduction course masquerading as an offbeat mystery novel. It is, however, so well written that it's definetly worth a read, especially if you're not familiar with philosophy. Unlike course text books, this is actually fun reading.
I'm sure I could mention many more works of interest. Jules Verne's works have a special place in my heart, for they were my 'meat and potatoes' -reading when I started reading books willingly. There is lots of good stuff out there, but the ones mentioned above I'd call classics in one way or the other.