Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
One of my favourite books of all time. Kind of what you might call an urban fantasy. "THERE was a white horse, on a quiet winter morning when snow covered the streets gently and was not deep, and the sky was swept with vibrant stars, except in the east, where dawn was beginning in a light blue flood."
My Antonia by Willa Cather
One of the great books by one of the great writers of American fiction, in my opinion. Embodies much of what help build this country. Check out the Amazon listing http://www.amazon.com/My-Antonia-Willa-Cather/dp/1438242905/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261255765&sr=1-1
Pebble In the Sky by Isaac Asimov
The is SF giant Asimov's first novel. I've never read it, but have always been curious about it. How can you go wrong with Asimov?
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Armageddon has never been so funny. This book actually made me laugh out loud; not something that happens often.
The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
One of the few Dickens novels I have never read. With the degree in English, I couldn't pass up listing a classic.
Jude The Obscure by Thomas Hardy
OK, make that two classics. Hardy's masterpiece, in my opinion. Also his last book, thanks to the small-minded critics of his day who condemned the novel out-of-hand due to it being a bit too realistic for Victorian society. It is a masterful novel, though not a light, happy read by any stretch.