If you read my profile here, you'll see that when I'm not being kept awake by opera, I'm often reading. I'm always looking for something good to read so feel free to post comments with recommendations. But for now, I have a few of my own.
This first is actually a trilogy - no, not Lord of the Rings, although I do recommend that also - but in this case it's Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials. The books are The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. It's marketed to teenagers, and two of the main characters are 13 years old or so, but really it's a great story for adults as well. I reread them often. The story is great and it gives you a lot to think about.
Next, I HIGHLY recommend The Lies of Locke Lamora. I couldn't put it down.
Then if you're in the mood for some comedy, go with Terry Pratchett's The Wee Free Men. Silly silly stuff and a fun story. I seem to recall reading another book of his with the same main character. Could be a sequel - I can't remember at the mo.
Finally, another series that I just loved was the Thursday Next books, by Jasper Fforde. Books play a big part in this. It's like... a meta-book. And also very silly, in a very smart way.
So click the links to read about the books.
Hmm I just realized that all the recommendations have plots about and/or take place in alternate universes. Wishful thinking?
Ok, back to the music. I'm listening to a live performance of Nozze right now, from Arizona Opera. Jason F was in it, remember him? So anyone who's reading this entry on Saturday, 3:00ish Eastern Time, click over and listen.