I haven't posted in awhile, mostly because I was thinking of this exact post. It started off with me writing a legal pad books I would recommend to people, or have recommended, until it was so long I had to break it down into genre. Then breaking it down into genre I gave a detailed paragraph of why I recommended it.
All in all, what started off as a fun blog post became more work, and not the fun kind of work writing a novel might be. So here is, straight off the top of the dome as no kids are saying ever, my go-to book recommendations that first come to mind in order of which I say most often.
To readers, these may seem obvious but most of the people who ask me for recommendations are non-reader and/or looking to become readers. I tried to limit to one book per author.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey
The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks
Embassytown by China Mieville
Dune by Frank Herbert
Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
Since I used to be a huge comic book nerd, I have a choice select comic books/ graphic novels that I recommend as well in same order of how often I recommend them.
Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War by Geoff Johns
Planetary by Warren Ellis
Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis
Green Lantern: Rebirth by Geoff Johns
Kingdom Come by Grant Morrison
Sandman by Neil Gaiman
The Killing Joke by Alan Moore
The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke
Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
Watchmen by Alan Moore
Gotham Central by Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker
Planet Hulk by Greg Pak
100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello