The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
I know that LOTR borders closer to the “classic” label than not, which means that it shouldn’t be on my list. But seriously, how can I not include Lord of the Rings?
Peter Jackson did a great job with the films and I have watched all three of them about half a dozen times (directors cut, of course), but as is almost always the case, the movies cannot truly capture the written word, even with over 11 hours of running time.
I’ve only read LOTR twice, with the last time being over 10 years ago, so I’m due for another tour of Middle Earth. It’s a very long book, and yes, those Elvish songs can sometimes feel like hurdles testing your patience, but if you can devote the time and embrace your inner Sheldon, you’ll see what all the fuss is about.
(also: The Hobbit, Chronicles of Narnia)