•The City, The City by China Mieville
Longtime bookie @CarolJago says: "[This book] is a truly terrifying tale of one geographical city that is shared by two populations that are invisible to one another. Sound like a familiar nightmare? A compelling, powerful novel. I couldn't put it down." by John Kennedy Toole
Set in New Orleans, A Confederacy of Dunces is about an eccentric 30 year old man's comedic quest for employment.
•The Maltese Falcon by Dashielle Hammett
The father of the private-eye genre, The Maltese Falcon is about a detective who's hired by a mysterious woman and soon finds his partner dead.
•Travels With Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski
A Polish reporter goes to to China, Iran, India, and Congo with his one companion: a copy of Histories by the ancient Greek thinker Herodotus.
•Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Mankind itself is imperiled (something of a theme in the sci-f genre) in this 1985 novel by Scott Card, who wrote the short story that Ender's Game is based on while working at BYU Press. The games in this book are serious indeed, as Scott Ender must employ all the tactical brilliance at his command to defeat the Formics, an alien race of giant ants.
•Decisive Moments in History by Stefan Zweig
Austrian writer Stefan Zweig was remarkably prolific: Over the course of his career, which spanned the first four decades of the 20th century, he wrote more than a dozen novels, three plays, and several historical works. Decisive Moments is a work of nonfiction, a selection of 14 historical miniatures describing turning points in civilization.