I read all of the Temeraire books. I'd actually read the first three when we lived in Ohio (side note: Columbus has the best library system I've ever seen) but I'd forgotten them sufficiently to make it worthwhile to reread them. And I thought I remembered them being really quite good in a sea of horrible books. (I read like half the Laurel K. Hamilton books either right before or right after Temeraire.)
Temeraire is the Napoleonic War, with dragons. You're going to read that sentence and hate the idea or love it. I think they're amazingly good from Book 1 - I was captivated from the second chapter. Book 7 is about to come out, YAY! Rated buy.
Then I read Laura Crum's first novel, Cutter. It's reprinted on Kindle for .99, and she just got the second one out last week or so. She was all "oh you should read it but don't expect too much it was my very first book" - but she's wrong. It's quite good! Mysteries aren't my thing (unless it's also SF/F), but I really enjoyed Cutter. The pacing was a little slow - you could tell it was intended to be Book One of A Series, and she was introducing a lot of recurring characters - but the writing was crisp and it flowed really well. And such a charming look back in time, to the misty past of 1994 - the protagonist Gail carries a beeper! A beeper! how cute is that!
Endurance friends: Gail boards her horse with an e-rider, who will ring very true to you. She does, in fact, say shit like "Oh not a long ride, just 20 miles today." (I talked to my Dad tonight, and he asked if I had my big race tomorrow, and without even batting an eye I said "Oh no, it's just 20 miles tomorrow.")
The writing was solid, the mystery wasn't immediately obvious, the characters were strong - AND THE HORSES WERE REAL HORSES. I always get excited when there's a horse in a book, but almost always it's either a Magical Fairy-Tail Horse who reads your mind (figuratively or literally) or a prop, something that the character can leap upon and gallop for 20 miles. Before I got a horse, I knew that neither of those was accurate, and now I just grit my teeth about most horse appearances. But Laura, duh, has had horses her whole life, and her horses are just real horses. They do real horse stuff!
Definitely recommended. Book 2 just came out for Kindle (and remember, you can read them on the computer with the Kindle app, even if you don't have a physical Kindle) and it's next on the list. Rated buy (unless you really can't read them online, then you're stuck borrowing them, cause they're out of print.)
I think after that I read Transition by Iain M. Banks.
(I first read Banks' Culture series, last year, and L-O-V-E-D them. Are you on the liberal end of the political spectrum, a fan of space opera without the super-hard how the FTL travel system works details, and interested in the idea of a post-Singularity culture? You will love the Culture books! Read them in any order. If you aren't (or if you don't know what the hell any of that means), you may like them. They share the same universe (and occasionally, the same character appears more than once), but you don't need to read them in any particular order. I thought The Player of Games was rather approachable and a good starting point. Borrow, then buy your faves.)
Anyway, Transition was also good. Not Culture. Banks does Quantum Leap with many leapers. There's a bit of torture porn - one of the Bad Guys is a torturer, and it's a little too gruesome for me, but it's easy enough to skim his chapters. Quite enjoyable. Rated a strong borrow.
I think after that I read The Night Circus. My mom recommended it to me - it's, mmmmm, magical realism? Based loosely upon The Tempest. (Which I really should read one day - The Tempest is a really popular mythological framework, and I've read a bunch of books with Prospero/Miranda characters, but I've just never read the original.) I know a lot of yall aren't SF/F fans - this is a book anyone who likes fiction would like. It's just fun. I wasn't so captivated that I'd buy it - giving it a borrow.
Now I'm working on Entwined and Ruby Red. Aarene promises that Entwined is pretty good, and I normally love fairy-tale retellings, but it's a little too ~princessy~ for me, so I'm alternating with Ruby Red. RR is a time-travel novel - I read the blurb about it on the Unshelved Book Club. I get a lot of "I should look for that" book ideas from Unshelved - good comic, great resource. Anyway, I put in an order for it back in October when I read that, and its time has come!
I shall update with more books no later than May.