Since there're many science fiction recommendations here, I'd like to add something tangential yet critical to this list. My recommendation is not even a book, in fact. It's Bertrand Russell's "The Study of Mathematics" published in The New Quarterly in 1907. I've been reading this piece for a while now in relation to my work on objectivity and the inter-subjective. Russell here talks of the "purpose" or "value" of mathematics. To him, all its applications are crucial, but the prime value of mathematics is beauty. Formal education, he complains, and rightly so, prevents the young from realizing the aesthetic aspects of the discipline. We need only think of how mathematicians refer to some theorems and proofs as "elegant," "beautiful." Besides, the mathematical imagination is also deeply aesthetic. The number 1 for instance is both infinitely divisible and a whole in itself, a most basic unit that, strangely enough, contains infinity. My professors are also roping some of us in for outreach projects to talk about the difference between arithmetic and math at schools. After the pandemic is done with, that is.
Personally, it bugs me that when people say math, they mostly mean arithmetic. The latter is a fundamental aspect of math. It is almost inevitably involved in higher mathematical processes and functions, but being good at arithmetic doesn't mean one will be good at math in its entirety. Similarly, if arithmetic is not all that easy for you, it does not follow that math will also be difficult. This conflation is largely responsible for our lukewarm attitude toward the discipline. Beyond arithmetic, math involves plenty of reasoning and ideally conscious reasoning--that is, being able to tell what you're doing with a problem when you're solving it. The inductive vs. deductive reasoning angle is typically very fruitful in terms of helping one understand and appreciate math better.
If anybody's got related readings and recommendations please please do post here and let me know! Stay safe, guys!
Anything Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Fall of Gondolin, etc. Tolkiens name should speak for itself!
The Saxon Stories/Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell - Historical fiction book series about the viking invasions of Britain and how the last Saxon kingdom of Wessex stood against them. This is also a Netflix series too.
Clash of the Eagles by Alan Smale - Historical fiction book set in an alternate timeline where the Roman Empire were the ones who discovered the Americas or as they call it Nova Hesperia.
The Witcher series starting with the short stories in The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski - Since the Witcher games and the Netflix series, his books have took off again and worth a read if you're into it.
Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, etc by Dan Brown - Wonderful thriller series with his books also being made into movies starring Tom Hanks.
If you're into to some non fiction reading then I've recently read these which were interesting reads;
The Last Fighting Tommy by Harry Patch - Biohrapghy of Harry Patch's life and war experience, he became the last living British solider(Tommy) who fought in the trenches in World War 1. He was born in 1898(that's not a typo) but unfortunately passed away in 2009.
Dinosaurs Rediscovered by Michael J. Benton - This book explores what has been discovered in the world of palaeontology and how palaeontologists figure all this stuff out and they have discovered so much more than what we knew back when people began to fall in love with Jurassic Park.
Permanent Record by Edward Snowden - Autobiography about Edward Snowden life and time at the CIA and NSA and his motivations for leaking high classified information.
Not a book but it takes about the same amount of time, I just finished listening to Everywhere at the End of Time by The Caretaker.
Equally beautiful and devastating.
EDIT: I was thinking about it more today and decided I would flesh this out a bit more, all six "stages" have a run time of just over 6 and a half hours. The youtube upload describes it as such "Everywhere at the end of time was a series exploring dementia, its advancement and its totality." It's essentially old big band music that progressively gets more distorted and confused until all that's left is noise. In the beginning it has a real joyful quality to it, something like nostalgia, but as it goes on it gets more sinister and more confused, by the end it's downright terrifying and lonely. I think the best way to experience it is listening to the whole thing at once, I had to take breaks but it was all I could think about while I wasn't listening to it.
I'm not scared of dying in the end but I am scared of losing everything I am, becoming entirely hollow, forgetting everything I know and drifting in an abyss of nothingness until my body gives out.
Well that got a bit dark, but honestly strongly recommended.