The Ultimate Hickhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams has been a favorite ever since I happened upon Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as a teenager. Within these pages lie whimsy and adventure - a mix of quick wit and serious thought. Some of my favorite quotes come from this collection, and my only regret is Adams untimely demise.
Not since, on my journey of hundreds of books, have I ever found one that captured and stayed with me so completely.
Although difficult to synopsize, the tales that await you span a galaxy of imagination. There is a restaurant at the end of the universe for weary travelers; There are dolphins who take leave of Earth with foreboding. A plethora of characters dance around each other on a quest to find the meaning of it all (don't be disappointed with the answer to that by the way).
As science fiction Hitchhiker's is no doubt a classic. Space travel, aliens, and futuristic technology bend the mind in a way not common when this was released. I am still hard-pressed to find a series or novel to hold a candle. Happy reading, and don't forget your towel!