I think the Riftwar Saga (just the original trilogy) by Raymond Feist and the Daughter of the Empire trilogy by Raymond Feist and Janny Wurts are awesome epic fantasy reads. 6 big books and an enthralling and intelligent adventure.
My list will dissolve into my favorites. Look up Hugo and Nebula award winners (and the nominated books) for more official best list.
- LOTR (of course)
- The Belgariad Saga by David Eddings (not great but very enjoyable)
- The Deed of Paksenarrion: A Novel by Elizabeth Moon (a favorite)
- War for the Oaks: A Novel - by Emma Bull
- The Dresden Files - by Jim Butcher
- Rhapsody, Prophecy, Destiny - by Elizabeth Haydon
- Stranger in a Strange Land - by Robert Heinlein (get the un-edited version published after his death)
- The Lyra Novels - by Patrica C Wrede (Magic exists but seems to cause as many problems as it solves).
- The Diskworld Novels - by Terry Pratchett (comedy but good)
- The Thursday Next series - by Jasper Fford (Trials of a Literary Detective)
(emphasis on the classics here)
- The Foundation Trilogy by Issac Asimov
- Ringworld by Arthur C Clark
- Dune by Frank Herbert
- The Man-Kzin Wars by Larry Niven
- The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold (Buy her book "Cyroburn" and get all her other works save 1 on a CD. You WILL thank me for this).
- The Gate to Women's Country - by Sherri S Tepper
- Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton
- When Gravity Fails - by George Alex Effinger
- Gateway (Heechee Saga) by Frederik Pohl
- Dragon's Egg - by Robert L Forward
- Far-Seer/the Quintaglio Ascension by Robert J. Sawyer (What if Dinosaurs evolved instead of monkeys?)
You might also go to YouTube and search for "Sword and Laser" This is a SciFi & Fantasy book club where they read these books, discuss them and mention a LOT of other books.