Thanks for resurrecting this thread, Mat. I hadn't realised it was here.
I'm a bit of a bookworm and have read quite a few of those already mentioned - and put together a shopping list containing others I haven't read!
I really agree about Contact. A most excellent book that didn't receive the treatment it deserved. Joanne Harris' Chocolat was also butchered in the movie studio.
My all-time favourites would have to be Lord of the Rings, which I've read regularly since childhood, and Pride and Prejudice (I've had a crush on Mr Darcy since my early teens!).
I'm currently reading Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye and enjoying her writing style very much.
I'm lucky enough to work near a bargain-basement book shop that encourages me to read all sorts of things as the books are soooo cheap. Recent favourites include Treasure Island and Kidnapped which I didn't read as a child because they were deemed to be boys' books!