I'm shaking my head at Neil Gaiman over here- to be fair, I haven't read American Gods, or rather, I think I read like one page and shoved it back on the shelf at Thackeray's disgusted. To say the least, I'm NOT a Gaiman fan.
Not big on the Hemingway/Fitzgerald either- I struggled through Gatsby a couple years ago because a friend of mine gushed about it. I hate, hate, HATED that stupid book.
Now, on to the positives-
Brian beat me to the Guide- even if you're not a sci-fi person, the entire series is great. It's fairly light reading, and very intelligent satire at the same time.
I haven't read much Stephen King, but what I have read has hooked me, and while he's primarily a story-teller, I find some meat to his work as well. The Shining is one of my favorite books, period. The Bachman books are very good, albeit dark and violent. And the Stand is good insofar as long, involved novels go.
One really good book I read a few years ago is Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz. Normally, I'm not a big fan of his, but that book floored me with its originality, and amazingly enough, its optimism. Now, I'm going on about a 4-year-old memory- maybe it wouldn't hold up so well- but I loved it.
Try memoirs. I really liked Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt- it has a nice, witty tone along with a harrowing story- told with just enough good humor. If you want to know about being poor, read this book.
I just finished The World According to Garp. Very good.
Oh, and I really like Kurt Vonnegut. Slaughter-House Five is neat, very innovative- Breakfast of Champions is a little easier to follow, and just as original and fun. (BTW, does anybody know his son's name, or the name of the book his son wrote about cracking up? It's been on my to-read list for a while, but I've got these obvious hindrances..)
Hope I could be of help.