I've gotten all hung up on Terry Pratchett. If you hate fantasy, you won't like him, probably. But if you kind of like fantasy, and really like language, and like social insights and social commentary, I bet you'd love him.
Here's my favorite line from today's subway reading.
"Deep in the snow, in the middle of a windswept moorland, a small band of traeling librarians sat around their cooling stoe and wondered what to burn next.
"Tiffany had never been able to find out much about the librarians They were a bit like the wandering priests and teachers who went even into the smallest, loneliest villages to deliver those things--prayers, medicine, facts--that people could do without for weeks at a time but sometimes needed a lot of all at once."
from The Wintersmith, Chapter 7