In my review of Assassin’s Apprentice I mentioned I’d mainly read historical fiction prior to being introduced to Science Fiction. If you want to be introduced to the genre, you could do no better than to read Leon Uris.
Want to know what happens when a narcissistic but hypnotic leader entrances a nation? Try QB VII (set in a courtroom, Queens Bench 7, where a libel suit is used as a vehicle to show the horrors of the concentration camps) or Mila 18 (an address in the WWII Warsaw Jewish ghetto). Want to learn how Israel started, from a Jewish view – read Exodus. From the Arab view, try the Haj. His book, Trinity, poignantly explained the North Ireland mess and is one of 5 or so books I’ve read twice.
But the book I enjoyed the most was his quasi auto-biographical tale “Battle Cry” –drawn from his experiences as a Marine in World War II (Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and New Zealand).
I read the books from age 13 on or so. And I still have them. Brian has noticed them them in our library and I think he’s ready to read them.