Carleton's stepfather, Tom, has a habit of occasionally coming in and tossing a book to me saying "this is good, you should read this." I don't mind it at all, as my need for leisure reading since graduating has been somewhat gluttonous, I'm always on the search for new books to consume.
The most recent one has been The Unschooled Wizard by Barbara Hambly. It's actually a collection of two novels: The Ladies of Mandrigyn and The Witches of Wenshar. Tom told me to ignore the poor cover art and not-very-well-written back cover blurb, so I took off the bookcover altogether and started reading.
It is a very good story and very well-written. The plot in each of the sub-novels led to total surprises for me, which is quite impressive, as I have a habit of sniffing out a "clever" plot twist from miles away.
It's fantasy, but not *too* fantasy, in that it doesn't rely on the stock elements of fantasy to make it a good story. (Brendan and Dave, I think you both would like it a lot).