I love to discuss books with people and due to commuting into London and working in an office I read voraciously on my commute, so there is usually a book on my desk that people invariably comment upon or strike up a discussion about books.
Once the conversation inevitably meanders to 'So... what's your favourite book?' I just respond with this one, the Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. The next question is of course, 'what's it about?' to which I respond... '...erm...' and then...
'It is a story about someone's most treasured book, a story that treasures books, reading, bookshops and libraries, it is about the Spanish Civil War, oppression from the police, it's about poverty, it's gothic, it's mysterious, it's about love, and love forbidden.'
I've purchased this book four times, once for lending to others, once as a present for a friend, once as a present for a colleague, and once for myself. I love this book, and the series as a whole. I recommend it to everyone, I recommend it to you.