Hah, Jake! That suprises me as I think Colfer is a superb writer. He's possibly a tad over-cinematic, though, which may not be for everyone. I dunno.
At the moment I'm reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It made me laugh in bed, which is always a good thing. I think I prefer Rum Diary, but this is still a brilliant book that is another must-read. And also Hunter S Thompson's writing style is one of the best and most unique ever.
I like Terry Pratchett, but I never properly got into Discworld. I read the Death trilogy, which I loved, and I've bought some other Discworld novels but I haven't finished any of them yet. Not sure why, apart from that they're a little dry and the plot seems second place to the characters (which some will like, no doubt). I do *love* Pratchet's childrens books though. The "Johny" series
was brilliant and funny, with "Only you can save mankind" being the best book written about computer games ever (probably!). The Bromliad trilogy
is also brilliant. Gnomes (or "Nomes") living underneath a shop escape by hijacking human veichales and fly to America to visit their God - the mysterious "Warner Bros." It's funny, it's action-packed and the Nome mythology is brilliant (quotes from "the book of gnome" and the fact that all the Nome families are named after things like "stationary"). It's a loveable story about people moving out of a sheltered existence into the big wide world. Pratchett's Discworld children's books are also worth reading... the Amazing Maurice is more tightly plotted than his adult novels and all the better for it in my opinion. I'm not writing off his main Discworld books, though, it's just that... they're saved for a rainy day.
And yes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Would you recomend reading the book before seeing the film? I mean, having seen the other version I know the story, but maybe it would be nice to know how faithful the new film is to the book. Although having read the novel for War of the Worlds dampened the movie experience for me, so maybe it's not a good idea.
I've only read two Roald Dahl books, which aren't really books but are a collection of short stories. One for adults and for children (though I honestly don't know what the difference is). If you like Dahl you'll love his short stories as they all just as funny weird and original as his longer books (actually I tell a lie - I've read George's Marvelous Medicine too - I'd forgotten about that). Anyway, if you ever want to know how to write a good short story, pick up some of Dahls'; they're short, snappy, and with great *great* endings (the sting in the tail). His war stories were also in the, er, anthology, and are completely different from any of his other books but are equally brilliant.