I don't read that much sci-fi/fantasy, as my fun reading is mostly mysteries and thrillers--Robert B. Parker, John Sandford, Lee Child, Carl Hiaassen--but I am accruing a list of must reads that just got a new addition.
When I read World War Z by Max Brooks, I immediately and enthusiastically told everyone I knew to read it, and everyone that did enjoyed the book (the movie? meh). When I read Redshirts by John Scalzi, I pretty much did the same thing. This year I read The Girl with All the Gifts, a zombie book that blew my mind, and have been recommending it.
Now? The Martian by Andy Weir. An astronaut gets stranded on Mars. And then what? The story is funny and gripping. Murphy's Law apparently works on Mars as well. If you have not read it, read it. It is a fast and fun read. Reading it in the aftermath of the Orion mission was just perfect timing.
So, it makes a great holiday gift. And, no, I have no stock in the publisher and I don't know Weir. I just know a very good book when I read one.
And if you have not read WWZ, Redshirts or Girl with All The Gifts, read them now. Right now!