Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke. A hard sci-fi story about humans finding a space craft and the preparation about the first encounter with alien intelligence.
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. Swearing has never been better. It is a delightful read, and the plot, as well as the characters, are well flushed. However, I felt that the universe, which sounds super exciting, was never really explored in depth.