1. Fritz Lieber's Swords Against series.
2. George R.R. Martin's SoIaF series [no brainer that will probably make tons of other lists]
3. Umberto Eco, Foucalt's Pendulum [a little more obscure/forgotten to make up for GRRM]
You ever notice how on stop lights, green means go, but on a banana it's the opposite? Yellow means "go ahead." Green means "slow down." And red means "Where the **** did you get that banana?"