How in the hell has nobody mentioned the Forgotten realms or Dragon lance series???
Well the starter kit of Forgotten realms is The Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore Its about a Dark elf named Drizz't Do' Urden who has purple eyes which is uncommon in the underdark. He can see in both the darkness and light without changing eye spectrums. He sports the dual scimtars for weapons and has a bigger moral sense than most of his race. He escapes from the dark elf world and goes to the surface and befriends a dwarf and other peoples.
Dragon Lance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman Get the ones where they co-op on their books. Separately they don't fare so well. Its about a bastard half-elf that travels around with a set of twins (one a warrior and the other a black mage that is a total badass), and a couple of other people. I read this in like 7th grade, because my brother suggested the series to me. Its a more mature book than I should've been reading suffice it to say and so I don't remember much. But its a sweet read.
The Speed of Darkness by Tracy Hickman He does a good job on this one. It's set in the Starcraft world, but don't expect it to be about Jim Raynor or Kerrigan or anything. It's about a Marine's life and how the Terran Government recruits their Marines and the corruption and such. Really different, but good.
Nuklear Age by Brian Clevinger It makes fun of the Golden age of superheroes and has more easter eggs than you can find. It's about an incompetent superhero named, Nuklear Man and his more competant and video game loving sidekick, Atomik Lad. There's a bunch of other heroes involved, too. Well, there's a giant crab, mall zombies, a group of rag tag villains, a supervillain, a couple of guys from outer space much like the krypton invaders from superman, and a lot of other things. Not all at once though, I mean, that's just absurd. It's meant to be read like a comic book.
The Alphabet of Manliness by Maddox I wouldn't consider it a novel, but its more like a dictionary of sorts, about all things manly. It's freaking hilarious.
Haruhi Suzumiya Light Novels- Get on that if you haven't already. Seriously. You might wanna google a torrent for this one translated though, seeing as how it's japanese.
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller- I'm not necessarily sure what it's about. But it's about catch-22. Got any questions why anything is? the answer is catch 22.
A Prayer for Owen Meany- A short kid with a high voice who predicts his own death. He joins the ROTC program in college and realizes his own meaning for life. It's about this kids life and his journey through it with his friend.
I'd like to Re-recommend The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho for whoever mentioned it before. It's about the life of a shepherd who becomes an alchemist. Don't think of this like Full metal alchemist kind of alchemist or anything, because it's not. This thing is life changing. But hey, there's still references to the Sorcerer's stone (the Emerald Tablet for those who are well versed in alchemy, yea it was a real science way back when), turning lead into gold, etc.
There's more but I'm too lazy to look em up.
Edit: Oops, I'm sorry. I didn't catch the part about there being 3 recommendations max. I was going back to look up a couple of books and I just noticed. Really sorry. But, they are all good books.