I remember, years ago, when I was a lowly college undergrad, a friend of mine mentioned the name George R. R. Martin to me.
He knew I was into literature (my degree was in English, Journalism, and Theater) and our shared conversations of everything nerd revealed that I had dabbled in fantasy novels.
He told me about the Song of Ice and Fire series and urged me to read the first novel: Game of Thrones. I put it off for the longest time. For years and years he reminded me of it until finally I relented. After reading the opening chapter from the first book, I was absolutely hooked and plowed through all the entries in the series. Imagine my delight when sometime later, HBO announced it was making a Game of Thrones show.