Space opera like you've never seen it before.
Becky Chamber's excellent debut novel represents a broader shift in the narrative priorities traditionally associated with science fiction. It revels in character rather than action (though there's a fair bit of that too), and develops an episodic slice-of-life quality in an thoughtful, well-drawn universe.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is a great place to start or develop your relationship with sci-fi, and it's the first in a series of three tangentially related novels.
This is one to read, savour, and throw to your friends.