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Awesome: '[EAST] Tabletop and Board Game Recommendations?' by Nullzone
This comes up often in my circles...I should probably boilerplate a recommendation list. No better time than the present...
I've never picked up a card or die before in my life
Ticket To Ride
These are all very simple to learn and provide a lot of fun and replay value without dealing with too much abstract concept or creating too many diverging strategies to play from.
I've played Monopoly or Uno
Settlers of Catan
These games have more depth, but the strategies diverge, the rules are a bit more procedural, and the concept starts to become more abstract. Still high fun and replay values though, and if you're already acclimated to playing any variety at all of card or board game, you shouldn't have much trouble learning these.
I love <insert game here, probably from the list above> but want more
Thurn and Taxis
These games are either high abstraction, lots of decision making, or create a potentially intimidating experience for a new player, either due to game difficulty or the way the players interact. I don't recommend them for first timers but they're all a lot of fun, and if you've played any of the games further up on the list then you should have no problem getting into these.
One question I always ask anytime someone wants recommendations though: What is your favorite game (that you've played, of course) and what did you like about it? With that information I can usually point toward one or two dead ringers that can hit the high notes that you enjoyed from what you've already experienced.