Anne McCaffrey's "Pern" books, including the Harper Hall books are fantastic. Some people also like her "Crystal Singer" books, but I'm not so into them.
The Moreau series by S. Andrew Swann is EXCELLENT. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moreau_series
If you like the cyberpunk genre
but want a less techy edge to it you might consider the Shadowrun series. You don't want the new stuff, though...you'll want the old Original Shadowrun books
Scroll down to "Novels". I recommend just starting at the beginning with the books published by FASA, esp the first four.
For that matter, the Battletech novels are pretty good too (anything before the Invasion of the Clans).