Othello - of your books you suggested I have pencilled in the Terry Goodkind book. The main reason for this however is because my son owns the series and it won't cost me anything to read. Probably not a really good reason to make this choice. If I don't like the first book I will probably try one of your other suggestions.
Mistral - it has been many a year since I read any Robert Heinlein. I loved Stranger in a Strange Land
but I don't think I ever finished The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
. I might like The Past Through Tomorrow
but it does look like copies of it are rather expensive.