Since Capane.us compiled every last book in Skyrim into an epub at the end of last year, I've read roughly 50% of the books in Skyrim, meaning I now know more history about this derivative fantasy world than I do about, say, France. My mother would be proud.
There's a lot of crap in there and many of the better ones are actually from Morrowind and Oblivion, but there are a few gems you should keep your eyes open for when you're shouting at Draugr. By all means talk about your own favourites in the comments.
Rising Threat, Volumes I - IV
A series of four books telling of the fall of the Altmer kingdom during the Oblivion crisis and the rise of the Thalmor. A good read if you want to know more about the pointy-eared sods' origins.
The Wolf Queen, Books I-VIII
Long stories following Potema Septim, a scheming daughter of an ancient Emperor who looked like "a hungry wolf". She's married off to the Nord King and starts a cruel life dedicated to vengeance, which ended with armies of the undead and demons tearing the empire apart. Bonus: you can talk to Falk Firebeard in Solitude who'll start you on a quest chain to meet the Wolf Queen herself. Double bonus: almost all the books give you skill boosts.
A dark little tale from Morrowind of a thief who can steal anything and a warrior who only hears the voice of Sheogorath. Bonus; the book gives you a lockpicking boost. Double bonus; if you've got The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind: Game of the Year on Xbox you can go and find the Heran Ancestral Tomb near Hla Oad.
Kolb and the Dragon
This multiple choice Fighting Fantasy style book for kids, has a very limited story following a brave dragonslayer; it's very simply written, but shows off the Nord's prejudices quite nicely, and is more interesting for the choose-your-own-adventure conceit than the actual plot.
2920, Volumes 1-12
This lonnnng series of twelve books from Morrowind showcases the fall of the first Empire. Political and twisted, it introduces you to the three living gods of Morrowind, Vivec, Alamexia and Sotha-Sil, otherwise known as The Tribunal.
Beggar; Thief; Warrior; King
Four books that follow the farcical progress of Eslaf Erol (False Lore, written backwards) as he follows the classic Conan journey from impoverished nobody to King.
The Horror of Castle Xyr
A gruesome stage play featuring mass murder and mistaken identity, the Horror also gives readers a bonus to destruction. Also, owners of Morrowind on Xbox can actually act out one of the parts in this play, in the theatre at Mournhold.
A Dance in Fire, Books I-VII; The Argonian Account, Books I-IV
These books follow the incompetent, lucky and wily bureaucrat Decimus Scotti. Darkly comic stories, the first series follow his exploits as a war-profiteer in the forest of the cannibalistic Wood Elves and the second series details his Imperial commission to civilize Black Marsh. His stories make the world of Nirn seem much more fantastical and dangerous than running through the world does. Bonus: many of the books give buffs of one sort or another.
The Black Arrow I & II
Someone at Bethesda really likes revenge stories. This short story follows an archery school in conflict with an ambitious noble lady. I won't spoil anything, but reading it will give you a bonus to archery. Also, in a similar, but more pleasant vein; The Gold Ribbon of Merit.
The Lusty Argonian Maid
By Dan Griliopoulos. Incidentally, if you've been enjoying our Dragonsborn Diaries, the final instalment and review score has been delayed by illness - expect both on Monday.