Matthew Baldwin posts his 5th annual Good Gift Game (G3) Guide over at The Morning News. These are good starting games for everyone because they meet the following criteria:
1. Easy to learn, with rules that can be explained in less than five minutes
2. Entertaining, so committed to the fun factor that even the guy who comes in dead last has a great time playing
3. Quick, lacking downtime and requiring no more than an hour to complete.
I haven't been to Funagain or Games Surplus in a while, so hearing about Carcassonne: The City was news to me. I've got the original Carcassonne, plus all the expansions (Inns & Cathedrals, King & Scout, Traders & Builders), Hunters and Gatherers and the two player variant: The Castle. ... Gah! There's a new expansion called The Count of Carcassonne! 12 new starter tiles, which is cool because the river pieces were getting boring and totally give the person who plays the first farmer an unfair advantage.