Read "We the Living" first. It's Ayn Rand's first book, and therefore a naturally good starting place. It's also a little bit less involved in the philosophical end of things, and so the story is a little bit more interesting. It's also about 600 pages shorter, so you'll get a better idea of whether or not you'd like her other books without having to invest a thousand pages of reading just to gauge! That said, "Atlas Shrugged" really is her masterpiece. It's absolutely staggering. The characters are SOOOOO well-developed and the dialogue is engrossing. I love that book. I can't even count how many times I've read it. But then again, I'm an objectivist nerd, so.... take it with a grain of salt.