It's a long time since I last read "The Mote In God's Eye" which is good – I had forgotten much of it and took great delight in re-discovering one of my all-time SciFi favourites. Niven and Pournelle handle the old issue – first contact with aliens – in an original and credible manner.
Sadly, my old paperback copy is disintegrating and now has to be read in five unbound chunks; a book of this length is probably best in hardback, assuming that one is going to keep re-reading it as much as I do with my books. I'm fairly certain that a sequel was written, although I have, as yet, been unable to track it down. If anyone can tell me the title, please post a comment!
Staying in the Niven/Pournelle vein for a while, I have now started on Footfall – another book I can't recall in detail, having only read it the once before. I will report back when I've finished.
Update: thanks to Phil for enlightening me on the sequel (see comments).