And for movies, i guess for me they need to have a great story line and also look good visually, i love details in a movie or in a anime or cartoon.
My favorite anime artist is definitely Miyazaki, this guy is awesome if you ask me, he's animations are awesome and surreal and dreamy. I loved Ponyo, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and Wisper of the Heart.
And for movies some of my favorites are: Scarface, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Trainspotting, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Lost in Translation, Forest Gump, The Help.
For books some that i thought to be interesting: Slaughterhouse5, Brave New World, The Collector, Heart of Darkness.