I've read two really good books this year and I'm wondering if mentioning them here (it is The Book Blog, after all) will encourage anyone else to read them. OK, one of them hasn't come out in the States yet. I got an advanced readers' copy at Book Expo America of Gods Behaving Badly, by Marie Phillips and I really want to recommend it. The Greek Gods are alive and living in modern London; Athena is a dog-walker, and Apollo has a television show where he pretends to be a psychic. (Are Gods psychic? Or are they just Gods?)
It's not really fantasy; it falls into that middle area where I'd put Rankin's Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse. It's due out in December and I want to encourage people to read it. I think it could be the 21st century Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy, in terms of cult classics.
And The Word Was by Bruce Bauman is a powerful novel about the ability to continue living when faced with unimaginable loss. The book was very compelling and I would have stayed up all night reading it, if I hadn't had to go to work the next day. If you know you're going to be on a plane for 2 hours and want to be distracted, And The Word Was is the perfect book for you.