The Last Wish, by Andrzej Sapkowski
This book entered my consciousness in a weird way, in that I knew vaguely about the videogame The Witcher, which is based on Sapkowski's character of the same description. What I didn't know was the Witcher stories are part of a well-known series in Poland, where Sapkowski is an established fantasy author. It's a fun little collection. The stories are grim, but with hints of dark wit throughout, which means that they're enjoyable instead of bleak. Imagine recognizable fairy tales slightly skewed, and blasted through on a cross-wise course by a macho noir anti-hero, and you've got the right idea. (Though the protagonist is macho, the author doesn't come across as so. Still pretty bloody, though.)
Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
I suppose this book will probably have the same reception as Stephenson's other books. Some will love it, some will hate it, and when I read reviews by the people who hate it, I will see the wisdom of many of their points, but still not agree with them. I did love Anathem, though I'm now in the weird position of not wanting to say anything about it because at least some of the enjoyment came from figuring things out on my own. So this will be even less of a review than usual. Just know that it has my imaginary seal of approval.
The Manual of Detection, by Jedediah Berry
This one you won't be able to read for a while (February, I believe), but I was so excited that I couldn't resist mentioning it here. It's a wonderfully weird mystery, of sorts, full of hats, bicycles, alarm clocks and umbrellas, rainy autumn streets, carnivals and steam engines, concerning an odd, hierarchical detective agency, and featuring as its hero one Charles Unwin, an agency clerk forced into the spotlight of crime detection when he least expects it. Every so often a writer looks into my mind and creates an amalgam of all my favorite motifs, and Berry has done so here. Keep an eagle eye out for this one, friends!
I will remind you later...