First off, when I get off my butt and decorate my library with notable book covers, this is going to be the first to go up. But man, what a book. I'm not sure what made it so awesome for me. The decadence? The sin of it all? The setting? When I finished it, I sat for a good half hour just enjoying the aftertaste. On a side note, Baz Luhrmann is directing a movie adaptation of it, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire (may have to see that one).
I may have to save most of my comments for a later FBI related post, but this was a really fun autobiography of the man in charge of recovering lost art, working most notably on the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum heist. I also got to see him speak and meet him, and he was a really cool guy.
I love a good Victorian yarn as much as the next person, and this one tops my list. It was a close call between this and King Solomon's Mines, but Ayesha decided it. She Who Must Be Obeyed...indeed. Also, for your viewing pleasure, I've included one of Penguin's covers for this book (this one will also be added to my library wall).
This series was a huge phenomenon this year (obviously). I picked it up rather late, which ended out working in my favor - massive cliff-hangers, anyone? As a whole I enjoyed the entire series, but the first was by far the best.
I am now officially hooked on detective fiction. Probably would have never picked it up if it weren't for the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list, but of course I'm glad I did. I also read The Long Goodbye, considered by most Chandler's masterpiece, but I think Marlowe's inner struggles were too much for me. I also felt the pacing of this one was better. Now, any target shooting with crazy heiresses has been crossed off my to-do list.
Other Notables: I read the entire Percy Jackson & the Olympians series (including the first of the new series The Lost Hero) which were tons of fun, and was introduced to Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody mysteries (love love love!). On the romance front, Zoe Archer's Blades of the Rose series was my favorite of the year, with exotic locales and paranormal elements (a great twist on your usual regency). My two favorite indie books were Radium Halos (A novel about the Radium Dial Painters) by Shelley Stout and Boomerang by Alan Hutcheson.
If you'd like to see my whole list of books read for the year, click here (my official tally on Goodreads).