Pulphead: Essays, by John Jeremiah Sullivan
Sullivan's easily one of my favorite living essayists. And a neat thing about this collection (only a couple of which I'd read before) was seeing the breadth of topics he chooses.
The Kin, by Peter Dickinson
Spec fic about early humans, kid protagonists. Episodic, kinda slow in places, but fun.
Trail of the Spellmans, by Lisa Lutz
I am not as head over heels in love with this series as I used to be, but the humor and detail-orientedness of the protagonist's voice are still enough for a good time.
The Wise Man's Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss
"Picaresque" is the word that came into my head a few times while I was reading this. Not sure it really fits, but I have the same set of connotations in my head (and they're good connotations). You would think a thousand page novel would drag, but no.
Captain Awesome to the Rescue, by Stan Kirby
The kid I bought this for will probably like it as much as I would've when I still had a single-digit age. It didn't do a whole lot for grown-up me, though.
Alif the Unseen, by G. Willow Wilson (e-book, ARC)
Young hacker who lives to protect dissidents (any kind of dissidents) from a repressive state goes through a hero quest to rival anything in the Thousand and One Nights. Mystical books, and djinni, and Middle Eastern politics, oh my. Some YA-level romance too. I read somewhere where the author said normally she had so many different audiences, as an American convert to Islam who has worked extensively in comics, that she wanted to write something for all her audiences at once. She succeeded with this; I'll definitely be seeking out her other stuff.
The Character of Cats, by Stephen Budiansky
Meh. I think the best of Reaktion's Animal series has spoiled me for the rest of the panoply of mildly-thinky-books-about-creatures. Or else this one just wasn't all that great.
The Year of the Flood, by Margaret Atwood
As I was reading this, I finally put my finger on why it is that I like Margaret Atwood so much: no matter how implausible (or even incoherent) her plots and worldbuilding get, her characters, and especially their conversations, are always amazing. Not one of her best works, this, but a good one.
The Bones of Avalon, by Phil Rickman
For some reason this story about John Dee and Glastonbury felt more Edwardian than Elizabethan. Also it would have been better shorter. That said, it was still pretty good. I would read the next one, but I won't be on tenterhooks for it the way I am about his modern-setting stuff.
French Ducks in Venice, by Garret Freymann-Weyr
Sweet and weird. Will probably give niecelings a copy if they seem like they would like it, once they are old enough.
Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
I was telling my friend about this book and she said, "Sometimes I enjoy books like that because they help me stay a critical thinker." That's a pretty good description. Too many points of "Wait, REALLY?" and false generalizations to really say I enjoyed myself (though there were plenty of interesting bits). Protip: you don't have to be "abjectly poor" to care deeply about a net-wealth change of a couple thousand dollars.