Mr Midshipman Hornblower by CS Forester.
I can't explain why I didn't read these classic books of naval fiction before. I should have started at least ten years ago. Oh well, now that I know how wonderful they are I can decide how to space them out and order them for my dad and so on. A+
Angelmaker by Nicholas Hardby.
Any book that you can reasonably say is about espionage, nuns, the undertaker's union, gangsters, and mechanical bees without covering even all the major topics? Got to be pretty cool. A+
Some Girls, Some Hats, and Hitler by Trudi Kanter.
Fascinating memoir of a Viennese milliner caught up in World War II. Real and thought-provoking. A+
Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction by
I make a point of looking through the submissions for the Lambda Award for sci fi, fantasy, and horror every year and this is one I found on that last. Some of the stories are truly excellent and the theme is unique. A
Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.
This book is heartbreakingly beautiful and you should not read it if mother-daughter issues and abandonment have been major issues in your life. A
The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow.
Just when we all thought the steampunk thing was maybe getting a little tired, this book comes along. Truly original, funny, and moving too. A
Diana Comet and Other Improbable Tales by Sandra Macdonald.
Last year's Lambda winner. Some of the stories in this collection are mindblowing and some are kind of enh. My favorites were "Diana Comet and the Disappearing Lover" and "Fay and the Goddesses."
Blessings by Anna Quindlen.
A gift from my mother, this is a beautiful book that stays with you. Two out of two of the people I lent it to after I finished it cried when they read it.
The Queen's Squadron by RM Meluch.
You could see it as GLBT-oriented Stargate fanfic... but actually it's so much more than that. This one blew my mind.
Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.
Another book that is hard to classify but really, really good. I was particularly intrigued by the fantasy novel the author created within the book, which seemed so real I looked it up on Amazon.