Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - This is an incredible magical adventure for grown-ups set in the early 1800s in England. Clarke has imagined an entire history of magic and has extensive footnotes to books that don't exist. It's one of those books that is so well written that it spoils you for other novels for a while.
Shadow of the Wind - This book is so good I bought it. It's a book-lover's mystery novel set in Barcelona after WWII. Amazing writing.
Pinkerton's Secret - Great novel of the life of the founder of the Pinkerton detective agency - and the modern private-eye business, the secret service and many undercover and investigative techniques. Pinkerton is someone who should be much more famous than he is. In this novel, Pinkerton leaps off the page. Fantastic historical novel.
Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation - Great non-fiction about the history of Occult and alternate belief systems in the development of the United States. Very easy to read and a lot of fun. Fascinating history whether you are a true believer or a skeptic!
Misquoting Jesus : The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why - Biblical scholar answers the question you've always had about the Bible but didn't know enough to ask. This book was so good and had such a human take on the story of early Christianity that I checked out 4 more of his books -- and read them all cover to cover. Misquoting is the best. His latest is Jesus, Interrupted - which is good and includes a new way of thinking about the authors of the Gospels and why the way we read the bible is all wrong.
Death From The Skies: Astronomer Phil Plait takes on Astronomy in the most engaging and easy to read style by using the end of the world as a start of each chapter.
Homesteading Space: My dad was involved in the Skylab project -- the now forgotten first US space station -- and this recounting of that adventure is a detailed and fascinating space history.