6. Soldier of the Mist by Gene Wolfe. A soldier in ancient Greece is wounded in battle and loses his memory each night; however, he gains the ability to see and communicate with the gods and goddesses. The end is a bit of a formulaic letdown, but on the whole Wolfe avoids the pitfalls of genre fiction.
5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling. Juvenile fiction that reminded me how much I enjoyed the Susan Cooper books I read when I was in Rowling's target demographic. I wish this weren't being made into a movie for the same reason Bone Daddy didn't want a LOTR movie, kids are better off reading it than having stamped onto their imaginations in pre-digested form.
4. American Tabloid by James Ellroy. L.A. Confidential also bears mention.
3. The Tetherballs of Bougainville by Mark Leyner. You know what you're getting with Leyner.
2. Fair Ball: A Fan's Case for Baseball by Bob Costas. Lucid presentation of proposals to prevent the self-destruction of major league ball. Costas for Commish!
1. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by Howard C. Cutler and H.H. the Dalai Lama. The others on this list are better written in terms of prose style; I'll forget the lapses in style in time, not the arguments the Dalai Lama makes for compassion.