7. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (1st non-fiction of the year)
Not only did Michael Pollan make me approach my food more thoughtfully, he did it in a way that is exceptionally easy to read. The subtitle of the book is "A Natural History of Four Meals", and that is exactly the way it is laid out. Each type of food system addressed in the book (industrial, large-scale organic, small-farm organic/local, and hunting/gathering) gets its own story, as seen through Pollan's eyes. He draws on history and scientific research as well, but the star of the story is his own experiences, which make you feel almost as if you are there. I won't be forgetting the lessons learned here any time soon. A
6. Limbo System by Rick Cook
I received this for my birthday, and couldn't wait to dig in. I now own every (fictional) book by Rick Cook. This was much more serious than all the others, however, with very little of Cook's usual puns. A relatively typical man-finds-superior-aliens setting, with a lot of politics and multiple layers of intrigue and sabotage. The most interesting twist to me was the favorable portrayal of how aliens might receive Christianity. I am very happy to have this book, and will certainly read it again. A
5. Conquistador by S.M. Stirling
(I finished this back in January, but didn't want to make a post for just one book.)
Excellent novel of alternate history / alternate dimensions. However, Stirling is sometimes too in love with nature in this book, and will go on describing it long enough to lose my attention (it's a very different style, but all I could think of was J.R.R. Tolkein - great story, but far too much detail that bogs it down sometimes).
Great concept, and when it wasn't bogged down in details, it was quite a page-turner. B+