Despite my lifetime membership in LibraryThing, I keep official track of what I've read in notebook I bought in Chinatown. Due to my aesthetic tastes at the time of purchase, it has a Hello Kitty-ish rainbow cat in the form of a cloud smiling at me on the front. This year the cat tells me I have read 51 books, unless I can finish up one of the 6 unread ones by tomorrow. That's average for me, but if anyone criticizes it, I can whip out the "but I read Moby Dick this year!" excuse.
My favorite books read for a book group were: The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig, A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell, The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, The Photograph by Penelope Lively, and Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos. Except for The Whistling Season, all of these books were suggested by people in my book groups, who are brilliant except when they make me read books that I hate.
My favorite nonfiction books were: Switch by Chip Heath and Chad Heath, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert. All of these were bestsellers when they came out, so I am losing points for originality here.
In the category of "really good if you share my obscure interests" are Mr. Langshaw's Square Piano by Madeline Goold, Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnades, Sweater Quest by Adrienne Martini and The Race to Save the Lord God Bird by Phillip Hoose.
Rounding up my fiction favorites are Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani (two points off for choosing another bestseller), By the Lake by John McGahern, A Call From Jersey by P.F. Kluge, which everyone in Berkeley Heights & environs should read, and Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde.