1. Austenland by Shannon Hale
I honestly didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. I was totally prepared for full-scale hokey-ness, but I was really pleasantly surprised. I, like pretty much every female in the world, have a thing for all things Jane Austen. This story, about a many times jilted single girl from America (appropriately named Jane) who is given an opportunity to spend three weeks in a make-believe Austen-themed wonderland in England, read exactly like my favorite kind of movie. I wasn't at all surprised to read in the afterward that the book had originally started out as a screenplay. I even found myself fist-pumping the air after some particularly breathlessly romantic moments for Jane.
I just saw that they're making it into a movie with Keri Russell as Jane - I'm totally stoked to see it.
2. The Land of Later On by Anthony Weller
This was a pretty intriguing plot - Kip, a 40-something jazz pianist who has been afflicted with multiple sclerosis, decides to kill himself in order to escape the pain of missing his girlfriend, Lucy, who had died four years earlier from leukemia, and also because he can no longer play his beloved piano. He doesn't believe in the afterlife until he literally wakes up there, and then he makes it his mission to find Lucy. With extra characters like Walt Whitman (didn't see HIM coming) helping him on his quest, this was supremely entertaining.
My only gripe is that the ending felt unbelievably hurried. It was almost as if Weller didn't know how to wrap it up, so he just ended the book. I would have enjoyed a little bit more of the story.