A correspondent named Teddy has led me to the New York Public Library's list of 25 books to remember from 2005.
At first sight it all looks very pc and worthy, but on closer examination there is some stuff which even a vulgar fellow like me might find interesting.
There's a book about Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, for instance. I don't think I want to know any more about that era, and the two men's fights, than I know already, but it is all going to be news to someone.
Then there's a mention of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel, Never Let Me Go, which apparently has an English boarding-school setting, and which deals with 'alternative reality'. Ishiguro is normally thought of as a literary writer -- he has, after all, won both the Whitbread and Booker prizes -- but someone has had the temerity to shortlist him for the Arthur C. Clarke award! Science fiction, in case you're wondering. Hmm. Mixed feelings on the part of author and publisher there, I suspect.
And there might be others. Worth a look.