November Books 3) Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
I found this an unexpectedly brilliant novel. As it starts it seems like simply a fairly plain tale of being black in Michigan. But it opens up into a fascinating voyage for the protagonist, Macon "Milkman" Dead, as he discovers the truth about his own family's past, criss-crossing America to explore both geography and history in a process of self-emancipation. The title of the book is a beautiful piece of misdirection as well - several of the characters have bizarre biblical names (Milkman has a sister called First Corinthians), so I expected that we would encounter some similar reference to the Song of Solomon, but in fact the explanation is quite different and entirely satisfying. Barack Obama claims this is one of his favourite novels, and I can bring myself to believe it.