At first I thought that using GalleyCat's analysis of the "Best of 2004 Fiction Lists" might be a good way to sort the wheat from the chaff. Then I noticed the Philip Roth led the list, with 23 mentions. I hate Roth's work. However, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is second with 20 mentions, and I liked that book. So I guess it's a toss-up. Still, it's a good collection development tool.