I'm happy to be a part of this group! I wanted to add a suggestion for links: The Whitbread Awards and The National Book Awards for excellent British and American(respectively) contemporary literature suggestions.
I'm reading White Teeth by Zadie Smith (as Holly knows!) and I'm about halfway through. I'll post a review when I'm done (I think it will be glowing!). You've inspired me to start a list of my favorite books/authors. I'm in the midst of that now, along with a list of the books in my must-read piles (arranged by genre : ).