After a great deal of deliberation that has been going on throughout this here meme, I have settled. When I was younger it was Good Omens; then, for a long, devoted time, Catch-22. I still need to reread the latter, which may account for my lessened reverence, but regardless, I just don't remember having a reading experience like this one.
The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
And the meme begins where it started, haha. I recently realized that I shouldn't even have answered this to the first question, because I didn't read it last year! It was this year, several months ago. So the answer to that first question would have been the His Dark Materials trilogy. But it's okay, because it means now I don't have to write about this book again. You can go back and read that post.
I'll just reiterate that the experience of reading this book was kind of like no other for me, and it was sort of breathtaking and liberating as one who isn't too good at reading books. As much as House of Leaves or The Raw Shark Texts altered my perspective toward what to expect from novels, this book still goes above them in what it did for my readerly self-esteem. It was a joy, and it was satisfying, and it filled me with inspiration and ambition. I don't believe I could ask for any more from a book.
Well, that was fun! Now back to your regularly scheduled increasingly infrequent updates.