Straight Man by Richard Russo: A middle-aged university professor deals with professional impotency (funding crises and general staff malaise) and personal demons (the return of his ne'er do well and namesake father to town). Narrator's schtick is that he doesn't care about much, but you love him because he actually does. Abandoned half-way through; it was smart and funny but I just didn't care enough.
The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti: Orphan boy is rescued from nasty orphanage by mysterious traveling thief. Mayhem, mystery and murder ensues; family history and bizarre coincidences abound. Everyone else adored it; I liked it, but found it a bit too pat for my taste. A bit fairy-tale-y, which I understand is part of the charm. I just didn't quite feel it.