As his family is murdered, a baby escapes into a nearby graveyard, whose denizens take him in and raise him to adulthood. I was really resisting reading a Gaiman book for this list, but the reviews on this intrigued me. I must say it is classic Gaiman, in both the good and bad ways I've come to think of him.
Good: charming touches, such as listing the birth/ death date and last words from each tombstone listed after each ghost's name. I liked Bod, the main character.
Bad: that pervasive feeling that this book could have been so much more than a revenge and end of world story featuring ghosts, vampires, and a werewolf. It almost feels like he relies on his marketing to make his stories tick. And I hate saying that.
Lessons for Writing: don't rest on your laurels. Write your heart out. Fill the world with art and poetry. (I have decided to go to a poetry workshop in late May. Did I mention that?)