I finally got around to reading read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and was pleasantly surprised. I really didn't care much for Goblet of Fire and badly wanted for editing, and Phoenix was even longer, so I had pretty low expectations going in. This one grabbed me right away. Several possible reasons come to mind. The action starts right off the bat, minimizing the Dursley stuff. The bizarro world nature of the magical world seems to have been toned down quite a bit. The endless Quidditch matches are mostly gone. There is plenty that probably could've been dropped, but the action moves along briskly. I enjoyed it.
I started Timothy Zahn's Night Train to Rigel. It features a hard-boiled protagonist and an interstellar rail transportation system. Serious suspension of disbelief may be required.