Bellwether - Connie Willis
First off, it would be fair to say that this book is barely science fiction, if that matters to you, despite the author's previous award-winning forays into the genre.

The basic premise of 'Bellwether' is that it's the story of a woman who researches fads for a living and who has been employed by a multinational company to try and discover how they start. While she's looking into something in particular, a chance event leads her to cross paths with people from the Biology department and an unexpected cross-discipline research project is spawned.

There's a nice laconic tone to this book's writing, which I enjoyed very much - our protagonist isn't your stereotypical hero in many ways and her encounters with some of the odder people working in the company are entertaining, as are her observations of their behavioural quirks. Can't say it's made me want to hunt out other books by Connie Willis (particularly as I wasn't overly smitten by 'To Say Nothing of the Dog' which I read last year) but it also hasn't hurt my view of her either, so I guess that's progress?