I went through painstaking, scientific measures to decide on my first book: I drove to Barnes & Noble and picked something off the shelf. Granted, it was not quite that haphazard. I did read the back and inside covers, leafed through the first few pages, etc. Still, my choice is based largely off of intuition and hope, rather than research and recommendation. We'll see if this gets me into trouble.
The Alchemyst by Michael Scott. I am intrigued by the storyline overview I read on the backcover. A mystical parallel world that co-exists with our own? Secret legends and prophecies and magics that modern-day protagonists have to discover? As a huge fan of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, I eat this stuff up. (Stop laughing! It was a very well-written show, full of irony and adolescent/coming-of-age parallels that I deeply appreciated. And it was funny as hell, too.)
Anyway, I just got back from the bookstore and haven't read more than the two pages I skimmed while I was there. I promise to write more about the book soon!