Personally, I wasn't that taken with _Declare_, for which I will not be voting unless the other 4 finalists are even worse. Haven't read Bujold's _Curse_, though I was present at a discussion of the book with its author, who lives here in town. I did like her earlier fantasy novel, _The Spirit Ring_, which you might want to try, liking _Curse_ so well. To say nothing of her many SF novels in the Miles Kosigan series.
I won't be voting for _American Gods_, by another local, Neil Gaiman, either, though I'd pick it over _Declare_. I certainly enjoyed reading it more than the Powers book, but neither impresses me as much as some of the respective authors' earlier work. I loved the Le Guin, and I'd be open to a case for the Earthsea series as a whole, but neither _Other Wind_ nor _Tales_ stand on their own. In some ways, _Tales_ stands on its own better than _Wind_, but Ellie ignored my attempt to nominate it along with the other books. Despite its problems, I might vote for _Fox Woman_ over these, should it make the final list, or perhaps _When the King Comes Home_, another book sliding in to consideration on its paperback reprint. This is a subtle book, which I liked but needed a hint from Alexei K to better understand and appreciate (see it quoted on my "Enchanted Chocolate Pot" web-page). Of course I haven't started the
latest Sun trilogy from Gene Wolfe, one of my favorite living authors, yet, either. (But I mainly like Wolfe's short stories, and his non-Sun novels, like the _Soldier_ books or _Devil in a Forest_). And there are lots of others for me to try to fit in.
On the Children's side, Peter Dickinson's _The Ropemaker_ is the book to beat, Laura Krentz and I agreed on a panel discussion at Minicon, this past week. What a fabulous book, and it's just aimed at our sort of audience, unlike anything he's really done before. It's also a book with the heft and world-building needed to appeal to an adult audience. If any of you out there want to give it a try, you might feel that it belonged on the adult list, though I think unlike his wife's books of the past couple of years, McKinley's _Spindle's End_ and _Rose Daughter_, this is comfortable on the children's list. We also liked Donna Jo Napoli's _Spinners_ (another paperback qualifier), which I think one of her best books so far.