Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
Piscine Molitor Patel aka Pi survives 227 days in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger for company in his little lifeboat. The first half of the book he defends zoos and becomes a Catholic, Hindu and Muslim. Yes, all three. I was really riveted to the second half of the book, the survival adventure.
Also a good book:
The Lost, by Daniel Mendelsohn
A true story, Daniel Mendelsohn seeks to find out what happened to his great uncle and aunt and their four daughters during the Holocaust. By the end of the book, you feel like you knew these girls, who are all killed. Daniel Mendelsohn was emotionally attached to his grandfather, which propelled him years later to do all this multi-continent research (he flies to Europe, Australia and Israel to interview survivors). A sad point, however, is that his research on his family is his only connection to anything Jewish.
Being Mrs. Alcott, by Nancy Geary
A good book for those familiar with the notion of keeping all one’s emotions inside and how that can be detrimental. The main characters are all believable and well-rounded; my only complaint about the book is did the wealthy, noveau riche characters at the end from Long Island need to have the last name “Marx”?
Feel free to recommend some more!