I'm fairly new to the boards, and usually just read other's suggestions, but this topic got me in the mood to contribute seeing how many people recommended one of my favorite books, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel by Lisa See. In addition to this great read, I'd also recommend, by Jeanette Walls, a very touching memoir written very well. Water for Elephants was one that caught me by surprise and I enjoyed it quite a bit! I'm part of the way through Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and so far so good! I'll refer you to the synopsis on Amazon, since I always fear giving away too much info!