Some of my favorites
#1 Unbroken. I gave this to my parents for Christmas. I have flashbacks of this book all the time.
#2 Shadow Divers - Scuba divers exploring an extremely dangerous, deep U-Boat wreck off the American coast.
Isaac's Storm - About a devastating hurricane in Galveston, Texas, that the fairly new National Weather service failed to predict.
What the Dog Saw - collection of Malcolm Gladwell essays
#1 What Alice Forgot - Laura, I know you don't read fiction but you should read this. It's stunning and poignant and brought me to tears several times. And it describes relationships and life stages with such accuracy. If this weren't on such a girly subject it would be winning a lot more awards.
#2 Cutting for Stone - Took awhile to get into and only really got into it the second time I picked it up. But once you're involved, it is amazing. And there are NO other authors writing books like this right now - about Indian doctors working in Ethiopia in the '60s (at first) and the dictators and wars and struggles there. I love medical stuff and to hear a surgeon writing about this stuff not as a dry medical text but as a talented author? With the ability to talk about the emotions of the surgeon (fear, accomplishment, athletic prowess, grief, hope), the details of the operation? The human body described as only someone who has actually been inside the body can? Whoa, whoa, whoa.
The Hunger Games trilogy - LOVE!