Swamplandia! by Karen Russell - Swamplandia! is about the Bigtree family who owns an alligator-themed park on an island in the Everglades of Florida. After Hilola Bigtree (who performs the main act of swimming with the alligators) dies, and a new theme park on the world ending comes to the mainland, Swamplandia! is in trouble. . . and so are the individuals of the family!
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman - splendid humorous and heart wrenching tale of a man's later years. A definite thumb's up!
E.G. Hanna: "This is not light reading, but it's important. Klein is a journalist/writer who rigorously details how politicians and their economists use the confused and difficult periods after a national disaster to implement damaging economic policies that would not have passed otherwise. If you're skeptical after reading that, you won't be after this book."
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. I'm not quite sure where to begin with this book--it is so full of rich characters, medical procedures (with perhaps a little more detail than you'd like), political turmoil, etc. Verghese doesn't jump straight into the story, but builds a back story that gets filled in throughout the rest of the novel. This is my favorite book of the year!