In case you need some ideas yourselves:
Molokai by Alan Brenneer. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.
I enjoyed Molokai as well. I hear The Paris Wife is really good, haven't gotten round to reading it yet. But Hemingway and Paris--during the happiest time of his life-- have got to be magical.
The Art of Racing in the Rain or anything by Pat Conroy! Straight Man was awesome as well!
If you haven't read it yet, you really want to read: "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein ... takes place in Seattle ... haven't read a better book (check out reviews on Amazon)
I agree with State of Wonder, Ann Patchett's latest - haven't read any Rumer Goden in years, but loved In This House of Brede when I read it. Love everything of hers. I just finished The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier, which is set in Ohio, and is about the Underground Railway. Louise Erdrich's latest is an amazing piece of work, The Round House. A difficult book, but I couldn't put it down. I recently read JK Rowling's first adult novel, A Casual Vacancy - which I also couldn't put down, though I hated much about it. It is sort of the Anti-Harry Potter. The Tiger's Wife was wonderful - the location is almost the best part, Tea Obrecht. Maybe I'll send more later - don't want to overwhelm you
Another one I enjoyed is Marcus Borg's first noveil: "Putting Away Childish Things" ... I really resonated with the main character ... light reading, in a way, but every line filled with a theological depth that made it a nourishing read for me
Maisie Dobbs series....mysteries set in England in the early 1900's with a female investigator who is trained in meditation....and who always desires reconciliation as part of her agreement with clients regardless of the result of her investigation.Or mysteries by Laurie King (which I have not read but apparently are really good) or for really light weight but good, the China Bayles series by Susan Wittig Albert.
Julie Otsuka's two novels about the Japanese in California during WW II: When The Emperor Was Divine and The Buddha in the Attic, are two of the best novels I've read in the past year. And I read a LOT of novels.
Laurie King has two series, one of which I have read, the other not. The one I have read features a lesbian detective in San Francisco, and is really gripping - the other stars a woman (whose name I forget) who works with Sherlock Holmes. So, Victorian London.
Molokai is about a young girl sent to a leper colony in Hawaii. Not as depressing as you might think. State of Wonder is about a medical researcher who goes to Brazil to find the truth about her colleague who died in the jungle while visiting another doctor researching a new fertility drug for their company. Interesting ethical issues and fascinating setting.
Anything by Diana Abu Jaber. Except Origins. Shall I stop?
Have you read anything by Susan Howatch? I love her!
A favorite series of mine (if you like mysteries, and the medieval world, you may like it too) is by Margaret Frazer - featuring a nun who is Chaucer's niece, and her monastic world. Lovely. I need to go see if she has any new ones I haven't read. She has a couple of medieval series, but Dame Frevisse is my true love!
Maisie Dobbs --definitely!!!
Caleb's Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks. About the first Native American to go to Harvard - very New England, very very very good.
Laurie King books are great! I'm enjoying "the game" right now!
Cutting for Stone
Cutting for Stone and Molokaii were both excellent. Just finished Once We Were Brothers--very good. Currently reading "The End of Your Life Book Club"--not as depressing as the title sounds.
Robin Craig Oh, you guys are great! Unfortunately Brede is not on Kindle. And KGB, I have devoured almost everything by Susan Howatch. And MES, I have almost all of the Frazer books. (Do you know that "Margaret Frazer" is really two women?)
All of Gerealdine Brooks' books are good - "People of the Book", "A Year of Wonder" and "Caleb's Crossing" - all fabulous.
Do I know the coolest people or what?
I now need to get into bed with my fleece blankee and reeeeeeeead . . . .