I’m a little late to this discussion, but it’s always good to have more suggestions for books, no?
Some of the best I’ve read in the past year are:
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb (novel, mainstream)
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (nonfiction)
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (novel, best seller)
The Trouble with Poetry by Billy Collins (poetry)
and some old favorites:
The Hours by Michael Cunningham (literary fiction)
A New Path to the Waterfall by Raymond Carver (poetry)
Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen (novel, popular/humorous/environmental fiction – all of his books are wickedly funny)
Lost in Place: Growing Up Absurd in Suburbia by Mark Salzman (nonfiction – memoir)
The Cabin by David Mamet (nonfiction – memoir/essays)
Lamb by Christopher Moore (novel – satire)
There are so many more, but I’ll stop here. Enjoy!