I am an avid reader. In the process, there are few books that really deserve recommendation. I'll keep a running list here. Not all of these are new.
Stone's Fall- Iain Pears: an absolutely captivating mystery set in periods immediately after and before world war II, about the death of an industry titan (did he suicide? was he murdered?) and the characters in his life. Well written and filled with historical detail.
Istanbul Passage-Joseph Kanon- a spy thriller set in Istanbul right after world war II. The color and detail of the city is marvelous, the protagonist is not a professional spy, more of an amateur, American ex-pat who 'helped' the Allies during the war and gets caught up in some bizarre machinations between the russians, the romanians, the turks and assorted other characters. Not formulaic. Well plotted. In some ways, a little like Casablanca, set in Istanbul, with some twists.
The Emperor of All Maladies-Siddhartha Mukherjee: you would think that a book about the history of cancer treatment would be depressing and boring. To the contrary, the book is compelling ~ taking the reader back to 1600 BC and following the history of the research and clinical work done by a relatively small handful of doctors. Brilliantly told and actually uplifting.
History, A Novel- Elsa Morente: the story of WWII told through the eyes and experiences of a peasant woman who is raped by a Nazi, and is then part of the vast throng of common people trying to stay out of harm's way while the armies have their due. I read the book in English- and even in translation from the original italian, the writing is lyrical. If you can read Italian well, it would be a worthwhile experience.