1. The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham. The disheartening story of Ron Williamson, a man wrongfully convicted of murder, who spent years on death row before being vindicated by DNA evidence. Everything about this story is depressing: the behavior of the police and prosecutors, the fact that the real killer went free for so long, the suffering and death of the victim, Williamson's narcissism, alcoholism and untreated mental illness, and so on. I'm not a big fan of Grisham. This book tells a compelling story but isn't exceptionally written and could have used a couple more edits. In particular, Grisham included a lot of information about a different crime and different defendants wrongfully accused, and this was confusing and extraneous.
2. Sala's Gift: My Mother's Holocaust Story by Ann Kerschner, is the author's investigation into her mother's experiences in a forced-labor camp run by the Nazis. Kerschner didn't know much about her mother's experiences until shortly before her mother had surgery and turned over a box of memoribilia to Kerschner. Kerschner found over 300 precious letters that her mother had sent and received during the war, carefully hidden from her captors (discovery of such keepsakes could have been a death sentence) and saved through the years. Moving.
3. Faceless Killers by Henning Mankel, a mystery featuring a Swedish cop named Kurt Wallender. It always amazes me when a book that has been translated into English retains so much of its power. If you like Ian Rankin, you might want to give this one a try.
4. While perusing the Scandinavian mystery genre, I happened upon Karin Fossum, and read Don't Look Back, part of a series featuring Inspector Sejer. Also a good mystery, similar in style and tone to Faceless Killers. Mysteries are my escapist reading.
Feel free to post in the comments books you highly recommend. I'm always looking for good stuff to read.