The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson is a brilliant work of fiction describing life in North Korea's regime, in which reality bends to the will of the Supreme Leader.
Number One Ladies Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith. This series lighthearted and endearing fictional tales of Botswana's first woman detective opening her own agency, inspired as much by the desire to start her life anew after the passing of her father and her divorce as she is by the hope of making her country a better place.
The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls documents her and her siblings upbringing by nomadic parents who descend into addiction and depression, yet Walls is able to retell their gripping story with empathy and love.
Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin documents the statesmanship that President Lincoln requires to manage the adversarial personality assembled in one of teh most unusual cabinets in US History.