I liked Life of Pi by Yann Martel much more than I was expecting to. (Sorry, Shauna!)
I tend to shy away from stories where the aim is to "make you believe in God" (an actual line from the book, I swear). But the thing about Pi, is that he believes in God and has a profound respect for religious practice, but he also has the common sense and inner strength to pick and choose what parts of a religion are real to him and follows that diligently.
In other words, if more people practiced religion like he did, I'd probably not be so tense about religion all the time.
This book also doesn't hit you over the head with God and mysticism. The premise is that a young man is stranded on a lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, and a Bengal Tiger. The boy and the tiger manage to survive each other for 7 months when they only had supplies for at most 2. The way it's told makes their survival sound entirely plausible too. I only had to suspend reality for one part towards the very end, when they encounter a cannibalistic plant.
I came away feeling like the varying efforts at survival and grief (not that it's sad) in this book says more about human nature then most stories, which I wasn't expecting.
I'm glad I read it, although my thoughts about God haven't really changed.
Next up, House on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and Oklahoma!