Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen definately goes into my top ten books of all the time. It was GOOD, real good.
It's set during the depression, and is about a man who loses everything he has and hops a train and low and behold, its a circus train. Meets a girl, falls in love, unfortunately she's married to a schizophrenic and is his boss. The story is told through the eyes of a ninety or ninety three year old man (he's not sure how old he is) looking back at his life.
The old man had me laughing out loud within the first chapter.
It ends perfectly with a bittersweet and believable ending.