I consider all of these 5* books (the best rating I would give a book, except where noted for some reason or other). Here is my list, in no particular order:
1. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
2. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
3. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
4. Cane River by Lalita Tandemy
5. Red Leaves by Thomas H. Cook
6. Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard
7. Plainsong and Eventide by Kent haruf (two books I know but the second is a sequel and both were great)
8. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (would be a 5 but it drags on just a little too long, otherwise an excellent novel).
9. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (would be a 5 but it's just a tad too bleak, but an intense book that I think everyone should read).
10. Name All the Animals by Allison Smith