First, I was lent a book by strynn, which is called The Cadet: The Adventures of a New World Pioneer in the 17th Century: A True Story by Walt C. Snedeker, which fictionalizes the history of a Dutch emigrant into the colony of New Amsterdam, and his experiences there. It's not a bad read at all, though long. I'd guess it shows what research and genealogical studies can do for you.
Second was Bangkok 8 by John Burdett, a detective novel that I found fascinating. A Marine guard from the US Embassy is killed in a grotesque fashion, and the protagonist's partner is killed when he tries to save the victim, setting into motion an investigation by a Thai detective with an FBI agent; culture clash! Very interesting; I'll be reading more from this series.
Third was the latest book by Terry Pratchett, Dodger. It's not a Discworld novel, instead it shows life in a certain class in London in Dickens' era. Good read.