The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje gets my vote.
"Sleep is a prison for a boy who has friends to meet."
Over the last two to three weeks I’ve been reading a book of 269 pages. Normally a novel of this length would take me a few days. But shortly into this book I began savoring every word. Ondaatje’s writing is lyrical and engaging. The story is of a boy, Michael, sailing from Ceylon to London to meet the mother who left him when he was five or six years old. Michael meets two other boys on the journey. Characters abound on the ship and the boys learn a little something from each of them. The story of the boys’ adventures during the crossing and a look back on it by the grown Michael are the heart of the novel. The Cat's Table is beautifully written and the story lovingly told.