A couple of days ago I finished reading Water For Elephants. I must say that I quite enjoyed it. It gives the reader and inside view of what a circus was really like in the 1930s. The story was kind of told in an almost fairytale-like way. It switches back and forth between the 90 (or 93) and 23 year old versions of the main character and you get his days when he hopped aboard the circus train contrasting with the circus coming to town while he sits in a nearby nursing home.
While I liked this book there were a few things that I didn't like so well. First, as Natalie mentioned, there were several sexual references or scenes that I wish weren't there. Second, in the main character's older years when he's 90 (or 93) he looks back on the circus with such fondness and he can't wait to see this circus that's come to town, but his days in the circus were not happy. I didn't understand why he would want to go back so badly. He obviously grew more fond of it later, but that's not the happy part that this book is about.
I will say that I liked this book well enough that I'm excited for the movie to come out. I would recommend it, but with a work of caution because of a few scenes of "adult content."