1. Poetry as Spiritual Practice. Non-fiction by Robert McDowell. Poetry is becoming more important to me as I grow older. This book had a lot of writing prompts, none of which I used. It was written from a perspective very different from my own (the author is practicing Buddhist) but several ideas from this book resonated with me.
2. The Importance of Being Married. Fiction by Gemma Townley. Brit-Chic-Lit (my favorite). Frothy, fun, and less exasperating than many such heroines (Bridget Jones, Becky Bloomwood...)
3. Les Miserables. Fiction by Victor Hugo. This took me about a month, on and off, to read. Did I mention it was unabridged? Well worth the time. Many of Hugo's diversions from the plot were extremely interesting (the section on Waterloo) but some were not (the section on Argot). Jean Valjean, Cosetee, Marius, everyone really - they all became real to me. So much better than the Liam Niesen movie (which is my only previous encounter with this story).
4. Kick the Clutter. Non-fiction by Ellen Phillips. I like a good organizing book to keep me on my toes. This is huge but not the best I've ever read. Some good ideas. More a book to flip through than to read.
5. Juicy Pens Thirsty Paper. By SARK (Susan Kennedy). Beautiful, inspiring, quirky, funny, crazy, & thought provoking. Recommended for anyone who wants to be more creative or is stuck with "writers block."
6. Books: A Memoir. Non-fiction by Larry McMurtry. I may have mentioned before that I love books about books and reading about reading. This book is less about reading books and more about Mr. McMurtry's life selling books, collecting books, & the book selling business. Fascinating stuff. As much as I love books, I had not truly realized there is a whole world built around them like this.
7. Decades of Beauty. Non-fiction by Kate Mulvey & Melissa Richards. A British fashion book covering the 1890's -1990's. Gorgeous pictures. Read as research and also because it's an interesting topic.
8. Inkheart. Fiction by Cornelia Funke. German fantasy about reading and the worlds created by books. A little slow, maybe, but worth it overall. I'm reading the second book now, have the third book waiting on my end table, and am somewhat interested in the new movie.
9. The Only 127 Things You Need. Non-fiction by Donna Wilkinson. Here's a hint: you don't need this book.
10. Mood Tides. Non-fiction by Ronald Horton. My dad lent me this book. Highly recommended. This is basically a collection of essays on living like Christ while dealing with all human emotions and feelings. Very thoughtful. Easy to read, but there are deep things to contemplate. Just this sentence, "The Master knew not only the stars by name", gave me lots to think about. God knows my name. He really knows me. And He chose me! Reading something like that will put a lot of things in perspective, if you really think about it.