Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Favorite Books of 2009

I have always kept lists of books to read, books to buy and give, and, of course, books read. True, there are still some reading days left in 2009, but in our Christmas letter sent to family and friends, I promised to post this year's list of "favorites" on my blog. Here it is:
* In Hovering Flight - Joyce Hennefield
* War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (My first reading was when I was in college. I loved it this time around so much more.)
* Two books by Pamela Carter Joern: The Floor of the Sky and The Plain Sense of Things
* American Wife - Curtis Sittenfeld (Smart and sexy and how much is true and when will the movie come out and who will play Laura Bush?)

* The House on Fortune Street - Margot Livesey
* The Piano Teacher - Janice Y. K. Lee
* The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society - Shaffer and Barrons (Awful title and wonderful book)
* The Space Between Us - Thrity Umrigar
* The mystery series by Susan Hill. Start with the first one, The Various Haunts of Men. (I decided August was mystery month and devoured this series. The latest has just been released.)
* Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout
* A Happy Marriage - Rafael Yglesias
* A Gate at the Stairs - Lorrie Moore (Madison writer and this book is on the NY Times best of the year list)
* Jhumpa Lahiri's two book of short stories: Unaccustomed Earth and Interpreter of Maladies. (Overcome your unwillingness to read short stories and read both of these.)

Nonfiction: I am reading far more nonfiction these days and along with books specifically related to spirituality, I am reading a number of books about nature.
* The Forever War - Dexter Filkins
* The Buddhist Path to Simplicity, Spiritual Practice for Everyday Life - Christina Feldman
* Beauty, The Invisible Embrace, Rediscovering the True Sources of Compassion, Serenity and Hope - John O'Donohue
* The Third Chapter, Passion, Risk and Adventure in the 25 Years after 50 - Sara Lawrence Lightfoot
* Seeking Peace, Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World, Mary Pipher
* Listening Below the Noise, A Meditation on the Practice of Silence - Anne D. LeClaire
* The Morville Hours, The Story of a Garden - Katherine Swift
* Small Wonder - Barbara Kingsolver
* On Moving, A Writer's Meditation on New House, Old Haunts and Finding Home Again - Louise deSalvo
* Teaching Trees, Lesson from the Forest - Joan Maloof
* We Two, Victoria and Albert, Rulers, Partners, Rivals - Gillian Gill
* Facing the Lion, Being the Lion, Facing Inner Courage Where it Lives - Mark Nepo
* Life List, A Woman's Quest for the World's Most Amazing Birds - Olivia Gentile (about Phoebe Snetsinger)
* This Year I Will...How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution or Make a Dream Come True - M. J. Ryan
* Crow Planet, Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness - Lynda Lynn Haupt
* Traveling with Pomegranates, A Mother-Daughter Story - Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor
* The Seven Whispers - Christina Baldwin (One I return to periodically)
* Epicurean Simplicity - Stephanie Mills
* A Book of Silence - Sara Maitland
* Writing from the Center - Scott Russell Sanders

Perhaps in an upcoming blog posting I will offer a selection of favorite quotes from these books. Stay tuned. In the meantime there is Christmas and entry into the new year. I wish you joy and hope and a deepened awareness of how Spirit is moving in your life. And a new book or two--and even time to read them.


  1. It's so exciting to see a few of my favorites in your list - it makes me eager to try some of the ones I'm not familiar with! Thanks.

  2. Hi Nancy, Olive Kitteridge and American Wife were two of my faves too this year. Have safe travels and a wonderful new year. Dan and Amy and I persevere!

  3. excellent resource. i shall do the same on my blog!