1. The Maytrees by Annie Dillard When I was in Boston this fall, I stumbled into a used book store while I was killing time before my train back to the city. I'd just finished Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and had fallen deeply in love with Dillard's writing style. The four hour train ride back to New York flew by as I read. If you haven't read Annie Dillard, do. Her writing is really special.
2. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke This book was a Christmas gift from a dear friend. I wasted no time in devouring it. It's small and sits perfectly on a bedside table. I read passages before falling asleep, fervently underlining and copying down sections in my journal. The book really makes a fantastic gift for creatives in your life seeking encouragement. I'm anticipating revisiting it often.
3. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott It's not secret I'm a lover of Anne Lamott. I have probably five or so of her books and have recommended her writing to anyone who will listen. Bird by Bird was my introduction to her and remains one of my favorite books of all time. While the book is technically about writing, it feels more about life. Expect humor and honesty alongside simple truths about writing and its importance.
4. Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit This collection of essays was recommended to me at Beaverdale Books. One of my favorite reasons to shop at independent bookstores is the recommendations that lead me to pick up books completely off my radar. I had just finished Bad Feminist and was looking for something along that line. The book was informative and a quick read, but I can't stop thinking about it.
5. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett In honesty, I'm still working through this novel as I type this. At the halfway point, I can say I'm loving my first exposure to Patchett. I've been a huge fan of her bookstore, Parnassus, for a while. My inclination is toward non fiction so I've been challenging myself to read more fiction. Bel Canto is sweeping and perfect for the opera obsessed. Commonwealth is next in my to read stack.