1. Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady
I finally read it. I was finally ready to read it. Elliptical fabulosity.
2. Alfredo Castaneda (transl. Margaret Sayers Peden) Book of Hours / Libro de horas
One of the most beautiful books I have ever seen. (Read post.)
3. Francine Prose, Reading Like a Writer
More useful than 1,000 writing workshops. (I do not exaggerate.)
4. Patricia MacLachlan, Once I Ate a Pie
Starring Mr Beefy, the pug!
5. Colonel Charles Blanchot, Memoires: L'Intervention Francaise au Mexique
Criminally out-of-print. Scads of spicy gossip.
6. Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel
Gorgeously written; thoroughly original. Visit his website here.
7. Elizabeth Kolbert, Field Notes from a Catastrophe
8. Carolly Erickson, Josephine: A Life of the Empress
Masterfully researched; vivid as a novel.
9. Frederic Morton, Thunder at Twilight: Vienna 1913-1914
A romantic tragedy, to be read whilst sipping coffee. (Read post.)
10. Joshua Leeds, Sonic Alchemy: Conversations with Leading Sound Practitioners
For more lists, check out Wendi Kaufman's The Happy Booker blog-- Tod Goldberg's "Five Books I Told People I Read But I Really Didn't" and Alan Cheuse's "Book Selections to Nourish the Mind at the Holidays," among others.