It’s that time again! Here are my ten favorite reads from last year. As always, please note that these aren’t necessarily books that came out in 2015. They’re just my top favorites of the 53 books I read during the year.
Oh! And before we get started, I wanted to mention the book I’m reading right now, because it’s just that good. If you get a chance, grab your copy of Starhawk’s City of Refuge. It’s the sequel to one of my all-time beloved books, The Fifth Sacred Thing. I so very highly recommend these novels. Inspiring, magickal, uplifting, deep, funny, poignant, thought-provoking… Okay, let’s get this post written so I can go back to City of Refuge. Did I mention it was also a bit addictive?
The Catswold Portal by Shirley Rousseau Murphy. This is an older fantasy novel that a good friend gave me, I think because of the feline connection. It’s a fantastic story set in a captivating world that lies beneath our own. I was left loving the ending and still wanting more.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss. There was a bit of controversy about this book among fans of Rothfuss. I think the main problem people had with it was that it isn’t the much-anticipated third book in his Kingkiller Chronicles, but it’s also true that it’s an unusual sort of story. I loved the imagery, the lyrical prose, the feelings evoked by this simple tale. Very inspiring indeed.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. This is another one I’d describe as lyrical, or poetic. I’ve also heard it called a faery tale for adults, which I think rings true. It was a really good read, and absorbed me fully into its world.
Tantra for the West: A Direct Path to Living the Life of Your Dreams by Marc Allen. This is a reissue of a book from the 1980s. I wouldn’t have read it back then, when I was just a kid, but I’m glad I did this past year. It’s one of those books that seems to encapsulate all the wisdom you need to live a magickal life, but at the same time doesn’t lecture or condescend. Allen offers you tools, anecdotes, and suggestions, and lets you get on with the work as you choose.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. My sister-in-law told me about this novel one night at camp this summer, then proceeded to find a used copy while we were out shopping the next day. It was wonderful, and not just because it’s centered around books. A terrific story, told in a captivating and powerful voice.
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. This one was a gift from my Mom, who knows how much I love Judy Blume. It didn’t disappoint. What a great story! Her characters are still unique, enchanting, and universal all at once.
The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There’s Life After Death by Annie Kagan. Does it sound weird, or weirdly appropriate, that this one was recommended recently by my friend Jenn, who died in 2013? My polarity therapist passed along the recommendation during a session, and I’m so glad I followed it. This was such a powerful read, and confirms a lot of things I believe in. It’s also a really awesome story.
Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan. I guess I’m into lyrically-written adult faery tales these days. Not all that surprising. This language in this novel is just stunning. I was drawn in, and it drifted through my dreams for all the time I was reading it. Lovely. I want to write like this.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. You’ve probably been hearing about this one everywhere; I know I have. I really enjoyed it and found it inspiring. I didn’t actually agree with everything she says about the creative life, but I found it all very good food for thought. If you identify as a creative person at all, check it out.
The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. I discovered Dr. Dyer’s writings this year, after he passed away. I mean, I knew who he was, but I’d never actually sat down and read any of his books. I’m glad I did, finally. This book was fabulous, and I’m looking forward to devouring more of his well-thought-out and insightful works.