The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer - I'm not overstating it by saying that this book changed my perspective on life and my frequent desire to orchestrate, plan, and control it. While I may not move to the middle of the woods (or start a multi-million dollar company, for that matter) I was deeply inspired by Singer's story of simply letting life unfold.
The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg - An uplifting story of love and second chances that elicits a "we're-all-in-this-together" kind of hopeful feeling and a cheering-on of characters one can't help but want to hug.
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett - A plot as twisting and interesting as the vines in the jungle in which the story is set, I was fascinated by the dynamics of grief, choice, and loyalty in this beautiful book.
Southernmost by Silas House - House writes with such love and compassion and beauty that I'd read practically any sentence he writes, but this story of a husband, father, and brother who comes to terms with choices made and judgments expressed is at once hopeful and heartbreaking. A flood, a road trip, amends, opening, redemption, and revelation, all from Kentucky to Key West, and I was deeply disappointed to turn the last page. (Good news for Kentucky peeps, though, Silas House will be making an appearanceat my favorite Louisville bookstore, Carmichael's, in June!)
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver - I love old houses, especially because of the wonderful tales they can tell, and this is a tale of just such a house and two different generations inhabiting it. Provocative and metaphorical, Kingsolver always makes me think deeply about life, while also weaving a story with characters both relatable and thoughtful, and this was no exception.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens - Part love story, part murder-mystery, part stunning, sweeping praise for those untouched places in the South, this one stirred a longing in me for time spent outdoors and the beautiful simplicity of first loves, and a reverence for quiet human strength.