I thought of you

My hands are cold, my forehead clammy and my mind restless. I am showing signs of good book deprivation.

I raced through two books this long weekend. They were fine, pass-the-time books, but nothing that left me riveted, shaken, sated. I am desperate for a can't-put-it-down, move-me-to-tears, don’t-want-it-to-end book.

Earlier this month, a friend sent me a book. I thought of you, she said, and I wasn’t sure if she was referring to the title — Bad Girls – or the irony. It was entertaining, funny, and a bit naughty in a good-girl goes bad for a reckless moment kind of way. But most of all, I loved that Dee enjoyed a book and thought of me.

As Christmas approaches, I want to return the favor, give books that offer comfort, laughter, guidance and tears. Books that say I thought of you.

My booklist is chocked with turning-point reads that ignited my mind, expanded my perspective and left a mark on my heart. A few favorites include:

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
, by Anne Lamott
Irreverent and real, Lamott shares her spiritual journey without being at all preachy or "religious."

Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg
The master of freewriting, Goldberg offers mental jumpstarts for writers.

Journal of a Solitude, by May Sarton
When I was younger and alone, Sarton's book affirmed my solitary choices. Nothing escapes her examination in these seemingly simple journal entries that reveal a rich interior life.

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, by Terry Tempest Williams
A profound metaphor of change, blending mother-daughter dynamic with a powerful and shifting Utah landscape.

Comfort me with Apples, by Ruth Reichl
A touching coming-of-age memoir by the former editor of Gourmet magazine. Even for non-foodies, this is a great read.

The Stone Diaries, by Carol Shield
A Pulitzer Prize winning novel about one woman's life. It's not the details of Daisy's life that are so riveting, but the elegant and engaging prose that makes the story so beautiful.

There are more books, of course, but as I review the list I realize I have already gifted my favorite books over the years. I need new material and I’m taking suggestions.

What books have touched, lifted or altered your heart? your life? your path? I’m eager to dive into the next great read, to sink in and savor, and to pass it on with love.