Books! What books touched you? Did you pass it onto your friends?
Touched me: Wendell Berry's Hannah Coulter. Ron Rash's Serena. Carson McCullers' The Member of the Wedding. (I am a sucker for quality Southern fiction. Ron Rash is genius. He can simultaneously ridicule and respect the farthest little Appalachian holler in such a way that you'd pack up and move there tomorrow just to get a taste of what it's like.)
Passed on to friends: Rhoda Janzen's Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. Barbara Brown Taylor's An Altar in the World. (Memoirs are like my literary comfort food.)
Winner of the most time wasted award: Stieg Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I refused to finish the last 25 pages on principle and promptly took advantage of the airport bookseller's 50% refund policy for returned books.
Unexpectedly emotional: Drew Gilpin Faust's Republic of Suffering (a history of death in the Civil War) and Storycorps' Listening is an Act of Love (excerpts from friends telling each other stories of how their lives got shaped into what they are).