1. The Dresden Files (Jim Butcher): okay, a whole series of books. This summer's fluff. Jim Butcher has a deft hand at weaving a lot of stock Fantasy/Sci-Fi elements with snarky humor and likably flawed under-dog characters. Plop the whole thing in a familiar setting--like an alternate-reality Chicago--and it's easy to see why Butcher's managed to land himself on top of the best seller lists.
2. Watership Down (Richard Adams): Book club book for the summer. A pleasant re-read. I must have been about seven or eight when my dad read this to my brother and me for bed-time reading.
3. Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy): The other book club read for the summer. I actually read this when I was fourteen and hated it. Re-reading it at 34 is proving to be a college course's worth of insight into how our life experience informs our reading. I'm not sure if I like it or not this time round. I'm not sure I can even really compare. I feel like I'm reading a completely different book.
4. Story (Robert McKee): A book about writing screenplays that has a lot of material which is directly applicable to novels. My writing classes in college focused on structure at the sentence and paragraph level. They never addressed such things as plot arc and scene selection--those macro-structuring issues with which I've struggled a great deal in my attempts to write. This book is a God-send.
5. Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl (N.D. Wilson): My next book review book for Thomas Nelson. A philosophical, apologetic hymn of awe to a Creator-God who is too great for us to even begin to comprehend. Beautiful.
6. God's Prayer Book (Ben Patterson): A how-to devotional guide for Protestants on the spiritual discipline of praying the book of Psalms. A birthday present from my best friend. A not-so-subtle hint from God.
7. Cicero (Anthony Everitt): A biography of the great Roman orator. An overview of Roman politics that makes our current, corrupt American politics look like a model of integrity.