Of course, while I like to be alone while reading, there's nothing I like more than talking about books, so please feel free (indeed, encouraged!) to provide your own short "will definitely read" list in the comments or in a post linking back here.
The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965
I read the first two volumes of William Manchester's magisterial biography of Churchill a while back, and I was saddened to read that his health (and later death) had made finishing the final volume impossible. Paul Reid, to whom the project was left by Manchester, has now brought forth the third and final volume and I'm very eager to read it.
Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy
I read another of Rumer Godden's novels this last year (Kingfisher's Catch Fire) and although I found the main character somewhat frustrating, it reminded me how much I enjoy Godden's adult writing (This House of Brede, China Court, etc.) I couldn't quite bring myself to order the new Loyola Classics edition since it features an introduction by Joan Chittister, so I ordered a used hardcover copy.
Lord of the Rings (surely no one needs a link to this one)
I've read LotR at least half a dozen times over the years, but I think it's been a good five years since I last read it. Each time I've re-read it, I've felt like I've come away with new things. I've been feeling more and more lately a need to re-read it again as I feel like I've changed a fair amount over the last five years (in my reading tastes, among other things) and so I want to experience it again.
Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I
I've had a number of books relating to the Great War (whose hundredth anniversary is upon us next year) on my "to read" list for a while, and this one dealing with the outbreak of the war is one of them.
France and the Great War
Another from the Great War list: Leanard Smith has emerged as one of the key modern scholars writing in English about France in the Great War, helping to overturn a too-long-held consensus view about the French in the war which has arguably been formed more by 1920s and '30s anti-war writing than by the actual history of France in the war.
When I was young, my mother had a slender antique volume of Les Miserables -- the second volume. I read it, of course. Years later, while babysitting, I started the first half, and was surprised to learn that 100 pages in, we hadn't moved past the good bishop. I used to know large portions of the Les Mis soundtrack by heart, but until seeing the movie last week I hadn't heard the music for years. Now it's time to go to the source and get the original story from start to finish.
Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy
When Darwin said that he was going to include a Rumer Godden novel on his list, this was the title that immediately leapt to my mind, because I'd been wanting to read it too.
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
South African journalist Rian Malan's essays on the state of his country. I received this for Christmas and was grabbed immediately by Malan's fierce, funny, and scathing writing about his beloved and infuriating homeland. The piece referenced by the title is a masterpiece of investigative journalism in which Malan unravels the tortuous history of the song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and its prodigious royalties, almost none of which made it back to its original South African singer Solomon Linda and his family.
Jesus of Nazareth
To which of Pope Benedict's three volumes of this name am I referring? Any of them. I'd like to finish at least one of them this year. His writing is so rich, I find it hard to digest more than a paragraph or two at a time.
The Book of the City of Ladies
Once I was walking through a bookstore when a display of the Penguin Great Idea series caught my eye. The thick paper covers were so aesthetically appealing, so beautifully embossed, that even in my straitened circumstances I snapped up the two least expensive. I've tried several times to make it through Thorstein Veblen's Conspicuous Consumption and been drained by the dryness of his prose, so now it's time to turn to the other lovely volume, Christine de Pizan's The City of Ladies. Written in 1405, this work features the author in dialogue with Reason, Rectitude, and Justice about a city where women are free from the slander and prejudices of envious men. I am already captivated by a book which begins, "One day, I was sitting in my study surrounded by many books of different kinds, for it has long been my habit to engage in the pursuit of knowledge."