Rivers, you must read House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, at first when I heard it had inspired countless of my favourite bands over different genres I was skeptical, thinking it was some inside joke that musicians played on each other, but after I read it my mind was open and it was fantastic.
Hmmm...I don't know that any of my favorite books provide any song writing material...my favorites are The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Midwives by Chris Bohjalian, Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein...and I'm sure there's many others...
It's an adventure kind of book which chronicles a boy who becomes shipwrecked and survives on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean for 227 days with a hyena, orangutan, and a Bengal tiger. It also explores the boy's spiritual beliefs, a really interesting read.
The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton. He was a Trappist monk that campaigned for peace and social justice. His tale is relatable and compelling, and to be quite honest, his writing makes me feel like your music does, Rivers--like he's articulating some part of me that I have been unable to adequately express.
It's my favorite, and it's been the biggest inspiration in my life. I want to open my own convent/monastery one day (soon, I hope), and I dare say that he's been my biggest encouragement in this venture. I also thought that you might be interested, especially, since you are involved in in Vipassana meditation; Merton and the Dalai Lama met several times in his life to discuss the integration of Eastern religion into Christianity. He has always been a big proponent of interfaith relationships. If nothing else, the book is a wealth of insights about meditation and contemplation, and you might relate to his journey.