In 2018, I challenged myself to read 52 books. That may sound like a crazy amount of reading to some, and to others, it may not seem like much of a challenge at all. In my case, it was difficult enough to be challenging, but attainable enough to be enjoyable.
Pushing myself to fill more time with quiet reading turned out to be one of the best decisions for my mental and spiritual health that I have ever made. By the end of the year, I’d like to think I was more peaceful, joyful, and focused–and hopefully a little smarter.
(If you are in a season of anxiety, hurt, confusion, or overwhelm, consider giving yourself a healing gift: the time and margin to fill your mind with real, life-giving books.)
I also feel like I rediscovered a part of me that had been asleep for awhile…the bookworm me who would spend hours reading in my grandparent’s walnut tree and who would go to my friends’ houses just so I could read all their books. (Yes. I really did that. Which may explain why I had very few friends…) I haven’t climbed any walnut trees in awhile, but I have definitely rediscovered my love for books.
I’ve decided to shoot for the same number of books this year, 52, while being a little more strategic. I’ve divided my reading list roughly into 5 categories, and while I will most likely be reading more than one book at a time, I’m going to try and keep the categories in rotation. I’m hoping this will help me to avoid the overwhelm that comes when I read too many books at once on a particular topic.
There are a couple of books from last year’s list that I plan on reading again. I plan to read these more slowly, take notes, record my observations, and review any books that stand out as I finish them. (Along the same lines, I will be focusing on improving my review writing technique, as well as my writing skills in general.)
The biggest change I’ve made to my reading challenge this year is the addition of more “just for fun reads.” The bookworm me that woke up last year wants to reread some old favorites—the books that turned me into a book lover in the first place—and read them with grownup eyes. In addition, I’ve added some biographies, some new-to-me fiction, and a classic that I am embarrassed to say I have never read. The plan is to choose one of these “fun reads” as a treat for every other four books that I finish and review.
Alright. With all that said, here is my list as it currently stands, divided into the categories I’ve assigned them in my brain. There are more than 52 books, and the list is growing by the day! (You can follow it on Goodreads if you’re interested.) This is to give myself some margin and keep my options open a little bit, although I’m dedicating myself to not borrowing or purchasing any new books until I’ve read the ones that are already in my library.
Be sure to leave me your suggestions in the comments here or on my Instagram feed. I love seeing what my friends are reading and adding your recommendations to my list! Hey, do you want to come over and read books with me?
(There are two books in particular that I am super excited about, one that I am a little nervous about, and one that I am dreading. I’ll talk more about those as I read them.)
Coffee With Sprinkles Book List 2019
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OLD FAVORITES FICTION:
Anne of Green Gables 8 Book Series by L. M. Montgomery
HOME | FAMILY | MINISTRY: (I’ve grouped these three together because these categories all kind of merge into each other in my life, and are very hard for me to separate.)
SPIRITUAL & MENTAL GROWTH:
Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentmentby Linda K. Dillow
Love Does for Kids by Bob Goff (prescreen for my kids)
Case for a Creator for Kids by Lee Strobel (prescreen for my kids)
The Seven Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey (prescreen for my kids)
Speak Up and Get Along! by Scott Cooper(prescreen for my kids)
Do any of these books look interesting to you? Share what you’re reading in the comments!