I've never felt compelled to set reading goals. I read what I want and I naturally read a ton of books so I've never needed to be overly intentional about it. That said, I do put some thought in to the kind of books I want to read. As much as I let the spirit lead me when it comes to my To Read list, I also give myself some vague direction. Like "read more food memoirs," "tear through everything ______ has written," "cross off a few of the books you've been meaning to read," or "find more books on _______."
This year I decided to make my guidelines more concrete. There's still plenty of room for whatever lands in my hands but this list will serve as a road map, girding my decisions about what to read from month to month. I'm participating in a modified version of Modern Mrs. Darcy's Reading Challenge, for one, and I hope to tackle a few classics with Hollywood Housewife. There are quite a few new releases I'm on the edge of my seat over. I might be biased but The Red Couch has a fantastic line up. Plus, I want to read more books by POC, especially the ones in my To Read stack.
Of course, there are many more books I want to read in 2015 but these are the ones I'll prioritize.
I like how you can tailor this challenge to suit your own needs. I'm not using every category but it is neat to see how many books I've been wanting to read fit, sometimes into several categories at once.
A Book I've Been Meaning to Read:
Fiction: The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho
Nonfiction: The Beautiful Struggle- Ta-Nehisi Coates (I've become a huge fan of Coates's writing in the last year or two. It's more than time to read his memoir.)
A Book Published This Year:
Nonfiction: Searching For Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church- Rachel Held Evans
A Book in a Genre I Don't Typically Read:
American Born Chinese- Gene Luen Yang (I've never wanted to read a graphic novel before but I loved his opening keynote at the Festival of Faith and Writing. It made me curious about his work.)
A Book From My Childhood:
A Wrinkle in Time- Madeleine L'Engle (One of the great joys of my life was getting to meet L'Engle and have her sign my copy of A Wrinkle in Time. I'm long overdue for a re-read!)
A Book That Was Originally Written in Another Language:
One Hundred Years of Solitude- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Book "Everyone" Has Read But Me:
Seabiscuit- Laura Hillenbrand
A Book By a Favorite Author:
Fiction: Kate Morton has a book coming out this October and I am beside myself with anticipation.
Nonfiction: Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God- Lauren Winner
A Book Recommended By Someone With Great Taste:
I'm not sure how many of these I'll read (I've already read about half) but reading the classics is important and often better done with accountability and discussion. I'm so glad Laura is taking this on!
One of the best parts of being the editor for The Red Couch is having my hand in what we choose to read. We only announce three books at a time (you can see our First Quarter picks here) but I cannot confirm or deny that a few of the new-to-me titles make an appearance in this post. If you haven't read along with us yet, this month's selection is the perfect time to start.
God Help the Child- Toni Morrison
Spinster- Kate Bolick
Veronica Mars #2: Mr. Kiss and Tell- Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Fairest- Marissa Meyer
Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives- Gretchen Rubin
Mademoiselle Chanel- C. W. Gortner
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear- Elizabeth Gilbert
(My friends Nish Weiseth and Addie Zierman's second books are coming out sometime this year as well. They're going to be amazing!)
Additional Books by POC
Birmingham Revolution- Edward Gilbreath
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness- Michelle Alexander
One Church, Many Tribes- Richard Twiss
Bad Feminist- Roxane Gay
Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal- April Yamasaki
Cutting for Stone- Abraham Verghese
Intern: A Doctor's Initiation- Sandeep Jauhar
What are you reading this year?
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