This is one of the most fun and satisfying posts I make on my blog annually- sharing with you all the books that impacted and changed me during the course of the year. Several years back, I started getting multiple and frequent emails/messages asking what I’m reading, what books I recommend, etc. So I began keeping a sort of journal on Facebook via a public photo album. When I finish a book, I drop a photo of it along with a short review. The album is available all year long, but at the end of the year I post the link on my blog so that my readers can get some reading ideas for next year. (Look for the link below when you finish reading the post.)
So, without further ado, here are the answers to the burning questions I get most often:
How many books did you read this year? I read 32 books this year (about 7,472 pages.) This doesn’t include Bible reading, Bible study books, or books I read to my children or other people’s children. This also does not include books I have started but not finished due to heavy content or lack of interest/difficult reading style. I had a few of those this year. The “lack of interest” ones I will likely not finish. The heavy ones (I started one about the effects and healing of trauma) I will finish eventually, but I tend to take those in rhythms of reading and rest.
What was your literary goal this year? My goal was to read 50 books, 10 more than last year. Last year I read 40 books, which exceeded my original goal. This year I upped my goal by 10 books…but in the frenzy of goal making I forgot that we were moving overseas in June. This meant that most of my books were packed up by April, and we didn’t see them on this side of the ocean until early August. Now, to be fair to the goal, I did have my Kindle with me. So I suppose I blame my summer “lack of reading muddle” on culture shock and the extreme exhaustion that comes with that! Anyway, at some point in the year, I decided to follow Jon Acuff’s advice to cut your goal in half. So I cut my goal to 25. And ended up exceeding my half goal, finishing the year at 32. I’m calling it a pretty good year considering all of the transition we have navigated.
What was your favorite book of the year? Well, if you’ve been following my reading journeys for awhile, you know me. I simply cannot choose. I suppose I need categories such as “utterly fascinating” and “mind blowing” and “sobering” and “life changing” and “just okay” and “everyone must read,” etc. I just can’t choose, and that is partly because I see God actively using certain books in my life at certain times during the year. I firmly believe that He guides my reading- the “coincidences” are far too many to believe otherwise. So, take some time to read through my reviews and you will likely absorb a feel for which ones rose to the top of my list.
What is your reading goal for 2020? In terms of a number goal, I’d like to read 50 books. In terms of what I read, I am gleaning ideas (thank you Modern Mrs. Darcy) of how to expand my typical reading genres. I naturally gravitate towards spiritual/life enrichment, biography (mostly missionary, but some historical), and jaw dropping historical events. This year I would like to add in more theology, poetry, and (gasp) maybe even a fiction. Reading fiction would be a BIG step for me- I’ve just never (in my adult life) found a book that holds my attention. What can I say, I am a realist. But you are welcome to entice me with your fiction favorites.
You know, being an introvert and a book lover at the same time are two such delightful things about life. I like to say “Jesus knows me, this I love” and it’s true for many reasons. But this year, in this place, at this time- God has loved me in a little big way by giving me a home that has a spare room with one wall that is floor to ceiling book shelves.
So I finally have a library in my home- something that’s been a dream of mine for a long time. It’s a cozy little room with two recliners, blankets, candles, a dollhouse, board games, books everywhere, inspiring pictures and quotes, and one wall that is window- which overlooks our entire town, the local lagoon, and the Indian ocean beyond. It’s truly a happy place.
Well, as promised, here’s the link to 2019’s “My Year In Books.” <—- Click on that. (You can also just go to my profile- the album is public and currently featured on my page.) Enjoy!
And here are 10 Tips To Help You Read More Books This Year. You- especially you– can do it! The rewards will be many, I promise.
A Kindred Spirit