Resolution Kept: Read 52 Books this Year!

After a couple years of reading more blogs than books, I was starting to feel frustrated with how my brain processed information and with my inability to focus on extended arguments and think deeply for long periods of time. The first book I read this year was Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains. This book confirmed my suspicions that skimming blogs and short articles was changing the way I thought. I decided to reclaim my brain’s ability to read long works and think more deeply, so I set the goal of reading a book a week this year. I had done that for 2-3 years a few years ago, but fell out of the habit. For a few months at the beginning of the year, I stopped reading blogs and just focused on reading books. I’ve started reading a select few blogs and websites again, but I’m continuing to focus on reading books for my main source of inspiration and instruction.

In July I wrote brief reviews of the books I read from January-June. I fully intended to write reviews every month so I wouldn’t fall so dreadfully far behind, but my focus this year was on reading, not writing. In the coming year, I plan to read an average of a book a week, but I also want to write more frequently to reflect on what I learn.

In the interest of full disclosure, I really read about 4 books a month, not truly a book a week. I generally take 2-4 weeks to read each book; since I read a devotional book in the mornings, fiction in the evenings, and non-fiction as I have time throughout the day, I read three books a month that way. About once a month, the stars align: I have the urge to rest and read, I have a compelling book, and I have the time to read. I can usually fit in a fourth book that way. During especially busy months (April and November, as you can see from the list below) I don’t read as much, but during school breaks (end of January-February, July-August) I am able to read more.

January – 9

  • The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
  • Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian
  • 1776 by David McCullough
  • The Dubliners by James Joyce
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • The Hole in our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung
  • Lit! by Tony Reinke
  • What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell

February – 5

  • Forgotten God by Francis Chan
  • Is There Anybody Out There? by Mez McConnell
  • Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield
  • What is the Mission of the Church?  by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert
  • How People Change by Paul David Tripp and Timothy Lane

March – 3

  • Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer: The Abduction by John Grisham
  • Within Arm’s Length: The Extraordinary Life and Career of a Special Agent in the United States Secret Service by Dan Emmett
  • Let Go and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick Theology by Andrew Naselli

April – 2

  • Desiring God by John Piper
  • Hammer of God by Bo Giertz

May – 4

  • Shades of Gray by Jasper Fforde
  • Don’t Waste Your Sports by CJ Mahaney
  • Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Trusting God with a Hope Deferred by Carolyn McCulley
  • The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

June-5

  • Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper
  • Eyes Wide Open by Steve DeWitt
  • Fine China is for Single Women Too by Lydia Brownback
  • Writing Reminders by Jim Burke
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

July – 6

  • And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  • Multiply by Francis Chan and Mark Beuving
  • The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler and Jason Wilson
  • Holes by Louis Sachar
  • The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty
  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall

August – 4

  • Suncatchers by Jamie Langston Turner
  • Some Wildflower in my Heart by Jamie Langston Turner
  • By the Light of a Thousand Stars by Jamie Langston Turner
  • A Garden to Keep by Jamie Langston Turner

September – 5

  • No Dark Valley by Jamie Langston Turner
  • The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
  • Winter Birds by Jamie Langston Turner
  • Sometimes a Light Surprises by Jamie Langston Turner
  • Brokenness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

October – 3

  • River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Ministries of Mercy by Tim Keller

November – 2

  • Reformation: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow by Carl Truman
  • Proverbs: Wisdom that Works by Ray Ortlund

December – 4

  • Young, Restless, and Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey with the New Calvinists by Collin Hansen
  • The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester
  • Handel’s Messiah: Comfort for God’s People  by Calvin R. Stapert
  • The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis

Total = 52

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3 thoughts on “Resolution Kept: Read 52 Books this Year!

  1. Do you have a list of books to choose from? How do you decide which books you’ll read? 🙂 I love looking at your list and seeing how eclectic it is.

    • Good question! I think I might write a blog post about that because a couple friends have asked me about it this week. But I’m kind of random about it. I know my choices are eclectic, but I just read whatever looks interesting without too much of a system.

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