I absolutely love reading. I would rather curl up with a good book by the fireplace with a cup of coffee, or lounge by the ocean sipping a sweet tea, than almost anything in the world. In fact, for our anniversary this year, my husband and I rented a condo on AirBnB with a pool and I spent a majority of nap time with my kindle enjoying the 90 degree weather and reading a favorite Young Adult dystopian novel.
But it came as a surprise this year when I lost my love for reading. I couldn’t find a book that kept my attention and binged a lot of Netflix instead. Even during that vacation, I can’t remember what I tried reading. (We have since cancelled our account, and I nolonger have any inclination to binge watch anything…not even my favorite movies. It’s funny how that works.)
At the end of December, I really felt a radical shift in my priorities. A spiritual awakening or a revival in my personal life. I have been a believer for most of my life, but every once in a while something kind of clicks. I might post on that more later, but for now, let’s focus on one of the many goals of mine for the year 2021.
I am ashamed to say I don’t think I read more than a dozen books in all of 2020. And I honestly don’t remember what they were. So, when I came to the conclusion that I would cut out a lot of TV time, if not all of it for 2021, I would have a massive amount of time to devote to read. I also realized that I don’t hate audiobooks as much as I thought I did. Especially with the right narrator. (Like that narrator of Family Driven Faith. I could listen to his voice all day and all night.) I subscribed to Scribd which has a vast array of audiobooks AND virtual books. (If you use my link, you get 60 days free to try. I honestly like it a lot better than audible. And my local library doesn’t have as many new Christian choices as Scribd.)
So, my goal for 2021 is to consume, either by reading or listening, 60 books.
I have mentioned on my Instagram account a few times that I am not a finisher. I am boarder-line ADHD in that I never, ever, ever finish things. With the exception of my half marathon a couple of years ago. So, even writing out that I want to read 60 books in this next year really freaks me out. That’s more than one per week.
I started counting at Christmastime. As of today, January 11, I have finished 5 books, and I have started listening/reading 3-4 more. (I told you, I start things and don’t finish. Books are not exempt from this list.) I haven’t decided if I am going to count the books I read aloud to my kids during homeschool or not. (Right now we are almost finished with an abridged version of Huck Finn.) Hopefully by the end of this month I will have finished a few more. I am actually hoping to exceed my goal by quite a lot.
Not only have I made it a goal and priority to read more. I have also made it a priority to diversify my library. I LOVE dystopian YA. It has been all I’ve read for the past 2-3 years…ok, since seminary. Reading should be fun! BUT. I also am at the age where I’m realizing I know nothing.
No. Literally. Nothing.
I feel like that guy in Sydney White (an obscure parody of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves starring Amanda Bynes) who attends every lecture and quotes the professors word for word and has been in college for seven years. They finally expose him as having graduated college years earlier. They asked him why he stayed and he replied,
“There was just so much more learning to do.”
That’s how I feel. Especially about the Christian faith. There is still so much more learning to do about Jesus. About how to teach my kids. About what the Bible says. About how to combat culture. About how to NOT lose my kids to culture. About how to witness to my neighbors. About how to love my neighbors. About the history of the church. ALL. THE. THINGS. I want to learn them all.
The first two books I’ve read are Allie Beth Stucky’s book You’re not Enough (and That’s OK) and Voddie Baucham’s book Family Driven Faith. Both are extremely countercultural, and in which the arguments used are built using scripture. Both are on my list of books to get the physical copies to add to my library. (I used a couple of audible credits I had left over from my subscription.) I also listened to Elisabeth Elliot’s book Suffering is Never for Nothing. Talk about getting to the root of some modern, Christian problems. (More on that later when I can fully review it.)
I highly recommend all three books! I have started a few others, namely Mama Bear Apologetics and Love Thy Body. And I have pulled a few out of my book tubs from my seminary days.
I rarely read Christian fiction, honestly. Most are pretty repetitive and boring, save authors like Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. But my sister in law gave me A Lineage of Grace: Five Stories of Unlikely Women Who Changed Eternity by Francene Rivers, who is one of my absolute FAVORITE authors. Her Mark of the Lion series was incredible. And of course, Redeeming Love is a must read. This book is 5 mini books. I am on book 2 right now with the story of Rahab. I am really enjoying it!
I have not abandoned my YA novels. I have also read Chanda Hahn’s (my favorite author) newest book Of Thread and Thorn as well as the first Percy Jackson book. I have started Artemis Fowl (I don’t know if I’ll finish it, though…) I will probably read these as fillers in between deep and heavy books.
I have also expanded into adult type books. Honestly, you can’t find many of these that are not pornographic or ridden with foul language. Or just boring. Some books in this category I have started are The Tattooist of Auschwitz (a heavy, depressing book I’m listening to in bursts), as well as My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton. I have One Vote Away by Ted Cruz on my desk right now. But, I don’t know if I will end up reading that one or not, but I have it just in case. I have become pretty interested in politics lately, especially with everything going on right now. Plus, no matter what your personal opinion is of Ted Cruz, he is absolutely brilliant.
I hope to review most books I read, especially the faith filled ones. I might end up doing a monthly check in on all of them.
I also at least give stars, if not full on reviews on Goodreads. You can follow me here!
Do you have any reading goals for 2021?
Are you an avid reader?
What are some books I need to add to my list to read?