I appreciated my friend Lisa‘s comment on my post about book challenges last week about the struggle with balance between wanting to be intentional in reading yet not wanting to feel hemmed in. I struggle with that, too. There are some books I’d never get around to reading without some of these challenges and lists, but I don’t want to have so many lists that I’m feeling overly pressured. I know sometimes God has directed me to a book I needed right at the moment that wasn’t on my radar, and I want to leave room for that and for the just-for-fun books (because I read both to learn and to relax.)
I’ve been pondering for a few days what to list for the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader. The challenge is to read 12 books in a year that have been on your shelves unread with a publication date before 2013. I chafe a little bit at that because I have books on my shelves published last year that I want to get to, and books I just got for Christmas that have pre-2013 publication dates but are new to me. But I do understand the need for guidelines of some kind, or else this would be just a general reading list. So I am trying to keep within the spirit of the post and choose books that I’ve had on my shelves or in my Kindle app for a while now. I came up with a list of 25, and that’s not including a box of books in my closet that I had forgotten about. 😳 So from those I’m narrowing it down to this list of 12, with two allowable alternate titles in case I decide against any of the others during the year (as per instructions, as I finish each book and review it, I’m adding the link to that review to the titles below):
1. Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food by Lisa TerKeurst (pub. 2010). Proverbs 31 Ministries is hosting a study of this book beginning Jan. 19, so I’ll be joining in that. (Finished March 1, 2014)
2. Crowded to Christ by L. E. Maxwell (pub. 1952), recommended by a former pastor. (Finished April 7)
3. Ida Scudder: Healing Bodies, Touching Hearts by Janet and Geoff Benge (pub. 2012). I had read a biography of hers (though not this one) some 25-30 years ago and wanted to refresh myself on her story. (Finished Feb. 3)
4. The House Is Quiet, Now What? by Janice Hanna and Kathleen Y’Barbo (pub. 2009). The subtitle is Rediscovering Life and Adventure As a Empty Nester. My nest isn’t totally empty yet, and I don’t see a shortage of things to do for a long time to come, but figured this would be helpful with perspective. One sentence I saw while flipping through it really spoke to me (about the “sandwich generation”), so I am looking forward to this. I had thought Lisa recommended this one, but maybe that was a different book. (Finished March 10)
5. How to Read Slowly by James W. Sire (pub. 1978). Even with making notes and marking with sticky tabs. I have a hard time feeling like I’ve really grasped everything I need to from nonfiction, so I am hoping this will help in that regard. (Finished July 20)
6. How to Be a Writer by Barbara Baig (pub. 2010). I like to read a book about writing every now and then to keep those embers stirred.
7. Walking From East to West: God in the Shadows by Ravi Zacharias (pub. 2009), because Sherry recommended it to me and because I like hearing how people came to the Lord, among other reasons. (Finished March 16)
8. The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis (pub. 1946). I’ve read Narnia, the Space Trilogy, and Mere Christianity and now want to read some other Lewis books. (Finished May 6)
11. Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal: A Boy, Cancer, and God by Michael Kelley (pub 2012). (Finished May 21)
12. Why We Are Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck (pub. 2008), partly because I have never heard anybody adequately explain what the emergent movement is, and I’ve heard this is a good critique. (Finished October 15)
Alternates: Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen (Finished Aug. 31) and Just Jane: A Novel of Jane Austen’s Life by Nancy Moser (Finished Aug. 4). (My wrap-up post for this challenge is here: https://barbarah.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/reading-challenge-wrap-up/)
You notice how many of these are nonfiction. That’s probably why they have been languishing on my shelves. 😳 I gravitate to fiction and biographies: I like nonfiction when I read it, but I usually have to “make” myself read it. So this list will be a challenge in more ways than one!
As per Roof Beam Reader’s instructions, when I finish and review each book, I’ll make its title above into a link to the review.
The Challenge: Read any non-fiction book(s), adult or young adult. That’s it. You can choose anything. Memoirs? Yes. History? Yes. Travel? Yes. You get the idea? Absolutely anything that is classified as non-fiction counts for this challenge.
I always like levels in my challenges, so here are mine:
Dilettante–Read 1-5 non-fiction books
This challenge will last from January 1 to December 31, 2014. You can sign up anytime throughout the year.
With the books listed about plus a couple of others I want to read this year, I am aiming for the Seeker level.
Do you have books that have been on your “To Be Read” shelves for a while? Maybe you’ll consider joining in with challenge with us, and we can encourage each other along the way.