I’ve mentioned that, while I enjoyed the several reading challenges I participated in last year, I felt a little constricted and constrained by them, too. It’s hard to balance: I like some intentionality in my reading, and that brings some books into my planning that I might not otherwise get to, and a challenge is supposed to be challenging. 🙂 But I like a certain amount of freedom, too, to read on a whim or pick up something and start right in without thinking that I can’t because I have all these lists to finish. So this year I decided to think about what I wanted to read, and then if that happened to fit into any plan, fine, and if not, I’d make my own plan. As it turned out, I will be able to participate in a few challenges this year.
I’ll also be reading a few from Carrie‘s Reading to Know Classics Book Club for the year: Christy by Catherine Marshall; The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry; probably one or two from Grimm’s Fairy Tales, maybe Laddie by Gene Stratton Porter, and then I’ll be hosting the September discussion on The Screwtape Letters. A couple on the list I just read last year, so it is a little too soon to reread them.
In February I host the Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge (and I heartily invite you to as well! I’ll have more information about it soon and a sign-up post on Feb. 1), where we read anything by or about Laura. I am planning to read the next one or two in the series. The first couple of years I read a lot of books about Laura as well as some books of her magazine columns, and I think I’d like to just stick with her Little House series for now – though I
am awfully tempted by decided to go ahead and read Pioneer Girl (especially after this review of it) since it fits a category in the classics challenge below.
The Back to the Classics Challenge:
I didn’t grow up reading a lot of classics, and I have made a deliberate effort to catch up with some of them in the last few years.
Karen changed the format for the Back to the Classics Challenge 2015: readers can choose books within the 12 categories listed, and reading six, nine, or twelve will earn you entries in a drawing for a $30 Amazon or Book Depository gift card. More information is here. Books have to be at least 50 years old. Sign-up is open through March 31. We don’t have to declare which books we’ll be reading in order to sign up, and we can change our minds during the year, but so far I am planning on:
TBR Pile Challenge:
The TBR Pile Challenge is for reading books we have on hand or have on a TBR list but haven’t gotten to yet. I really enjoyed the this challenge last year and like the idea of incorporating books I have on hand into my reading instead of just piling on new ones. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to commit to reading twelve (though I have way more than that both in physical books and on my Kindle app) and thought about just choosing a smaller number – six or so – for my own purposes and not signing up for this official challenge. But once I started sorting through my books on hand (some even in a box in the closet!) and on my Kindle app, I found several I was excited about getting to, so here they are:
1. A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily Freeman, 2013. I got this because I really liked her Grace For the Good Girl. I got it right at the beginning of last year but it got pushed aside for some of the other challenges. (Finished 3/30/15)
2. He Is There and He Is Not Silent by Francis Schaeffer, 1972. I can’t tell you how many years I have had this on my shelf, but I wouldn’t if I could because it would be too embarrassing. (Finished 4/22/15)
3. Gentle Savage Still Seeking the End of the Spear: The Autobiography of a Killer and the Oral History of the Waorani by Menkaye Aenkaedi with Kemo and Dyowe, 2013. Those who have been reading here a long time know that the whole story of the five missionaries who were killed trying to reach the Waorani, known then as Aucas, and the subsequent way God opened the hearts of this tribe to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord means a great deal to me and has impacted my life exponentially. This book was told by Menkaye, one of the killer of the missionaries who later became a father and grandfather figure to Steve Saint and his family, descendants of one of the five men. (Finished 5/24/15)
4. Strait of Hormuz by Davis Bunn. I like Bunn and his Marc Royce series, but this is another that kept getting pushed aside while I worked on other reading challenges.(Finished 6/9/15)
5. Better to Be Broken by Rick Huntress, 2012. (Finished 3/2/15)
6. The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson, 2013, a retelling of Snow White. (Finished 6/17/15)
7. My Emily by Matt Patterson, a family’s story of a young daughter born with Down’s Syndrome who is then diagnosed with leukemia. (Finished 3/4/15)
9. Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God. A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope by Christopher & Angela Yuan, 2011, recommended by Tim Challies. (Finished 3/8/15)
10. Growing Up Amish: A Memoir by Ira Wagler. Saw this highly recommended by a number of people. (Finished 5/31/15)
11. Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lisa TerKeurst, 2009. Have had this on hand, meaning to get to it, for years. (Finished 2/1/15)
Either Live Like a Narnian by Joe Rigney, 2013, or The Narnian by Alan Jacobs, 2009, or both if I have time, for Carrie’s Chronicles of Narnia Reading Challenge in July. I have both already in my Kindle app – just have to decide which to start with. (Finished 7/24/15)
We’re allowed two alternates in case there is a book we just can’t get into, so I’ll choose The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson, 2013 (a retelling of Cinderella) (Finished 6/28/15) and something by Ann Tatlock, if I can be that unspecific. I have six of her books in my Kindle app.
Sign-up for the TBR Challenge is open here through January 15, so you have time if you’d like to join in. The only stipulations are that the books on your list have to be ones you have never read before and have to have been published before January 1, 2014 (unfortunately! I had to cross two off my list because they were just published last year.). Those who complete the challenge by the end of the year are eligible for a drawing for a $50 Amazon or Book Depository gift card.
I think I will sign up again for the 2015 Non-fiction Reading Challenge, as I read a number of non-fiction books anyway. I will aim for the “Seeker” level, which is 11-15 books.
|Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photographyat FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
So…it looks like these will keep me busy for a while. 🙂 Do you have any reading plans for the year?