By Kelly Bridgewater
If you have been following my blog for the past two weeks, I started the New Year with setting my year off right with focusing on God. Then I followed up with my writing goals for the new year. Now today, I will be showing how I set up by reading goals for the New Year. I try to read 200 books during a year. For me, it doesn’t seem like a lot, but as an avid reader who can complete a 400 page book in a twenty-four hour period while watching my boys and getting dinner on the table, I think my list should be longer.
Maybe this year.
Let’s me share my secret. First, I read all the time. My Kindle is in my purse. I find an extra fifteen minutes waiting to pick up the boys from school. Sitting in the doctor’s office waiting to go back and then watching the clock tick by in the examination room. I pull out my Kindle while standing in the line at the grocery store. I read while my husband is driving down the road to the store. My nose is always in a book. My favorite moments are when my youngest, Obadiah, hands me a book, and he cuddles in my lap while we devour the book together. He is really into Franklin and Lego Batman right now, so we read a lot of those.
In 2014 at the Indiana ACFW meeting in December, our speaker, Bob Hostetler, challenged us to be intentional with our reading. He suggested know ahead of time of at least fifty books you want to read in the New Year, and then read accordingly.
In the past, I have been purely a reader who read a book because of I’m a devoted fan of an author who I buy everything of, or I read the synopsis on the back of the book, and I’m interested. I have a lot of books around my house that need to be read, so I plan to be intentional with the books I NEED to finish by the end of 2016. Not that there won’t be more added as new books come out. There are a lot of books coming out in 2016 that I want to devour. I have been reading every suspense and romantic suspense, so I can study and improve my writing, so now I can venture out of my genre. Lately, I have been obsessed with World War II fiction.
We all know I will be reading the Bible every day, so that won’t be listed.
· Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers (all four of the books in the series) andCamille (which I found at a yard sale this summer)
· C.S. Lewis who I have an entire bookshelf devoted to his writings and writings about him, but I haven’t gotten around to reading all of them.
6 contemporary romantic suspense books (Including Love Inspired Suspense)Let’s be honest, I’ll probably be reading a lot more of these:
· Burning Proof by Janice Cantore
· Thin Ice by Irene Hannon
· Dressed for Death by Julianna Deering
· Desperate Measures by Lynette Eason
· A Fool and His Monet by Sandra Orchard
· Silence in the Dark by Patricia Bradley
4 World War II or historical fiction books (absolute minimum):
· Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd
· Anchors in the Storm by Sarah Sundin
· The Bachelor's Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillian
· The Ringmaster's Wife by Kristy Cambron
3 suspense/ thriller books:
· Curse by Steven James
Annabell Lee by Mike Nappa
Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey
4 favorite fiction authors:
· You're the One that I Want by Susan May Warren
· Steven James
· Dani Pettrey
· Sarah Sundin
2 new fiction authors:
· James Rubart
· James Rollins
5 Young adult books:
· The Beautiful Pretender, A Spy's Devotion, and The Little Mermaid story (untitled) by Melanie Dickerson
4 writing craft books:
· Writing with Emotion, Tension, and Conflict by Cheryl St. John
· Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
· The Fire in Fiction and Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
2-3 Christmas books:
· Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putnam, and Sarah Sundin ( I read this book this past Christmas, and it became a classic that I will want to read every Christmas)
· The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado
· The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (Never read the actual book! Shame, I know)
I have a couple on my bookshelf from C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien I need to read.
1 daily devotional:
· A Year with C. S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works
This is just a summary of the type of books I plan to read this year. Plus, if anything new comes up, then this list has the right to change by adding or deleting a certain book. Some of these books aren’t even going to come out until the end of the summer, so I probably will have included some new books by then.
How do you decide what books to read for the New Year? Share. I have a journal next to my favorite chair where I list every book that I read during the month and under the heading of what I have actually read during the year. It helps me keep track of what I already have read. Plus, it is cool when someone asks what type of books I read. Like they couldn’t tell by looking at my overflowing bookshelves.
Let’s meet back here for a recap in December and talk about our books that we read during 2016.