I love reading. Going to the library and filling my arms with a stack of books, then organizing them into the order that I want to read them in is one of life’s great pleasures. Geeky as that may sound, it is totally true.
Two years ago, I set a goal for myself to read 50 books by the end of the year. I actually landed up reading about 80, and closer to 100 if I were to count the ones that were re-reads (you can read about it here). But when I was making my New Year’s Resolutions last January, I decided to forgo a reading goal because I didn’t want to become obsessed with finishing books, rather than enjoying them.
But… I really missed that goal. I missed the motivation it gave me to ignore the TV and pick up a book. Last year, I read 47 books. Not bad by any means, but most of them were light fiction. There’s nothing wrong with a literary donut once in a while, but my brain cannot live on empty calories alone.
So this year, I have once again set my sights on reading 50 books. I’m creating a list each month with books covering various topics. This way, my brain is getting a balanced diet of the healthy with a little dessert thrown in.
Here are my January Reading List Picks. (Not all of these are first-time reads, but they may be relevant to my life right now, so they are back for an encore.)
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- The House That Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark
Living in a smaller home has a lot of advantages, including less to clean. But the lack of space also makes messes happen twice as fast. I don’t know if my house will clean itself when I’m done reading this book, but at the very least, I won’t have to work so hard to keep it neat.
- Simplify by Bill Hybels
Now that vacation is over and all the routines and commitments are back in full swing, simplifying sounds perfect. So I’m hoping to gain some insight into the clutter in my life and mind, and how to get down to the bare essentials. Bonus: Bill Hybels is the father of Shauna Niequist, whose devotional Savor is one of my all-time favorites. I’m hoping they share a similar style.
- Different by Sally Clarkson
In this season of my life, as I struggle with understanding my own son who just seems different, though I can’t seem to explain exactly how, this book is just what I need. Sally Clarkson approaches motherhood in a way that I truly aspire to and hearing this story may help me in my own journey.
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Literally. This is an autobiography about a man born of mixed-race parents during apartheid in South Africa. Whenever I see him interviewed, I am fascinated by his thoughts on political and social issues. I’m looking forward to reading this, though I wish I had gotten the audiobook — as a comedian, timing is everything, and it probably would have made it even better. The accent doesn’t hurt either…
- Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas
Gary Thomas writes some of the most convicting marriage books I have ever read. And this one, about the ways in which a wife can influence and guide her husband to a more satisfying and God-centric union, is relevant regardless of whether your marriage is at an all-time low or high. I think we all need the reminder to ask ourselves daily: How do I love my husband today like he’s never been loved before?
So those are the five books I intend to read this month. I am also reading the Bible each day as part of the reading plan devised by Crystal Brothers of Serving Joyfully to read the entire Bible in a year. And I read the first chapter of Sally Clarkson’s The Life Giving Home Experience, which is dedicated to January, and will read another chapter each month. But there is always the possibility of another book or two making an appearance. An extra donut never hurt anyone, right?
What are you reading this month? Do you have any suggestions for me as I create my list for February? Leave your recommendations in the comments below!
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