Back in November, while reading Nathaniel Philbrick's Bunker Hill, I began formulating what would be the first of my reading goals for 2019. I had intended to read Philbrick's In the Hurricane's Eye but it was new and our library system does not allow holds on new books. So I visited the shelves for an alternative by Philbrick and chose Bunker Hill which is a piece of history I knew bits and pieces of, only. This led me to my first proposed reading goal for 2019.
no. 1: Read 12 historical non-fiction books in 2019. Non-fiction is by far my favorite genre. When I say non-fiction is my favorite genre I am actually referring to my preference for Christian non-fiction. Since I am indubitably aware my knowledge of history is sorely limited - and I enjoy non-fiction, two characteristics that will blend together admirably. Because I have enjoyed the historical re-telling of actual events in the past such as Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing, Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln, Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson, and Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer that the idea of reading a piece of history each month in this way is definitely worth my time and, shall I say, effort.
I set a goal of read 12 (or 1 book a month) historical non-fiction books. Because, generally, historical non-fiction are bulky, thought-provoking, and time-consuming reads for me, I know that even reading only one book a month in this genre is a lofty goal. Challenging enough, and yet feasible. This goal aligns well with another goal this year: to learn something new every week; another newly created, thought-provoking, brain-teasing challenge that will invariably support, yet another new year focus, my One Little Word.
A few making onto my to-be-read (TBR) list for 2019 are definitely, Philbrick's In the Hurricane's Eye, and any others by O'Reilly, in particular, Killing Jesus or Killing Reagan. We recently watched Band of Brothers on DVD and I added Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers to my cart as a Christmas gift for Jeff but also, unapologetically, because I wanted to read the story of Easy Company of World War II. And I still have Hidden Figures on my bookshelf.
no. 2: Read 3 books a-loud to my husband. What began, in September, out of necessity, reading a-loud to Jeff - for the connection, for the time together, so that we could grow in Christ together, I am hoping we continue this effort in 2019. In September I read a-loud The End of Me by Kyle Idleman, a re-shaping of me to be more like Christ. It was an easy and humorous, yet thought-provoking first read. Then in October through December we read a-loud The Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer, a re-newing of the mind to be more like Christ's. We don't read everyday. Sometimes only one chapter at a time. Some weeks we read a little bit every morning before work. Some days we've discussed the heck out of what we've read and other days we've pondered and meditated the text on our own.
I realized, being that Jeff is part auditory learner, and we need this for the health of our relationship and for our relationship's with Christ, continuing to read a-loud in 2019 is a must TBR. It is here I had to foremost set a realistic goal: reading 3 books a-loud to Jeff seems realistic - one book every 3-4 months. Our marriage counselor suggested some marriage-type books and I have in mind at least one of the three books being marriage related, but I think, for us, growing spiritually, first individually - and together, is just as important and maybe even more important for us right now.
These are a few of the potential TBRs: The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller, Love Does by Bob Geoff (this would be a re-read for me but it's been awhile and would be worthwhile. Plus I think Jeff would thoroughly enjoy the conversation and appreciate the easier read), This Momentary Marriage by John Piper, or even Radical by David Platt. I'm still contemplating what to read next.
no. 3: Read 120 books. In 2018 my goal was Read 100 Books. I achieved the goal - just barely. However, this doesn't mean I'm shying away from upping my reading game in 2019. It does mean I'm kicking negative to the curb and planning to succeed. If the number one reason for success is believing I can succeed then planning is indispensable - and, essential. This means I will need to read more than two books a week to meet my goal.
no. 4: 2019 Reading Challenge. Off and on over the past couple of years I have participated in an online annual reading challenge. I decided this year since I am crafting my own lofty reading goals I might as well add a 12-book reading challenge. As an avid follower of Modern Mrs. Darcy, the place I most often find reading recommendations, I decided I would keep this challenge simple and follow along with her 2019 Reading Challenge.
And, that's it - my reading goals for 2019.
But that's not all. In years past (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015) I have documented what I have read in various formats: In 2018, at the end of each month I created a 2-page 6 x 8 scrapbooking layout of what I read that month for my All About Me album. In 2017, I did something similar. I created a 1-page 12 x 12 page of what I read that month for my Stories 2017 album. In 2016, I made a separate 4 x 4 album with page layouts of each book I read that year - all 52 books. In 2015, I simply made a 2-page scrapbooking page template and inserted book covers into the pre-designed squares with each book I read.
no. 5: Continue the 'tradition' of documenting what I've been reading in 2019. This year, however, I'm changing things up completely and moving to the Traveler's Notebook (TN) to document what I have read. Most likely I will continue making digital pages that I will insert into the TN. Because I will be reading - a ton, I needed something that could accommodate my loftier goals. A burgeoning traveler's notebook is charming, delightful, and a - dream.
I am anticipating an exciting journey in 2019 by reading books.