Reading Plans for 2022

One of my favorite activities is setting my reading plans for the year.

For many years I just read whatever came to hand, whatever I was in the mood for. I like to allow for that and for reading new books and unplanned discoveries. But making plans for the year helps me be more intentional, work in the books I plan to “get to someday,” and broaden my horizons.

Reading challenges also help with those purposes, plus they are fun. And some offer prizes!

The reading challenges I plan to participate in this year are:

The Back to the Classics Challenge hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate. This is one of my favorites. Through this challenge, I’ve been introduced to classics I never knew about before and authors I had never tried. My usual classics taste tend toward 19th century Britain: Dickins, Wilkie Collins, Anthony Trollope, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Elliot. These are the cozy classics to me, and I try to read from them every year. But it’s good to branch out, and Karen’s categories help me do that. The categories this year are:

  • A 19th century classic.
  • A 20th century classic.
  • A classic by a woman author.
  • A classic in translation.  Any book first published in a language that is not your primary language.
  • A classic by BIPOC author. Any book published by a non-white author.
  • Mystery/Detective/Crime Classic. It can be fiction or non-fiction.
  • A Classic Short Story Collection.
  • Pre-1800 Classic.
  • A Nonfiction Classic.
  • Classic That’s Been on Your TBR List the Longest.
  • Classic Set in a Place You’d Like to Visit.
  • Wild Card Classic. Any classic you like, any category, as long as it’s at least 50 years old!

Since the categories were just posted, I haven’t had time to think about them and decide what to read. But I’ll enjoy contemplating them! I’m sure I’ll continue with the next in Trollope’s Barsetshire series for the 19th century classic. I might delve into The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis for the nonfiction: I’ve been wanting to read that for a while.

Shelly Rae at Book’d Out hosts the Nonfiction Reader Challenge. She provided 12 categories of nonfiction, and participants choose which level they want to aim for. Thankfully, this year she has included a Nonfiction Grazer category where we set our own goals for how many and what kind of nonfiction to read. That will work best for me this year.

I’m going to plan on at least 12 nonfiction books. I usually read more than that, but many are in the same categories. This year I want to read:

  • At least one biography, autobiography, or memoir.
  • One writing book
  • One book of humor
  • One Bible study book
  • One Christian living book
  • One book of letters or journals
  • One book by C. S. Lewis that I have not read yet
  • One book on organization or productivity (I have 13 on my shelf! Some read, some dipped into, some unread.)
  • One book pertaining to a holiday (probably Christmas)
  • One book related to midlife or aging

Bev at My Reader’s Block hosts the Mount TBR Reading Challenge. The idea is to read books you already owned before the start of this year. Bev has made levels in increments of twelve, each named after a mountain, and we’re to choose a level to shoot for. Even though I’ve reached Mt. Ararat (48 books) the last couple of years, I think I will play it safe and stick with Mt. Vancouver (36 books).

There are a couple of other TBR challenges I have participated in for previous years, but the rules of each are slightly different. So, to keep it simple, I think I’ll just stick with this one. It’s such a feeling of accomplishment to get to those books!

These next to are new to me. They focus on books I usually read anyway, so they won’t require extra effort except for the record keeping.

The Audiobook Challenge is hosted by Caffeinated Reader. Last year I listened to 25 audiobooks, so I’ll aim for that again with the Binge Listener level at 20-30.

The Historical Fiction Reading Challenge is hosted by The Intrepid Reader. I read 15 in this genre last year, so I will aim for that again with the Medieval level.

I’ve seen some other interesting-looking challenges with various categories, like this one. But I don’t want to get involved in too many to keep up with. I may have already! We’ll see how it goes.

Do you participate in reading challenges? Which ones?

Reading Challenge Wrap-Ups

It’s that time of year–time to close and report the results of the different reading challenges I participated in this year.

I finished the the Back to the Classics Challenge early this year! I completed all twelve categories, and I posted what I read for each here.

The Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted by Shelly Rae at Book’d Out encourages us to read nonfiction in particular categories. The categories and the books I read for them:

1.Biography: Becoming Elisabeth Elliot by Ellen Vaughn
2. Travel: EPIC: An Around-the-World Journey Through Christian History by Tim Challies
3. Self-help: Don’t Overthink It by Anne Bogel
4. Essay Collection: Christian Reflections by C. S. Lewis
5. Disease
6. Oceanography: Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
7. Hobbies: How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
8. Indigenous Cultures
9. Food
10. Wartime Experiences: Woman Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue by Kathryn J. Atwood
11.Inventions: The Secret War of Charles Fraser-Smith, the “Q” Gadget Wizard of World War II by Charles Fraser-Smith.
12. Published in 2021: Ten Words to Live By: Delighting In and Doing What God Commands by Jen Wilkin.

My post listing all the book I read this year shows I competed 38 nonfiction books. But they didn’t all fit these categories, so I only reached “Nonfiction nibbler” status as far as this challenge goes.

Bev at My Reader’s Block hosts the Mount TBR Challenge to encourage us to read the books we already own.. Every 12 books read is another level or “mountain” climbed.

The Backlist Reader Challenge hosted by The Bookwyrm’s Hoard has the same idea as Mt. TBR.

I used to list all of the previously-owned books I read for this challenge, but that’s not a requirement, and seems redundant after listing all the titles I read this year. But I completed 48 books from my own shelves and Kindle app, reaching Mt. Ararat for the Mount TBR challenge. That feels like an accomplishment!

I enjoy reading Christmas books after Thanksgiving through the end of the year. Tarissa at In the Bookcase hosts a Literary Christmas Reading Challenge for that purpose each year. This year, my Christmas reading included:

  • Expecting Christmas, a 40-day devotional by multiple authors
  • A Quilt for Christmas by Sandra Dallas, a Civil war-era novel. A woman makes a quilt for her soldier husband. When he dies, she assumes the quilt was buried with him. But the quilt shows up again in a surprising way. Meanwhile, she has to determine how far her beliefs go when she is asked to shelter a runaway slave wanted for murder.
  • Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb. An epistolary novel set during WWI. Four friends plan to meet in Paris for Christmas the year WWI starts, thinking it will be over by then. Obviously, it wasn’t, and they don’t make that date. The last of them goes to Paris for Christmas in the 1960s to read the last unopened letter. So good.
  • A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson. A woman and her son travel to the beach house she has inherited. She plans to fix it up and sell it to replenish their resources after her husband’s long illness. But her son thrives in the new town and wants to stay.
  • The Yuletide Angel by Sandra Ardoin. A Victorian-era novel in which an anonymous donor, dubbed the Yuletide Angel, gifts needy families with supplies in the middle of the night. Only one person knows the benefactor’s identity is female, and he follows her unseen to insure her safety. But soon someone else stalks her in the darkness.
  • The Ornament Keeper by Eva Marie Everson. A woman unpacks the special ornaments her husband has given her each of their twenty years together. But now they have separated due to festering anger and unforgiveness. Can they find their way back to each other before it’s too late?
  • Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien. Tolkien wrote letters to his children as Father Christmas for several years, complete with disasters set off by the kind but bumbling North Polar Bear. Delightful.

Letters from Father Christmas and Last Christmas in Paris weren’t on my radar when I started the challenge, but I am so glad I found them. Otherwise, I did read all I set out to read for the challenge this year.

I also listened to a Christmas story laid out as a podcast series by Audible, The Cinnamon Bear: A Holiday Adventure. It was styled like a modern version of old radio serials. It was a little bizarre in places, kind of a conflation of Candy Land and Oz. But it had some clever writing here and there.

We watched a couple of Christmas movies, but not our usual White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life. We saw A Castle for Christmas, in which an author running from her problems visits a castle in Scotland where her father worked as a child. She learns the castle is for sale, but the curmudgeonly owner doesn’t really want to let go of it. It’s a pretty cute movie. One not-good part, but nothing explicit is shown. And we also watched Elf, which was a lot of fun.

And that wraps up for reading challenges for this year! I’ll hammer out my reading plans for next year next week. I’ll probably participate in each of these again. They all enhance my reading and broaden my horizons.

Back to the Classics Challenge Wrap-Up

Karen at Books and Chocolate hosts the Back to the Classics Challenge. Books have to be 50 years old and fit within the categories chosen for the year in order to qualify. Karen draws a name from participants at the end of the year to receive a $30 gift card towards books, and the number of categories you finish determines how many entries you get.

Here are the categories I finished this year. Titles link back to my reviews. I actually finished back in June (a record for me, I think), but am just now finishing this post.

1. A 19th century classic: The Warden by Anthony Trollope
2. A 20th century classic: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
3. A classic by a woman author: Silas Marner by George Elliot (Mary Ann Evans)
4. A classic in translation: The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
5. A classic by BIPOC author: The Narrative of Sojourner Truth by Sojourner Truth and Olive Gilbert
6. A classic by a new-to-you author: Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster
7. New-to-you classic by a favorite author: Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
8. A classic about an animal, or with an animal in the title: Animal Farm by George Orwell
9. A children’s classic: Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
10. A humorous or satirical classic: Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
11. A travel or adventure classic (fiction or non-fiction): A Room With a View by E. M. Forster
12. A classic play: Our Town by Thornton Wilder.

Karen wants us to put the number of entries we get for the prize drawing based on the number of categories completed. I have three entries because I completed all twelve categories.

Karen also wants us to put our contact email here: barbarah06 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Once again, I very much enjoyed this challenge. Some of the books were cozy; some were challenging. All stimulated thinking in one form or another. That they still speak and still provoke thought and discussion after to so long a time is, I suppose, what makes them classics.

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge

Tarissa at In the Bookcase hosts the Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge in June. You can read all the particulars here.

This year I’m reading The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli. It’s a time slip novel with one story set in modern times and another in Louisa’s time, both connected to her. And isn’t that cover gorgeous!

I doubt I’ll read anything else connected with LMA this year–I have too many other things on my reading plate. But we’ll see. If this one goes quickly, I might try to work in another.

Reading Plans for 2021

One of my favorite things to do is chart out my reading plans for the year. I don’t want to be rigid about them: I like flexibility to pick up something unexpected during the year. But being intentional with my plans helps me get to the books I’ve long wanted to read plus expands my reading horizons.

Last year I participated in several reading challenges, thinking that they’d be easy to do since they overlapped and I could list the same books for several of them. But the record-keeping took way too much time and thought. Then one host just stopped blogging in February and one took her blog down during the year. So this year, I am back to the tried and true plans I have used for years plus a couple of new ones that worked out well last year.

Karen at Books and Chocolate hosts the Back to the Classics Challenge. Books have to be 50 years old and fit within the categories chosen for the year in order to qualify. Karen draws a name from participants at the end of the year to receive a $30 gift card towards books, and the number of categories you finish determines how many entries you get.

Here are the categories for this year. We don’t have to name what books we’ll read yet, but I have a couple of ideas (subject to change!)

 
1. A 19th century classic: any book first published from 1800 to 1899. Probably The Warden by Anthony Trollope, the first of his Chronicles of Barsetshire series. I read the middle book in the series, Doctor Thorne, last year and loved it.
2. A 20th century classic: any book first published from 1900 to 1971.
3. A classic by a woman author. Something from D. E. Stevenson.
4. A classic in translation, meaning any book first published in a language that is not your primary language.
5. A classic by BIPOC author; that is, a non-white author.
6. A classic by a new-to-you author, i.e., an author whose work you have never read. Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster. I’ve read a couple of books based on this one, so I need to read the original.
7. New-to-you classic by a favorite author — a new book by an author whose works you have already read. I’m working on reading what Dickens books I haven’t read yet. Maybe Nicholas Nickleby.
8. A classic about an animal, or with an animal in the title. The animal can be real or metaphorical. (i.e., To Kill a Mockingbird).
9. A children’s classic. Thinking about either Peter Pan or Tarzan.
10. A humorous or satirical classic.
11. A travel or adventure classic (fiction or non-fiction). It can be a travelogue or a classic in which the main character travels or has an adventure.
12. A classic play. Plays will only count in this category.
 

Bev at My Reader’s Block hosts the Mount TBR Challenge to encourage us to read the books we already own.. Every 12 books read is another level or “mountain” climbed. We don’t have to list the books yet, but we do have to commit to a level. I am committing to Mt. Vancouver (36 books). The one main rule here is that the books have to have been owned by us before January 1, 2021.

The Backlist Reader Challenge hosted by The Bookwyrm’s Hoard has the same idea as Mt. TBR. The main difference is we don’t have to own the books–they can be on our TBR list as well as actually on our shelves.

We don’t have to list what books we’ll read for the TBR or Backlist challenges, but these are some that I want to get to. I only asked for two books for Christmas—a record low for me!—because I had so many stacked up from previous gifts.

The Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted by Shelly Rae at Book’d Out should be easy, since I read a lot of nonfiction anyway. But the books need to fit in these categories for this year’s challenge.

  1. Biography
  2. Travel
  3. Self-help
  4. Essay Collection
  5. Disease
  6. Oceanography
  7. Hobbies
  8. Indigenous Cultures
  9. Food
  10. Wartime Experiences
  11. Inventions
  12. Published in 2021

There are different levels to choose from for goals. Though I know I’ll read more than 12, I am only going to aim for the Nonfiction Nibbler (6 books). If I come up with titles to fit the other categories–titles that I want to read for themselves and not just for the challenge—I’ll see how far I can get.

Finally, Tarissa at In the Bookcase hosts a Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge in June and a Literary Christmas Challenge in November and December. I’ll say more about those when they come up.

So that the plan for this year. I am excited!

Do you have any plans for reading this year? Do you participate in any reading challenges? I’d love to hear about them.

(Sharing with Senior Salon)

Literary Christmas Challenge Wrap-Up 2020

A Literary Christmas: Reading Challenge // inthebookcase.blogspot.com

Tarissa at In the Bookcase hosts a Literary Christmas Reading Challenge to encourage reading and sharing at Christmas time.

I didn’t get to one book from my original plans, but I did listen to an audiobook I hadn’t planned to—so I guess it all worked out evenly in the end.

Here’s what I finished, linked back to my reviews:

  • Loving My Actual Christmas by Alexandra Kuykendall, nonfiction. Ways to enjoy Christmas as it is rather than an idealized version, with lots of tips.
  • Joy to the World: Daily Readings for Advent by Charles Spurgeon, nonfiction. Short excerpts taken from some of Spurgeon’s Christmas sermons and arranged as a 25-day devotional.
  • A Christmas Longing by Joni Eareckson Tada, nonfiction. A lovely book filled with Joni’s artwork and meditations about Christmas.
  • A Very Bookish Christmas by Sarah Holman, J. Grace Pennington, Kate Willis, and Rebekah Jones, fiction. Four stories each tie in with a classic book.
  • Mistletoe and Murder: A Christmas Suspense Collection of ten novellas by different authors, fiction. Very suspenseful!
  • A Tale of Two Hearts and The Old Lace Shop, two stories in Michelle Griep’s Once Upon a Dicken’s Christmas. I’m not quite done with the last one, but I wanted to get the wrap-up post in before the reading challenge closed completely.

Thanks to Tarissa for hosting once again! I always enjoy it.

Nonfiction Reader Challenge Wrap-Up

Shelly Rae at Book’d Out hosts the Nonfiction Reading Challenge . The idea is to read nonfiction books in the categories she has chosen and choose a level to aim for.

I do read several nonfiction books a year as it is. But I only aimed for the Nonfiction Nibbler (6 books), since I wasn’t interested in all the categories for the next level.

As it turned out, I read 10 books that fit the categories, and several more besides.Here are my choices for this year’s categories, with links back to my reviews:

  1. Memoir:Panosian: A Story of God’s Gracious Providence by Chris Anderson
  2. Disaster Event: Green Leaf in Drought by Isobel Kuhn
  3. Social Science: Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam
  4. Related to an Occupation:  True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal—and How Nearly Dying Saved my Life, by Kevin Sorbo
  5. History:The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan
  6. Feminism:The Wonder Years: 40 Women over 40 on Aging, Faith, Beauty, and Strength, a collection of essays compiled by Leslie Leyland Fields (This is more about femininity that feminism, but I think it fits.)
  7. Psychology: Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises by Dr. Michelle Bengston
  8. Medical Issue:7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates by Susan Neal
  9. Nature:
  10. True Crime:
  11. Science: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  12. Published in 2020: The Answer Is…by Alex Trebek

Because I like to have these all listed in one place, other nonfiction I’ve read this year is:

  1. Be Amazed (Minor Prophets): Restoring an Attitude of Wonder and Worship by Warren W. Wiersbe
  2. Be Authentic (Genesis 25-50): Exhibiting Real Faith in the Real World by Warren Wiersbe
  3. Be Basic (Genesis 1-11): Believing the Simple Truth of God’s Word by Warren Wiersbe
  4. Be Concerned (Minor Prophets): Making a Difference in Your Lifetime by Warren Wiersbe
  5. Be Free (Galatians): Exchange Legalism for True Spirituality by Warren Wiersbe
  6. Be Obedient (Genesis 12-25): Learning the Secret of Living by Faith by Warren Wiersbe
  7. Be Resolute( Daniel): Determining to Go God’s Direction by Warren Wiersbe
  8. Be Reverent (Ezekiel): Bowing Before Our Awesome God by Warren Wiersbe
  9. Be Rich (Ephesians): Gaining the Things That Money Can’t Buy by Warren Wiersbe
  10. Be Victorious (Revelation): In Christ You Are an Overcomer by Warren Wiersbe
  11. Bedside Blessings by Charles Swindoll (not reviewed yet)
  12. Christian Study Guide for 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates.by Susan Neal
  13. A Christmas Longing by Joni Eareckson Tada
  14. Daily Light on the Daily Path compiled by Samuel Bagster
  15. God’s Very Good Idea by Trillia Newbell (children’s book about diversity)
  16. Good Tidings of Great Joy: A Collection of Christmas Sermons by Charles Spurgeon
  17. In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character by Jen Wilkin
  18. Joy to the World: Daily Readings for Advent by Charles Spurgeon
  19. Loving My Actual Christmas: An Experiment in Relishing the Season by Alexandra Kuykendall
  20. None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different From Us (And Why That’s a Good Thing) by Jen Wilkin
  21. The Women of Easter: Encounter the Savior with Mary of Bethany, Mary of Nazareth, and Mary Magdalene by Liz Curtis Higgs

I had hoped to finish Write Better by Andrew T. Le Peau and The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion by Annette Whipple, but didn’t. Hopefully I will early this year.

Though I gravitate to fiction, I enjoy and benefit from nonfiction. If you’re interested in next year’s challenge, information for it is here.

TBR and Backlist Wrap-Up Posts

Two reading challenges I participated in encouraged us to get to those books we already had but hadn’t read yet. One was the the Mount TBR (To-Be-Read) Challenge hosted by Bev at My Reader’s Block. Every 12 books read is another level or “mountain” climbed. My goal was Mt. Vancouver (36 books). I surpassed that and made it to Mt. Ararat (48 books). Yay! Many of those had accumulated on my Kindle app through various sales.

mount-tbr-2017

The Backlist Reader Challenge hosted by The Bookwyrm’s Hoard had the same goal: reading already-owned books. So my result was the same: 48 books.

The Backlist Reader Challenge sign-up link

Each of these is also hosting the same challenges for 2021 if you are interested: Mount TBR here and the Backlist Challenge here. I’ll be joining in next week!

Here’s what I read, roughly in the order I finished them:

  1. Panosian: A Story of God’s Gracious Providence by Chris Anderson (2018)(Finished 1/11/20)
  2. Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke (2012)(Finished 1/18/20)
  3. The Shop Keepers by Nancy Moser (2019)(Finished 1/25/20)
  4. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle (1883)(Finished 1/29/20)
  5. Off the Clock by Laura Vanderham (2018)(Finished 2/4/20)
  6. Good Tidings of Great Joy by Charles Spurgeon (2017)(Finished 2/8/20)
  7. Hard Times by Charles Dickens (1854)(Finished 2/11/20)
  8. The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels (2019) (added 2/18/20)
  9. The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan (2017)(Finished 3/14/20)
  10. Be Reverent (Ezekiel): Bowing Before Our Awesome God by Warren Wiersbe. (1975)(Finished 3/25/20)
  11. Be Free (Galatians): Exchange Legalism for True Spirituality by Warren Wiersbe (2010, Finished 4/2/20)
  12. Green Leaf in Drought by Isobel Kuhn (1957) (Finished 4/5/20)
  13. Be Rich (Ephesians): Gaining the Things Money Can’t Buy by Warren Wiersbe (2010, Finished 4/10/20)
  14. The Women of Easter: Encounter the Savior with Mary of Bethany, Mary of Nazareth, and Mary Magdalene by Liz Curtis Higgs (2017) (Finished 4/11/20)
  15. A Portrait of Marguerite by Kate Lloyd (2011) (Finished 4/15/20)
  16. Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney (2012)(Finished 5/3/20)
  17. Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron (2019)(Finished 5/45/20)
  18. A Season to Dance by Patricia Beal. (2017)(Finished 5/12/20)
  19. The Wonder Years: 40 Women Over 40 on Aging, Faith, Beauty, and Strength compiled by Leslie Leyland Fields (2018)(Finished 6/1/20)
  20. Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises. by Dr. Michelle Bengston. (2019, Finished 6/6/20)
  21. The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick (2008)(Finished 6/16/20)
  22. Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
  23. Monday’s Child by Linda Chaikin(1999)(Finished 6/29/20)
  24. Rain Song by Alice Wisler (2008)(Finished 7/5/20)
  25. Be Concerned by Warren Wiersbe (2010, Finished 7/8/20)
  26. Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin (2016, Finished 7/20/20)
  27. If We Make It Home by Christina Suzann Nelson (2017, Finished 7/11/20)
  28. Hurricane Season by Laura K. Denton. (2018, Finished 7/20/20)
  29. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (1910, Finished 7/27/20)
  30. The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson (2016, Finished 8/2/20)
  31. Candleford Green by Flora Thompson (1943, Finished 8/4/20)
  32. Be Amazed (Minor Prophets): Restoring an Attitude of Wonder and Worship by Warren W. Wiersbe (2010, Finished 8/6/20)
  33. 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates by Susan Neal (2017, Finished 8/9/20)
  34. None Like Him by Jen Wilkin (2016, finished 8/15/20)
  35. Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words by Rachel Coker (2012, finished 8/17/20)
  36. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (2019, Finished 8/22/20)
  37. Be Victorious (Revelation): In Christ You Are an Overcomer by Warren Wiersbe (2008, Finished 9/7/20)
  38. The Color of Hope by Kim Cash Tate (2013, Finished 9/7/20)
  39. Sandhill Dreams by Cara Putnam (2017, Finished 9/9/20)
  40. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (2011, Finished 9/12/20)
  41. Five Miles South of Peculiar by Angela Hunt (2012, Finished 9/15/20)
  42. The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke (2019, Finished 9/21/20)
  43. Be Basic (Genesis 1-11): Believing the Simple Truth of God’s Word by Warren Wiersbe (2010, Finished 9/22/20)
  44. An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M. White (2018, Finished 10/23/20)
  45. In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character by Jen Wilkin (2018, Finished 11/7/20)
  46. Under a Cloudless Sky by Chris Fabry (2018, Finished 11/9/20)
  47. Loving My Actual Christmas: An Experiment in Relishing the Season by Alexandra Kuykendall (2017, Finished 12/11/20)
  48. Bedtime Meditations by Charles Swindoll (12/31/20) (not reviewed yet)

A lot of good reading! I’m looking forward to reading more of what’s on my shelves and in my Kindle app this year.

Books Read in 2020

I had a good reading year. 84 books—I think that’s a record for me. I had quite a variety. Old and new: the oldest was published in 1854. A few were hot off the press this year (one I got to read before it was published). Fiction and nonfiction. Paper, Kindle, and audio. I discovered a few new-to-me authors, both classic (Cather, Trollope, and Stevenson) and contemporary (Roseanna M. White, Christina Suzann Nelson, Rachel Coker), whose other works I want to explore. I enjoyed the great majority of them.

I’ll publish my top ten or so of the year shortly, and I have a couple of reading challenge wrap-ups to post which will overlap with this. But I wanted to have a record of everything read this year. The titles link back to my reviews.

Classics:

  1. 1984 by George Orwell
  2. Amberwell by D. E. Stevenson
  3. Billy Budd by Herman Melville
  4. Candleford Green by Flora Thompson
  5. Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope
  6. Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
  7. Hard Times by Charles Dickens
  8. Lark Rise by Flora Thompson
  9. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
  10. My Antonia by Willa Cather
  11. Over to Candleford by Flora Thompson
  12. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
  13. Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
  14. Summerhills by D. E. Stevenson
  15. Wynema: A Child of the Forest by S. Alice Callahan

Nonfiction:

  1. 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates by Susan Neal
  2. The Answer Is…by Alex Trebek
  3. Be Amazed (Minor Prophets): Restoring an Attitude of Wonder and Worship by Warren W. Wiersbe
  4. Be Authentic (Genesis 25-50): Exhibiting Real Faith in the Real World by Warren Wiersbe
  5. Be Basic (Genesis 1-11): Believing the Simple Truth of God’s Word by Warren Wiersbe (2010, Finished 9/22/20)
  6. Be Concerned (Minor Prophets): Making a Difference in Your Lifetime by Warren Wiersbe
  7. Be Free (Galatians): Exchange Legalism for True Spirituality by Warren Wiersbe
  8. Be Obedient (Genesis 12-25): Learning the Secret of Living by Faith by Warren Wiersbe
  9. Be Resolute( Daniel): Determining to Go God’s Direction by Warren Wiersbe
  10. Be Reverent (Ezekiel): Bowing Before Our Awesome God by Warren Wiersbe
  11. Be Rich (Ephesians): Gaining the Things That Money Can’t Buy by Warren Wiersbe
  12. Be Victorious (Revelation): In Christ You Are an Overcomer by Warren Wiersbe (2008, Finished 9/7/20)
  13. Bedside Blessings by Charles R. Swindoll (not reviewed yet)
  14. Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises by Dr. Michelle Bengston
  15. Christian Study Guide for 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates.by Susan Neal
  16. A Christmas Longing by Joni Eareckson Tada
  17. Daily Light on the Daily Path compiled by Samuel Bagster
  18. God’s Very Good Idea by Trillia Newbell (children’s)
  19. Good Tidings of Great Joy: A Collection of Christmas Sermons by Charles Spurgeon
  20. Green Leaf in Drought by Isobel Kuhn
  21. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  22. In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character by Jen Wilkin
  23. Joy to the World: Daily Readings for Advent by C. H. Spurgeon
  24. The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan
  25. Loving My Actual Christmas: An Experiment in Relishing the Season by Alexandra Kuykendall
  26. None Like Him by Jen Wilkin
  27. Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam
  28. Panosian: A Story of God’s Gracious Providence by Chris Anderson
  29. True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal—and How Nearly Dying Saved my Life, by Kevin Sorbo
  30. When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner (children’s)
  31. The Women of Easter: Encounter the Savior with Mary of Bethany, Mary of Nazareth, and Mary Magdalene by Liz Curtis Higgs
  32. The Wonder Years: 40 Women over 40 on Aging, Faith, Beauty, and Strength, a collection of essays compiled by Leslie Leyland Fields

Christian fiction:

  1. Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron
  2. Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker
  3. The Color of Hope by Kim Cash Tate
  4. Colorfull: Celebrating the Colors God Gave Us by Dorena Williamson (children’s)
  5. Discovering Jesus and His Love by Scott Leone
  6. Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney
  7. Five Miles South of Peculiar by Angela Hunt
  8. An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M. White
  9. If We Make It Home by Christina Suzann Nelson
  10. Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words by Rachel Coker
  11. The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke
  12. Monday’s Child by Linda Chaikin
  13. A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White
  14. The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White
  15. On the Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White
  16. A Portrait of Loyalty by Roseanna M. White
  17. A Portrait of Marguerite by Kate Lloyd
  18. Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke
  19. Rain Song by Alice Wisler
  20. The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson
  21. Sandhill Dreams by Cara Putnam
  22. A Season to Dance by Patrica Beal
  23. The Shop Keepers by Nancy Moser
  24. A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White
  25. Termination Zone by Adam Blumer
  26. Under a Cloudless Sky by Chris Fabry
  27. A Very Bookish Christmas by Rebekah Jones, Sarah Holman, J. Grace Pennington, and Kate Willis
  28. A Very Bookish Thanksgiving by Kelsey Bryant, Rebekah Jones, Sarah Holman, J. Grace Pennington, and Amanda Tero
  29. Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin
  30. The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels

Other Fiction:

  1. Hurricane Season by Laura K. Denton
  2. The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick
  3. Old Town in the Green Groves by Cynthia Rylant
  4. Stranger Planet by Nathan Pyle (a lot of fun but not reviewed)
  5. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

I read two that I chose not to review or name for various reasons. One dealt with an issue I just don’t want to get into on the blog. The other I didn’t really care for, but I sort-of know the author online and didn’t want to be negative about her book publicly.

I’m looking forward to starting a fresh new list next year!

(Sharing with Booknificent Thursday)

Back to the Classics Challenge 2020 Wrap-up

I enjoy participating in the the Back to the Classics challenge hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate. I wasn’t exposed to many classics growing up, and I’ve determined to educate myself with several of them. The categories help me expand my reading horizons. The titles link back to my reviews. I included the publication dates to verify that the books are 50 years old, as required:

1. 19th Century Classic: Hard Times by Charles Dickens (1854)
2. 20th Century Classic: My Antonia by Willa Cather (1918)
3.Classic by a Woman Author: Eight Cousins by Louisa My Alcott (1875)
4. Classic in Translation (originally written in something other than your native language): Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (1910)
5. Classic by a Person of Color: Wynema: A Child of the Forest (1891)
6. A Genre Classic:
1984 by George Orwell (1949)
7. Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle (1883)
8. Classic with a Place in the Title: Lark Rise (1939), Candleford Green (1943), and Over to Candleford (1941), the Lark Rise to Candleford trilogy by Flora Thompson
9. Classic with Nature in the Title: Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott (1876)
10. Classic About a Family (multiple members of the same family as principal characters): Amberwell  (1955) and Summerhills by D. E. Stevenson (1956)
11. Abandoned Classic (one you started but never finished). Billy Budd by Herman Melville (1924)
12: Classic Adaptation (Any classic that’s been adapted as a movie or TV series): Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope (1858)

Anthony Trollope, D. E. Stevenson, and Willa Cather were all new-to-me authors whose other works I look forward to exploring.

We’re allowed up to three children’s books: mine were Eight Cousins, Rose in Bloom, and Robin Hood.

Karen has a points system where the number of categories we complete gives us a corresponding number of entries in a prize drawing she holds. I don’t get extra points for reading more than one book in a couple of the categories—I did so just because I wanted to keep reading a series. Karen likes for us to calculate our number of entries. For completing all twelve categories, I get three entries.

If you are interested in participating next year, the rules, categories, and sign up post are here at the Back to the Classics 2021 post. Thanks to Karen for hosting! I enjoyed it very much.