Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My 2014 Reading Plan

One year. Fifty books. That’s the absolute bare bones of my reading plan for 2014.

In the past, my reading has been purely seat-of-the-pants. Cover, title, recommendation… whatever catches my eye I jump right in to. But I’ve been inspired by other writers and readers who actually formulate a plan for their reading for the year. I’ve embraced this idea for two reasons.

  1. A plan of attack means it could actually happen in an orderly fashion. Reading time is precious. I don’t want to waste it. J
  2. The plan gives me permission to read books other than writing craft books and books in my genre. Intellectually, I know it’s good to read history and psychology and missionary books, but I’ve been so intent on studying my genre that I couldn’t convince myself to read anything else.

For me, the Bible is a given, so I’ve not included it on my list.

So, here goes. My already-been-tweaked-several-times-and-that’s-why-it’s-just-now-coming-out-in-the-middle-of-January reading list for 2014 ~

·         2 R.M. Ballantyne books
o   The Dog Crusoe
o    The Lonely Island
·         2 Jane Austen novels (possibly all six) to discuss from the perspective of motherhood
o   Pride and Prejudice
o   Sense and Sensibility
·         6 contemporary romance, including Love Inspired {absolute minimum!}
o   Millie’s Treasure, Kathleen Y’Barbo
o   Smitten, Colleen Coble, {Just need to finish it.}
o   Nicholas Sparks?
·         2 historical romance {absolute minimum!}
o   Rebellious Heart, Jody Hedlund
o   Love’s Awakening, Laura Frantz
·         1 legal suspense – Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales, Randy Singer
·         5 favorite fiction authors
o   Cynthia Ruchti’s new book coming in May
o   Lady in Waiting, Susan Meissner
o   Not in the Heart, Chris Fabry
·         3 new fiction authors {absolute minimum!}
o   The Bone Box by Bob Hostetler
o   Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio
o   Richard Mabry
·         8 young adult
o   Gunner’s Run and Kiriath’s Quest by Rick Barry
o   The Legend of Annie Murphy by Frank Peretti
o   The Caroline books from American Girl {It’s always good to keep up with what your young adults are reading. J}
·         4 writing craft books {absolute minimum!}
o   Stein on Writing, Sol Stein
o   The Moral Premise, Stanley Williams
o   Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Renni Browne & Dave King {just need to finish this one}
o   Revision & Self-Editing, James Scott Bell {need to finish this one as well}
·         3 assigned missionary books from our church conference
·         2 creative non-fiction history
o   “They Have Killed Papa Dead!” The Road to Ford’s Theatre, Abraham Lincoln’s Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance, Anthony S. Pitch
o   Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, Rush Limbaugh
·         1 creative non-fiction/memoir
o   Gifted Hands, Dr. Ben Carson
·         5 non-fiction {absolute minimum!}
o   Ragged Hope, Cynthia Ruchti
o   You’re Made for a God-sized Dream, Holley Gerth
o   When Godly People Do Ungodly Things, Beth Moore
o   Large Family Logistics, Kim Brenneman
·         1 marketing book – Rob Eager?
·         1 uncategorized – The Book of Useless Information – Doesn’t that just sound intriguing? J
·         2-3 Christmas books
o   The Christmas Candle, Max Lucado
o   The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Barbara Robinson
·         1 daily devotional – Praying God’s Word Day by Day, Beth Moore
·         An untold number of children’s picture books. J

I’ve allowed myself some wiggle room in the numbers to allow for decisions along the way, although I would love to read far more than fifty. If a fantastic book comes available in May, I don’t want to have to put it off until the New Year.

I’m also allowing that I may have to extend myself some grace. I have six children, I homeschool, we’re building our own home, and my husband is contemplating a Ph.D. program. Whew!

It’s not too late to make your own reading plan. Keep track of what you read through the year, and let’s meet back here in December.

What are you reading in 2014? Any suggestions?

Linking with Growing in His Glory.

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  1. That is a very ambitious plan. Good for you! I read 33 books last year - mostly non-fiction. I hope to read that many again this year, but because life happens, my goal is at least 27 books. I have some titles I want to read in mind, but haven't planned them all out like you have. Will look forward to hearing how your plan progresses. Have a great day.

    1. I hope I have a good report, Deb! :-) Your number of 33 is excellent, especially non-fiction. I find it takes me longer to read non-fiction because I'm trying to absorb and remember everything.

  2. I'm 15, so I have more time but I'm reading 365 books this year! :~D

    I love reading! :~D

    1. One book every day? GOOD FOR YOU!!!! You sound like my 14yo who is a voracious reader. I read a book a day when I was your age but then, unfortunately, I grew up. :-) Blessings to you, Moriah.

  3. Wow! You inspire me. We all need a plan. Just remember to put a pot of coffee on before you begin.

    1. I knew you would think of coffee, Tammie. :-) Happy reading!

  4. I love this idea! I honestly have no idea how many books I read a year. I read a wide variety if you include all of the books I have to read for my profession. (I am a public school teacher so I have to read all of the books I use in class, plus all of my professional books, journals, and magazines.) I don't get to read much for pleasure except during summer, winter, and spring break, but I try to read at least one book for pleasure per week during those times so that would be about 13-14. I am going to have to start keeping a list!

    1. My husband is a professor, and he reads a lot of material for his classes as well. Good for you to keep reading during the breaks. And yes, keep a list. How interesting it would be to review a few years from now. :-)

  5. Looks like a great reading list. I'm going to have to check out a few of those books, they look interesting.
    I love to read but have a habit of choosing a great deal of fiction. This year I too, would like to add much more non-fiction books to my reading list. Preferably some historical type books.
    I like this idea of a reading list for the year. Though I may have to have a shorter list so that I will have time for those books I come across that I just have to read.

    1. I love history, too, Amber, and I've thought of writing historical fiction just so I can read the history books and then put it to use. :-) Fiction is good for you, too. It builds empathy and compassion and, with the right books, can inspire and encourage you to a closer walk with God.

  6. Great list! My personal favorite is "Large Family Logistic." Best of luck, friend, and thanks for linking up!

    1. I skimmed through that one a few years ago but never read it thoroughly. Then, I saw it on your list, Keri, of best books for 2013. Thank you for the reminder, and thank you for the link-up! :-)

  7. Love your list. I know what you mean about stretching beyond the usual reading. I need to read more fiction. No, I want to read more fiction. But I love non-fiction most. Need some fresh reading and will be crossing genres as well!

    1. They say variety is the spice of life, Dawn. :-) Happy reading!

  8. Wow! This is amazing. I have at least a hundred books I'd love to read...but with 3 littles in this season I get through 10-20 books a year (...although, they're usually thick ones!). My list includes The Excellent Wife (reread...I try to reread it every year!), Hinds' Feet on High Places (a rollover from 2013!), Let Me Be A Woman, The Heart of Anger, and at least one book by Andrew Murray. I've also been working through Jeff Shaara's historical fiction novels, so I hope to finish one or two of those, and my husband asked me to read Ender's Game (science fiction), and so I'm slowly making my way through that one, too.

    Thanks for sharing your list, Meghan! It's always neat to see what other ladies are reading :)

    1. Excellent choices, Lisha. I need to reread The Excellent Wife, and I love historical fiction, so I'm going to look into Jeff Shaara. Thanks for the suggestions. :-)

  9. Thanks for sharing your list. I came across your blog a few months ago and enjoy reading it.

    Curious as to why you have a Nicholas Sparks book on your list. Have you ever read any of his books? I'm probably in the majority, but I do not like his books. I've read a few of his books and they give me a sleazy feeling. Overwrought, gratuitous, and not uplifting to me in anyway.

    A suggestion- any of Christa Parrish's books- they are fabulous. Or Nicole Baart or Lisa Samson.

    Some of my all time favorite books are Some Wildflower in My Heart by Jamie Langston Turner and If I Gained the Whole World and Not a Sparrow Falls by Linda Nichols. They are wonderful, well-written, not to be missed books.

    Thanks for letting me comment about one of my favorite topics

    1. I have not read Nicholas Sparks but figured I would try one because he seems to be so wildly popular. But I'm glad to hear your opinion, and I'm not committed to finishing anything that's gratuitous and sleazy. Truth be told, I'm not sure I'll even try it but put another author in his slot that I know I can trust. Like...Lisa Samson. I've heard wonderful things about her writing, and I have one of hers on my kindle app, so she might fall into my new fiction authors category. Thank you for giving me your honest assessment, Lori! Happy reading! :-)

    2. Yes, I would avoid Nicholas Sparks as well. The movies made from his books are okay, the the actual books aren't that great. If I recall right, the language just got to me.

      I would like to suggest a series of books that (I forget the author's name) but the first book in the series is called Gods and Kings. It's taken straight from the bible and makes some of those Old Testament Kings really come to life!

    3. Thanks for seconding that, Kendra. I appreciate the input...and the link-up. :-)

  10. Visiting from the blog hop and it looks like a great list! I plan on reading 100 books this year, but I'm just going with the flow... I've read a lot of sewing books and some Christian living stuff so far, but I'm also hoping to read more writing books soon. Thanks for the list!

    1. Eek! Sewing books! I have one I've wanted to read for a while, and I completely forgot. Now I need another category....and more time. Great goal, Lindsey, of 100 books! :-)

  11. Visiting from WholeHearted Wednesdays. :)

    50 books is my goal for this year as well! I focus on non-fiction, struggle to read fiction. But I have read Large Family Logistics (enjoyed it and learned a lot!). And I want to read When Godly People do Ungodly Things this year. I'm always looking for great books. Thanks for sharing your list!

    1. I loaded up my kindle app with all those free Beth Moore books last week. When Godly People Do Ungodly Things particularly caught my attention. Looking forward to it. Thanks! :-)

  12. Wow, now that is a list! I'm always impressed when people can put together such a list, and that they tend to follow through as a result Thank you Meghan for sharing this with Cozy Reading Spot!


    1. Thank you, Marissa, for hosting the link-up! :-)

  13. That is a good list...would be way over-whelming to me. But I do see a few I would like to read, as well. Anything by Nicolas Sparks is good

    1. Just read whatever works, Paula, and tweak along the way. I'm sure my list of what I actually read will be somewhat different from this, but it's a good starting point. :-)

  14. Oh Meghan, I just love reading your blog!! I am stopping over from, um, oh yeah! Titus 2 Linkup Party. I just love the idea of a reading plan. Do you think I could do it?? I read so slow and I don't slow down much either.

    1. I'm sure you could do it, Judith! Just adjust the numbers to whatever works best for you, your speed, your time available, your interest, etc. Above all, sit back and relax and enjoy the book! :-)

  15. I need to do this. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

  16. My post for the "List it Tuesday" is also a list of books I want to read in 2014. Mine is much shorter but I just added four I gleamed from your list. Specifically I added the Writing Craft books. I have two on my list currently.


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