Thursday, January 10, 2008

Reading Challenge 2008

After joining the Spring and Summer Reading Challenges over at Seasonal Soundings then completing an Autumn reading list on my own, I was in the mood for something a little different this year. Being deliberate about my reading made a big impact in my literary life, and it is important that I continue to be intentional about the things that are priorities to me. Reading is one of those things. I want to stretch my mind and imagination. I want to learn new things. Feel something new. Go on adventures. I want my boys to see me reading.

In that spirit, I've decided to make a book list following (most of) the rules of the 888 Reading Challenge. Eight book catagories. Eight books in each catagory. Eight books may overlap catagories. In the year 2008, of course. 56 books. Very ambitious for me.

But I don't want to read the books on my list just to complete the challenge. I want to get out of each book what I need and be sensible to the other priorities in my life. More than eight of my books overlap catagories, not all of them will get read, some of the books are re-reads, and I'm sure to change my mind a few (or more) times over the course of the year.

This list excites me, and I am looking forward to digging in!

Literature Set in Ancient History:
Ben Hur
Quo Vadis

(With Levi:)
In Search of a Homeland (The Aeneid)
Black Ships Before Troy (The Iliad)
The Wanderings of Odysseus (The Odyssey)
The Bronze Bow
Detectives in Togas
The Cat of Bubastes (unabridged audio CD)

Children’s Fiction with Levi:
Swallows and Amazons
Little Britches
Owls in the Family
The Great Brain
Understood Betsy
Emily’s Runaway Imagination
All-of-a-Kind Family
Little Pear

The Life of Our Lord (Charles Dickens)
*Ben Hur
*Quo Vadis
Victor Journey Through the Bible
From Jest to Earnest (E. P. Roe)
Hard Questions, Real Answers (William Lane Craig)
The Screwtape Letters (C. S. Lewis)
The Problem of Pain (C. S. Lewis)

The Intellectual Devotional
The Closing of the American Mind (get around to finishing)
Family Matters (re-read)
Protecting the Gift (re-read)
Bringing Up Boys (re-read)
The Well-Trained Mind (re-read)
The Essential 55 (Ron Clark)
For the Children’s Sake (Susan Schaeffer Macaulay)

Book Club:
Watership Down
Me: Stories of My Life (Katharine Hepburn)
*From Jest to Earnest (E. P. Roe)
The Murder of Roger Akroyd (Agatha Christie)
Life With Jeeves (P. G. Wodehouse)
(7 more books to be decided at a later meeting)

*The Closing of the American Mind
Crunchy Cons
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (Barbara Kingsolver)
The Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey)
Eats, Shoots, and Leaves (Lynne Truss)
A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bill Bryson)
Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences (Kitty Burns Florey)
* Protecting the Gift

Just For Fun:
*The Murder of Roger Akroyd (Agatha Christie)
*Life With Jeeves (P. G. Wodehouse)
Tears of the Giraffe (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Book #2)
The Guardian (Nicholas Sparks)
A Tom Clancey Novel (not sure which one…)
Hotel Pastis (Peter Mayle)
The Thirteenth Tale
*A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bill Bryson)

*Ben Hur
*Quo Vadis
A Wrinkle in Time
Animal Farm
Brave New World
Messenger (Lois Lowry)
Taming of the Shrew
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

(*Books listed in a previous catagory)

What's on your list? Or are you the type of person that avoids lists at all costs and thinks I'm insane? Wicked grin.


carole said...

Well, only slightly insane.

I have never made a list of what I've read or what I hope to read. I am always inspired by people who do. I think I am scared about making a list of what I have read for fear that it will look pitifully short. But that is because I have a bad memory, so thinking back it never seems like I've read very many books. On the other hand, maybe I haven't read many books, and I ought to get to work making a plan!

Anonymous said...

I have never contemplated making a list of books I intend to read. I just come across ones that look good or have been recommended and I read them. I love your list though and may reference it as I look for things to read this year. Going through my Grandma's things I came across, "Me, Stories of My Life" by Katherine Hepburn and I grabbed it. It's here on my shelf waiting to be read! I was tickled to see it on your list. Happy reading!

Anonymous said...

I like your list! Very ambitious and inspiring too! There is some really go literature on your list and I don't know about you but there are too many people out there looking for an easy read. I say, why bother? Why not read good literature and be inspired and provoked to deeper thoughts, by the masters themselves. :)

Jennifer said...

Thanks for posting this. I participated in Callipidder Days' Fall Reading Challenge, and didn't get anywhere near all my books read (but also read a bunch that weren't on my list:)), but it was good for me to think about reading some things outside my usual types of reading. I like this idea for the same reason...I need to do a list like this and challenge myself to get some things read that have been on my list (and my bookshelf) for ages.

Renee said...

Would you share when you read? Do you read at night after the children are in bed, or sneak moments in all day long? I only ask because I truly want to read dozens and dozens of books, but I have NEVER, not once, been able to read more than one book a month since my first child was born 7 years ago!! I, of course, read at least 3 or 4 a day to the children, but I am referring to my own personal reading. Is it a discipline for you, or just a passion that inevitably weaves its way into your day. I wish I could find more time to read! I love the book list~very impressive!

Heidi said...

Carole~ I am naturally a list maker. I think it is because I'm really visual. I need to see what I've done or what still needs to be done, or even just ideas written down on paper. I go insane when I leave them floating in my head. :) It is very true that you might be reading more than you think. Here and there begins to add up!

Amy~ I'm loving Katherine Hepburns autobiography! I make lists because I'm afraid I'm going to forget something. :)

Homeschooljourney~ I like reading the good stuff, too. :) Although, I *really* like good children's literature, because it is well written but less daunting and doesn't take forever to finish!

Jennifer~ That is what I've found about making my lists. I have gotten around to books that I wanted to read but never seemed to pick up and a few out of my normal 'box.' Have fun making a list!

The Good~ It seems like I didn't read much before last year. It is so hard with littles running around the house! Making my lists last year made a big difference. Also, my book club has been amazing. Having a specific time frame to finish a book, accountability, discussion with other ladies, and a wide range of books (some that I would have never picked up otherwise)... For a couple years that is all I read, but I read almost every book club book.

I read quite a bit while nursing this past year (although that is always a bit of a challenge). When I get into a book I have a hard time putting it down. So, it might take me a while to start one only reading a little at a time, but then I don't get much done around the house when I'm finishing it up. :) This past year I definitely read bits here and there, and often at night after the kids were in bed.

This year, I've scheduled an hour of reading right before I go to sleep. Which only works if you can stay awake. :) Since I've been working on my routine, I've found that I am extra motivated to get the kids to bed and my nightly 'chores' done as efficiently as possible just so I can get started on my reading. I find that I enjoy my reading so much more knowing all the work is finished up for the day, even if the house isn't spotless. :)

Also, quite a few of the books on my list are read-alouds, and not all of the others will get read. But we'll see how it goes!

Heidi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Jo said...

What a great idea to list off the books you want to read and keep track of them as you go! I'm going to copy your idea and attempt that myself. I'm currently enjoying re-reading children's books, like Charlotte's Web and the Little House series. My kids are too little for them now, but I look forward to the day when they'll join me in re-reading those classics.

I enjoyed reading your homeschool reasons and will likely read through it all again and some of the links as I think and pray about the education of my babies.

P.S. I found you through my dear friend Carole :)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that your bookclub is reading "Your Money or Your Life!" I found out about it thru a Google Alert and am glad because it got me to visit your website. Beautiful. I fully support all you're doing and hope you'll contact me if you or the other moms in your bookclub need support with YMoYL I'm the mom of two girls ages three and six myself). We have study guides and all sorts of other materials available at
Monique Tilford, Co-author, Your Money or Your Life