The last few years, however, have seen an improvement in my ability to stick with and finish a book. I'm still not reading as much as I would like or as much as I used to, but I'm reading again. So against my better judgment I'm going to assign myself a reading list this year. Unlike some of my friends whose lists number 50 or more, I have decided to aim low: more than one book per month, but less than two. The list below consists of titles that have either been on my to-read list a long time or have been suggested or otherwise made known to me in the last few years. They are grouped by category.
1. Unbroken, Hillenbrand. Already started.
2. Night, Elie Wiesel
3. The Failure of Sex Education in the Church, Bartlett
4. The Eternal Woman, Gertrud von le Fort
5. The Seven Deadly Virtues, Hemingway et. al.
6. Orthodoxy, Chesterton
7. Studies in Words, C. S. Lewis
8. Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars, Camille Paglia
9. My Bright Abyss, Christian Wiman
10. Bondage of the Will, Luther
11. The Princess and the Goblin, MacDonald
12. The Marvelous Land of Snergs, Wyke-Smith. "I should like to record my own love and my children's love of E. A. Wyke-Smith's Marvellous Land of Snergs." - J. R. R. Tolkien
13. Looking for Alaska, Green.
14. Les Miserables, Hugo. Backup plan if I hate Les Mis: Anna Karenina, Tolstoy. Backup plan if I hate Anna: nothing.
15. Alas, Babylon, Frank
16. Cry, the Beloved Country, Paton
17. The Martian Chronicles, Bradbury
18. Robinson Crusoe, Defoe
19. Pudd'nhead Wilson, Twain. Or maybe Roughing It. Something by Twain.
20. Lord of the Rings, Tolkien. What can I say? Tried it many years ago, but didn't get through the first book. I am not a huge fan of fantasy. But so many of the people I love, love these books. I like the movies. I think I need to try the book(s) again.
In addition, 2015 is apparently the year of the re-read (who decides these things, anyway?) So to keep the reading gods happy, here are two re-reads, one that I loved and one I didn't.
21. A Wrinkle in Time, L'Engle. A childhood favorite.
22. Pride and Prejudice, Austen. I read it many years ago and didn't enjoy it enough to read any more Austen. But so many of my friends love Austen that I think I need to give Lady Jane another try. We always tell our kids they have to try the foods they don't like periodically because maybe their taste buds have changed. Well, maybe my reading taste has also changed. Or maybe I'll still not understand the passion some of you have for Austen. We'll see.
Also this year I will be getting my first ever review copy of a book! More on that later. And I hope to read my daughter's novel, but first she has to finish it. Disclaimer: I reserve the right to stop reading anything on this list if after giving it a fair chance I find it doesn't pull me in. Life is short. Books are aplenty. Reading should be a joy, not a chore. Besides, I'm not in school anymore and don't have to read anything I don't want to. So there.
Feel free to make suggestions for future reading lists, or additions to this list in case I get through it (miracles can happen!) and need more.