Friday, December 30, 2011

Reading Goals, Anyone?

I try not to do resolutions.  However, I am a list-maker, and do subscribe to the "tomorrow is another day" philosophy of planning, so I end up with goals, lists, resolutions. 

Some, I do really well with.  This year I did well with my closet project.  That's the one where I hang up my clothes in order that I wore them, and when I switch out the closet for the seasons, all the things that didn't get worn need to leave.  I managed to keep that up for a year now, and actually have gotten rid of a lot of clothing.

The personal health and fitness goals......not so hot.  Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

Reading goals, though - those I usually manage wonderfully.  My goal is always 100 books a year, which I have determined is unrealistic (though I did make it several years in a row).  This year I am up to 83, and still one day left! 

The quantity should not be important, though - the quality is the key.  Now, I do like to read fun books - especially cozy mysteries, usually set in England.  Usually there is very little gore, the victim is found bludgeoned, or poisoned, or with a single bullet-hole through the forehead.  No dismemberment, or very few, anyway.  I can read one of these in about 24 hours, so that has racked up the numbers the last few years.

For a few years I tried to do a classic a month, and that was a lot of fun, until I ran out of classics that I wanted to read.  Once I got past A Tale of Two Cities and Pride and Prejudice, and started heading into Moby Dick and The Odyssey, my interest level dropped.  Considerably.

One thing I keep hearing over and over is to read GOOD books that are PROFITABLE to me.  I am assuming that anyone who says that does not consider Agatha Raisin or Hamish Macbeth mysteries to be either good or profitable.  Whatever. 

But I do realize that a steady diet of Oreos, no matter how tasty, does not make for good health.  And books add to my (and your) intellectual health.  I have shelves of healthy books that have not been touched, while the Oreo books have been making a steady trek from the library to the house and back.  So, today I made a list of "Ten Theological Books To Read In 2012".  These all come from my own collection, and we have owned all of them except two for at least a year. 

And now, without further ado, here are my "Ten Theological Books To Read In 2012":
(not in any particular order)
  1. Don't Waste Your Life - John Piper
  2. A Praying Life - Paul E. Miller
  3. Spiritual Depression - Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  4. Desiring God - John Piper
  5. First Christians - Paul Maier
  6. Early Christian Writings - a collection of writings of Clement, Ignatious and Polycarp
  7. The Church of the East - ed. John Holzman
  8. Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis
  9. Surprised By Joy - C.S. Lewis
  10. Knowing God - J.I. Packer

A couple of these are pretty iffy - Early Christian Writings being "least likely to get read".  But we'll see.  These are goals, not mandates, after all.

Next, I am going to make a list of ten other books, fiction and non-fiction, that are on my shelves collecting dust.  I think I have some great books - I just need to get my lazy brain to reading them. 

But I am not going to make that list today.  After all, tomorrow is another day.


  1. If you haven't read it already, you must add to your list: Manley Beasley: Man of Faith - Instrument of Revival by Ron Owens. One of the best biographies I've read.


  2. I love your list of theological books to read this year. That is inspiring! I need to do that too. When I did my top books of 2011 blogpost, I realized that I hadn't read one missionary biography all year long (unless you count Little Princes). Usually, I like to read at least one every year.

  3. PS I love your new blog background.


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