Good writers read. And that makes me a terrible writer.
I have never been a good reader. I struggled through chapter books in elementary school and limped through literature classes in high school and college.
I want to read, but I struggle to finish books that I start. I’ve always just accepted that I’m an anomaly who likes books, loves writing, and hates reading.
This year, I’m calling myself out on that crap.
I want to read, I can read, and I should read.
I’ve just never been invested enough in reading to map out a reading plan and I think that has been one of my biggest failures as a writer.
This year, I’ve crafted a reading list for myself. That in itself was incredibly hard for me. I know writers who read hundreds of books a year and my little list seemed pitiful. But I don’t care anymore. It’s my reading list, for my benefit and growth. So, I decided to set a goal that I thought would be attainable for me.
I want to read 10 books this year. I tried to pick books that will challenge me but are still relevant to my life and interests right now. This is what’s on my list so far and why.
1. Mayo Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia
Most of you know that I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year after years of experiencing symptoms. Fibromyalgia is a largely misunderstood disease with sorely underfunded research which makes finding good resources about it really difficult. I put this book on my list and then I basically inhaled the book it’s so very well done. It’s the best resource I’ve found on fibromyalgia and I’ve read a TON of information about fibro. If you have fibromyalgia or know someone who does, I highly recommend purchasing this book and keeping it close.
2. Spurgeon’s Sorrows by Zack Eswine
I can’t wait to dig into this book. Zack Eswine is a new author for me, but I’m excited to read his thoughts about Spurgeon’s perspective on depression and how that can help Christians today.
3. Suffering Is Never for Nothing by Elisabeth Elliot
Compilation books released after an author’s death have always fascinated me. Elisabeth Elliot is loved and trusted author in the Christian community. Someone took the time to go through her other writings and compile this book of Elisabeth’s thoughts on suffering and the Christian life. I think this will be a really convicting read for me.
4. In His Image by Jen Wilkin
I really enjoy Jen Wilkin’s writing. She has a knack for simplifying theology in a way that helps me stay centered. I love getting lost in deep, intellectual, theological jargon, but it’s so important for me to go back to the basics and ground myself in simple truth. Jen does this beautifully and without compromise. I’m excited read this book about the communicable attributes of God.
5. The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
My dad speaks so highly of this book, and it’s basically a classic in the Christian community. But I’ve never read it. I’m really excited to see what I can learn from this book.
6. When God Weeps by Joni Ereckson Tada
I read part of this book while I was doing research for a paper in college. Next thing I knew, I was sobbing in my dorm room, deeply moved by Joni’s testimony of grace in suffering. I have wanted to return to this book for a while, but I hadn’t made the time yet. I can’t wait to finally revisit this beautiful book.
7. Fight Your Fears by Kristen Wetherell
This is Kristen’s first book published since writing Hope When it Hurts and I am so excited to read more words of wisdom from this sweet writer.
8. Love Riot by Sara Barratt
I’ve known Sara through The Rebelution for a while and I can’t wait to read her upcoming first book! She is a wonderful writer and a genuinely lovely human. I’m so excited and honored to celebrate this milestone with her and I can’t wait for the book’s release!
9. Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
As part of my devos this year, I’m reading this classic devotional from Charles Spurgeon. I’ve already been incredibly blessed by the book, even though I’m a complete failure about remembering to read it.
I haven’t decided on a 10th book yet, so if you have any recommendations, drop them in the comments! What are you reading this year? Let’s chat about it!
I was diagnosed with Fibro last year. I will look into that book
It was super helpful to me!
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Loved your list! 🙂 Have you ever heard of “I heard the owl call my name” by Margaret Craven? It’s one of the loveliest pieces of Christian fiction I’ve read. It’s not thick, but it’s a bittersweet, unforgettable story where cross-cultural communication plays a huge role.
I also love Max Lucado – In the Grip of Grace, Travelling Light, Next Door Saviour . . . the chapters are nice and short, and he writes beautifully 🙂
I’ll have to look up “I heard the owl call my name”, it sounds very interesting! Thank you for the suggestions! ❤
You have some great authors on your to-read list for this year! And don’t feel bad if your reading list is smaller than some people’s lists. I know I am a slower reader and I used to get discouraged I couldn’t read a book as quickly as my friends or classmates (when I was in college). The fact that you are reading at all is great!!
For your tenth book you could choose a classic. I love any of the Jane Austen books, but if that isn’t your cup of tea than I am sure there is another classic author you would enjoy. Classics can sometimes be harder to read, depending on when they were written, but I also just really enjoy them. They always inspire me in my own writing.
A classic fiction book sounds like a wonderful way to top off my list. Thank you for your encouragement and ideas!
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It’s good to make goals but just don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make them! Even accomplishing part of the goal is an achievement! The idea is that you are trying to better yourself and what you do get done is to be praised and still keep on going for the next year! Just never give up trying! I know limitations come but as long as you don’t give up, you are moving forward!
Thank you for that reminder, Sharon! I’m so thankful for your encouragement. ❤
I just learned about that Elisabeth Elliott book today and now it’s on my list too! One book I read recently that I HIGHLY recommend is Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber. It’s an amazing testimony 🙂