I don’t go about New Year resolutions in any orthodox way, and I write them more to inspire than to formulate a checklist. I ignore all the advice to make resolutions that are “achievable” and “measurable”. Psh. But to each his own, and there’s certainly wisdom in being realistic. I may be neither wise nor realistic – which would explain a lot.
For the first time in (I think) ever, I put together a reading list for 2015 as an addendum to one of my resolutions. Every reader says their book list is far too long to finish in a lifetime. I concur, though I’ve never actually had any sort of list. I picked up books to read haphazardly, often on impulse, and occasionally on recommendation, since everyone’s taste is so distinct. In December, I started thinking of ways I could live more intentionally in the coming year, and since books are a significant part of my life, it struck me that I could read more intentionally too.
So I wrote down a rather rough and vague resolution.
Read widely. Read all the works of one author. Read classics. Read Christian books that deepen my understanding of God and help me live for His glory. Read for the thrill of it.
And I put together a list of books to go along with this. Looking at it holistically, it’s actually a very random mix. Oh well. Variety is the spice of life.
The Four Loves
The Abolition of Man
A Grief Observed
The Great Divorce
Surprised by Joy
* Yes, I’m trying to read all his (major) books. He’s written bucket loads, so the plus is that I’ve already read a good number. But I also picked him because the blend of his life journey, profession, faith and storytelling make for a fascinating thinker. I’ve already seen bits and pieces of how his theology and worldview weave in and out of his fiction and nonfiction alike, and how the trajectory of his perspective morphs over his lifetime.
The Brothers Karamazov (Dostoyevsky)
Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (Burroughs)
Assurance of Our Salvation (Lloyd-Jones)
The Promises of God (R.C. Sproul)
Jesus the Evangelist (Richard Phillips)
Surprised by Suffering (R.C. Sproul)
One Perfect Life (MacArthur)
Alone with God (MacArthur)
* Confession: I snagged a lot of these from free Kindle book deals and they’ve been collecting digital dust. In case you were wondering how I decided on this list.
The Way of Kings (Brandon Sanderson)
Scarlet / Cress; Lunar Chronicles (Meyer)
The Sign of the Beaver (Speare)
Calico Captive (Speare)
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (Konigsburg)
I Am the Messenger (Zusak)
Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury)
As many new year resolutions go, they begin petering out towards the end of January. I admit, I’m slogging through Dostoyevsky right now. At my current rate, I may not get to a single other book in 2015. But now that I’ve posted this … I hope the public accountability kicks me into powering through. After all, murder and the meaning of life and all that good stuff – shouldn’t this be the sort of book that keeps you up at night?
(I know, who am I kidding?)