Thursday, December 21, 2006

I Fell into Reading!

I did it! I took Katrina's challenge to focus on reading. I have loved to read since I was a child, but as an adult, my reading habits are sporadic. I go on jags, reading novel after novel in every moment of spare time, preferring them to eating, sleeping and watching TV. I also really enjoy non-fiction--a travel book that will take me to another time and place and show me an adventure that I will never experience, or a parenting book that gives me helpful advice and motivation when I need it, or a Christian discipleship book that helps take my walk with God to the next level.

Since I'm competitive by nature, the fact that I had set a goal to read--more--helped me get going in those initial weeks. Then it became a habit and a joy. I most definitely read more than I would have if I hadn't have thought out a list and gotten it done. I also didn't feel compelled to stick to my list, although I did make sure that I was reading widely (fiction and non-fiction of different types), and I did keep that goal. I finished almost everything on my original list, with the exception of a Jane Austen book (but I am halfway through Northanger Abbey and enjoying it), and Eat, Play and Be Healthy, which I will read in January.

I would say that my favorite reads were nonfiction this go 'round. I enjoyed the kid's nonfiction (that I have been reading in preparation of judging the Cybils. I also really enjoyed The Birth Order Book.

I'm not sure that there are any on my list that I wished I hadn't read, or could have done without. I think I chose a good balance and I enjoyed the books I chose. As much as I enjoyed The Greatest Generation, had it not been for the challenge, I might not have finished it. I picked up Northanger Abbey at the library a week or so ago, hoping to finish it because Jane Austen was on my challenge list. Had it not been for the challenge, I might have just waited to pick up something "later," which might translate to never.

So, one thing I learned is that having a list of books that are sort of priority reads really does help me get through books that are important to me. Katrina's not doing another challenge for winter, but I will post my list of to-be-reads here in the next couple of days.

Here are the books I read this fall, linked to my reviews if available:

Wishing on Dandelions review
Catcher in the Rye review
Elizabeth I, the Royal Diaries review
The Known World review
Arms of Deliverance review
Straight Up review
The Greatest Generation review
The Birth Order Book review
Generation Next Parenting
The Whole Truth review

Page after Page
--Actually, I didn't finish this one either. It got buried on a bookshelf. However, I did read two other books on writing instead, which were very helpful to me: How to Write Attention Grabbing Query Letters, and Writing Articles from the Heart

Other books not on the list that I read:
Isaac Newton
Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini
I'm Still Scared
Lisey's Story

I also read a couple of great young adult fiction books, which I will review when I finish the series.


Shalee said...

I love that you linked all the books that you did read. It helped me to go back to remind myself what you thought of them.

I loved this activity so much. I really hope Katrina will do it again in the Spring. I'm sure I'll need more books by then...

H said...

Hi Jennifer. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your list is very interesting to me because I really don't know much about any of the books except the Austen one.
CS Lewis is great, but for his non-fiction, I really feel like I need to take the time to read it slowly and well. So it is just delayed until the next challenge.
Merry Christmas!

twiga92 said...

It's so interesting to see all the books that people have read. This challenge did help me to focus on particular books. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Katrina said...

Yes, the competitive nature of the challenge really helped me to - I was going to "prove" to myself that I actually could finish those books I had started! I loved reading all your reviews along the way, too!

Gina said...

Good for you! I didn't quite finish all my books either, but I'm amazed at how much I did read!

Barbara H. said...

I so agree -- there are books I've wanted to read but never got to and probably wouldn't if not for making a list like this.

I want to read all of Jane Austen's books. Sense and Sensibility is next for me, then Persuasion (loved both of those films!) Then probably Northhanger Abbey.

I might look at the ones by Mary DeMuth. And the writing ones look good, too.

Thanks so much for the reviews!

Deborah said...

Thanks for stopping by on my blog. I loved Tricia Goyer's Arms of Deliverance. I have the rest of her books so I plan to read them soon...maybe for the spring challenge.

Jane said...

Jennifer, wow! you got through a lot of books. I always love reading your reviews and the books you choose are always so varied, which I like. I look forward to seeing your "winter list". Every year I do a "Books to read in.....whatever year". so I will have to get working on my new list too. Happy Christmas.

Sherry said...

Merry Christmas, Jennifer. Thanks for blogging.

Carrie said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

I had a growing list of books that I had read during this year. The problem was that I had the list scattered in pieces! I finally decided to make an online list to help me keep track.

Thanks for your recommendations these past few months! I look forward to more of them next year.

I hope you and your family have a great holiday!