Rather than write down "resolutions" this year, I decided to write down some GOALS! To me, resolutions imply that I need to change faults or negative aspects about my life. But GOALS! Goals inspire me to reach for things, to work at bettering myself, making something good better, and working towards all things positive. I like that better, don't you?
So one of my goals for 2016 is to read at least one book per month. This might seem pitiful to some- like my son who flies through books like nothing I've ever seen- but to me this is a challenge. Between teaching, relaunching a portrait business, taking care of 3 kids, I find little time to read. But I'm going for it! And I'm on target so far. In fact, I finished March's book during the first week of the month, so I'm a bit ahead. Go me!
Today I thought it would be fun to share the books on my list for 2016 and let you know how my first three books have gone. I would also LOVE to start an ongoing list of books in the comments section below. I'm always looking for a good book to add to my list, and I bet you are too. By the way, here is my 2016 Book List, written in my BuJo. If you don't know what a BuJo is, then you missed my blog post raving about it. YOU CAN CHECK IT OUT HERE!
1. WAKING UP WHITE By DEBBY IRVING
This book was recommended to our entire school on Unity Day, a day set aside to learn about, celebrate, and be challenged by other cultures and races. I went into that day knowing I was in for something challenging, but I came out of it hungry to be changed to the core. I went out and bought Waking Up White and devoured it. It was a very hard read. Not because of the writing style. Irving's chapters are short and intriguing. She writes from her own perspective, growing up in an affluent suburb of Boston. No, what made it hard was the truth in it. I found myself feeling angry, guilty, surprised, defensive, ashamed, empowered, and a whole slew of other emotions. I never thought of myself as racist, and I still don't. But as our guest speaker on Unity Day, Eddie Moore, told us, "the best friend of hate is silence". Waking Up White challenged that idea, and pushed me to break my silence. I'm not entirely sure what that means day to day, but I can tell you that my eyes have been opened to the idea of white privilege in our country. I would encourage anyone reading this blog to pick up this book. Everyone should read this.
2. CAPTIVATING By JOHN & STASTI ELDREDGE
Perhaps this book shouldn't count because I had read it before about 10 years ago. But in all that my heart and mind has been processing in terms of beauty, I felt God leading me back to this book. The problem was, I had lent it out years ago and forgot who I lent it to. Enter my awesome God and my awesome best friend! Not 2 days after I wrote the list above, my best friend sent me a package with THIS VERY BOOK. Along with it was a card which explained that she was a little late sending me a birthday gift and thought I may have read this but if not, she thought I'd enjoy it. Are you kidding me? I assured her that the book was not late, but RIGHT ON TIME. I told her about my list and she delighted in knowing she has been a part of my experiencing God's love and presence. I then settled in to reread this book. It did not disappoint. John and Stasi Eldredge do a wonderful job digging deep into the heart of a woman to tie our desire to be captivating to our need for God. I finished this book comforted and feeling loved. I am captivating. You are too. Go read this book.
3. RUNNING WITH THE BUFFALOES By CHRIS LEAR
Another one that maybe shouldn't count, I read this book because I'm planning on teaching it in my Sports & Literature class next month. My dear hubby had read it years ago, but I never picked it up. It's the story of the University of Colorado Cross County Team during the 1998 season. What in the world would this book have that would interest me? I never ran cross country in my life, and only just picked up running because it's a means to an end (trying to delay the elastic pants for as long as possible!). I never truly understood the insanity that was Scott's running passion, and I thought the book would be less than fun for me to read. Still, it was part of our class syllabus, so it was time for the read. Oh my goodness. I could not put this book down! Not only did it transport me back in time to my own college days (just a few years before this XC season), but it allowed me a peek into the insane mind of the long distance runner. I have always respected the runner, as I live with one and I see what he puts himself through day after day (by choice!!!), but to "witness" a whole pack of college kids doing this was unreal. The team deals with injury, tragedy (oh I cried!), disappointment, and victory, and as I read it, I felt like I was there with them. The book is written in journal form- Lear writes every single day of the 94 day season- and I found myself investing in these young men, working my brain hard to figure out just what work out they were doing. (What the heck are 8x300s at race pace? You'll learn!) I guess my ONLY criticism is that the language is sometimes less than clean. These guys drop some F-bombs, but I gotta say, if I was running as hard as they were, for as many miles, day after day, with no break, I might be dropping a few F-bombs myself! (Mom, I'm just kidding!) And despite the bit of cursing, I have told our 12 year old that he needs to read this book. This book is about hard work, team bonding, overcoming tremendous adversity, and committing to the goals. Every athlete should read this- young and old. I think of these boys every time I run now. I imagine running with the Buffaloes.
Those are my three books. Quite a variety, huh? The rest of my 2016 list is long, actually longer than one book per month, but what a great problem to have. Too many great books. My list includes business books, books on faith, books on social issues like race and gender, and personal memoirs. I am thoroughly enjoying what reading is doing for me again. And I love when all 3 of my kids join me for reading time. The family that reads together stays together... and learns together... and grows together...
What about you? What's on your reading list? Share with us! I want to add to my list!