Hello and happy Wednesday!
In case it wasn’t obvious, I’m a writer. I know, I know, I hide it well but it’s true. I spend a lot of my time writing both fiction, and nonfiction (in the form of certain blog posts…).
I’m also a reader. Or at least, I am as often as I make the time for it. Growing up, I devoured as many books as I could get my hands on. My mom had to limit me on the amount of library books I could check out at one time, or else I’d haul home several bags full. Even with a set limit, I’ll admit I stretched those boundaries often, just to bring home one more book.
Between trips to the library, I swept through our own – substantial – collection of stories at home, constantly searching for more good books to read, or else reread. Eventually it reached the point where I’d read everything on the shelves set aside for me and my siblings, and I started branching into more of the ‘older’ books, especially classics. It didn’t take me long to work through many of those as well.
Unfortunately, late last year, I realized that – with the exception of my daily Bible study – as I’ve increased the amount I’ve been writing, I’ve decreased the amount I’m reading. Especially fiction, but also just books in general. I miss it very much, and on top of simply enjoying reading, I know that one of the best ways to improve my own writing is by reading the works of others.
So this year, I’ve resolved to make time for reading – finding moments wherever I can to read a chapter or two. During breakfast, before bed, any time I’m waiting for something or someone… So far I’ve completed seven books and am working on a couple more (I tend to start several books at once – a fiction, and a nonfiction), and I have plenty more on my reading list for 2021.
Today, I’d like to share that list with you, as well as hear about the books you’re hoping to read this year! There are simply too many good books waiting to be read.
This year, I’d like to read . . .
~ Behold the Dawn by K. M. Weiland
(I’ve yet to read any of Weiland’s books, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about them, and snagged this one a while ago. The story sounds like a fascinating historical account with inspiring themes, and I look forward to diving in.)
~ Ben Hur by Lew Wallace
(I’ll admit to starting this one and tapering off due to the older formatting/style of writing, but I do know and love the story – and I’m determined to finish it this year!)
~ Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
(Honestly, I can’t even count the number of times I’ve read this book. While my family thinks I’m insane for liking such a tragic story, it’s always held a special place in my heart. It’s been years since I read it though, and I’m curious to see whether its appeal has lessened now that I’m older.)
~ Daughter of Kings by Isabella Auer
(I’ve read this book several times, but there’s just so much depth and beauty in the story that I always feel like I miss things and I want to read it again this year. The author was a dear friend of mine1, so that makes the story mean even more.)
~ Fawkes by Nadine Brandes
(I’ve heard a lot of good things about Brandes’ books, especially Fawkes, and I’d like to start reading them! This one looks like a fascinating fantasy/historical twist.)
~ Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
(Yes, all seven books. It will be my third time rereading them, but it’s been a while since the last time now, and I always come away from the stories with a new motivation to craft my own compelling stories and memorable characters. The amount of foreshadowing Rowling wove through the series astonishes me.)
~ Held Captive & Prisoner at Heart (Daughters of the Seven Seas) by Grace A. Johnson
(Pirate novels! I’ve only read a couple of stories featuring pirates ever and as the author of several pirate stories now, I get very excited to find what look like excellent books about them – especially from someone whose writing I already enjoy.)
~ Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins
(There are thirteen books in this series as far as I know. I made it a long ways in a few years ago and then tapered off when life got busy, but now of all times seems like the right moment to revisit them. They’re so very gripping, albeit hard to read at points.)
~ Legends of Tira-Nor by Daniel Schwabauer
(There are three books in this series, and they’re some of the first fiction books I want to get to this year. Honestly, I’m not sure why I haven’t read them already because the author is someone I greatly respect, and I’ve heard the stories are incredible.)
~ Operation Grendel by Daniel Schwabauer
(Another one by the same author – yes! This one is set to come out March 9th, and I’m very excited for its release. It’s very different from the Legends of Tira-Nor series (a military sci-fi about a journalist thrust into unexpected danger), but definitely one I want to read.)
~ Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
(Ah, a classic. As is sadly the case for far too many books – due purely to my own short attention span – I started this one and never finished it, so I will be making sure to do that this year. The story really is very well-written.)
~ The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
(My sister has been recommending this series – five books – to me for a long time now, and I’m very intrigued. In addition, the main character’s name is Taran, which happens to be one of my favorite names, so…why not, haha?)
~ The Giver by Lois Lowry
(No, I haven’t read this series yet…but I’m going to try to this year! The books sound very intriguing, and they are considered classics after all.)
~ Thief & Merry Men (Tales of Nottingham) by Savanna Roberts
(I’ve loved Robin Hood stories ever since I was first introduced to them, and these ones look very intriguing. The only problem I foresee is that the series is still in progress, so if I get hooked, it’s going to be quite the exercise in patience…)
~ The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope
(This is another of my favorite books, but it’s been a while since I’ve read it, and I look forward to laughing at all of Rudolf’s antics again.)
~ The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
(This has been recommended to me too many times to count, and the only reason I haven’t read it yet is simply because I’m cheap and don’t own it already. However, I think it’s time I finally just bought it and enjoyed what looks like an intriguing and gripping story.)
~ The Time Travel Team: The Great Historic Mystery by Jordyn Hadden
(I happened to meet this author within a writing community I’m part of, and have thoroughly enjoyed reading her other works – so I’m definitely looking forward to reading this one!)
~ Chasing Vines by Beth Moore
(I was gifted this book and never got to finish it. Learning to focus on what Christ wants me to focus on – and cast aside all else – is something I personally struggle with, and I look forward to rereading Moore’s refreshing advice.)
~ Heaven by Randy Alcorn
(If ever there was an appropriate time to be longing for Heaven, it’s now. I’ve read parts of this book over the years, absolutely loved its insights, and am ready to finish the entire thing.)
~ I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek
(This was required reading for my senior year of highschool, and it stretched me in every possible way. Most of it went way over my head, but the parts I did understand were very enlightening and helped me finally realize how to articulate my answers to questioning of the Christian faith. I want to try to catch all the things I missed the first time.)
~ My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
(I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book over the years, and have greatly enjoyed Chambers’ other works. It’s time I dove into this one!)
~ Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot
(This was recommended to me and I’m looking forward to reading it, both for the wisdom of someone who’s honored God through her own dealings with romantic love, and to learn more about her and Jim Elliot. Their story has always inspired me.)
~ Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder
(This is another book I’ve heard referred to countless times now, for help writing compelling screenplays and just stories in general. As I’m constantly on the lookout for good writing advice, I’m hoping to get to this one.)
~ The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
(I’ve read many devotionals based off the book, and even watched the movie – which I highly recommend – but I’d really like to read the original story of Strobel’s investigation and eventual conversion into the Christian faith.)
~ The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
(Another one I’d like to reread! Corrie’s story of faith, forgiveness, and perseverance never fails to challenge and inspire me, and I’d like to read it again this year.)
~ The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
(I’m actually three weeks into this one – as it’s structured as a daily reading plan – and am thoroughly enjoying it! It’s such an encouraging, helpful, and inspiring reminder of what’s really important in this life.)
~ Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst
(Another one that was recommended to me, and – being an admirer of Terkeurst’s books – I’m looking forward to gleaning her wisdom on the subject of emotions.)
Well, I’ll see how many of these I complete, as my reading list tends to constantly change and grow, but those are some of the books – fiction and nonfiction – that I’m hoping to read this year! Have you read any of them? If so, what did you think? And if not, are there any that intrigue you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
What books are on YOUR reading list for 2021? Do you have a goal for how many books you hope to read this year? Chat with me in the comments and let me know! I look forward to hearing from you!
1.I talked about my friend and the impact she had on my life here.