Friday, January 4, 2013

The Year in Books

I've been reading a number of New Year's blog posts wherein the writers share their lists of books they plan to read over the course of 2013.  I've never thought to plan my reading ahead of time, and at first I balked at the thought of that seemingly impossible task.  I have hundreds of books in my home that I have yet to read (I attend way too many library books sales where the books go for 50 cents or a dollar!), and I have pages of lists of books I want to check out at the library.  I pick up titles on a whim, and leave them behind for awhile if they don't grab my attention.  Sometimes I read magazines to the exclusion of books for months at a time.  How could I possibly commit?

And yet, I couldn't leave behind this delightful idea of planning my reading, of selecting some titles that I want to be sure to "get to" over the course of this year!  So yesterday I scanned my shelves and pulled together a reading list for 2013.  Here's what I have in mind:

I have a number of titles that are chronicles of the writer's/artist's everyday life...a kind of Book of Days for each month of the year.  This month, I will read the "January" section of each of these books, and I will progress through the monthly sections, finishing all three at the end of the year.
The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady was written by Edith Holden in 1906 when she was 25 years old.  In it are reproductions of her notebook of nature notes, recorded month by month, including drawings, paintings, quotations, and notations on the weather, flora, and fauna of the village of Olton, England:
Seasonal Guide to the Natural Year:  Mid-Atlantic, by Scott Weidensaul:  I picked this up at a library book sale.  It is a month by month guide to natural events in the area where I live.  It doesn't have the artistic element of the other two selections here, and is much more informational and scientific. 
When Wanderers Cease to Roam:  A Traveler’s Journal of Staying Put, by Vivian Swift:  After a lifetime of travel, Swift settles onto Long Island Sound, and keeps a travel-style journal filled with watercolors and drawings, nature notes, quotations, and other observations about her daily activities.  I've always thought it would be fun to create a daily journal of my everyday life that treats each day like I'm on a vacation and my everyday home like it's a travel destination.  Swift's book might give me some ideas!
A Page Out of Life, by Kathleen Reid:  A scrapbooking novel, purchased for 50 cents at a library book sale.  Sounds like a "light read" about a group of scrapbooking friends who come to rely on each other during the circumstances of their lives.
The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, by Reif Larson:  I started this book last year, but only got to page 45; this time I intend to finish it!  The story is about the twelve-year-old genius cartographer T.S. Spivet.  His hand-drawn maps and other notebook notations in the margin make it a fascinating and different approach to writing a novel.

Daughter of Fortune, by Isabel Allende:  This book has been on my shelves for a long time, and I want to finally read it.  I’ve enjoyed other books by Allende, and had an opportunity to hear her speak in person many years ago.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson:  I may be the only person in the world who hasn’t read this series yet.  I borrowed a copy of this one from my mom, and am looking forward to finally finding out what all the fuss was about!
Specimen Days, by Michael Cunningham:  I read his novel The Hours years ago, and really enjoyed it.  This one has been on my shelf for a while, and needs finally to be read. 
The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place, by E. L. Konigsburg:  I have loved this author since I was a kid, and had to pick up this book when I saw it at a library book sale.  It is considered a YA (Young Adult) novel. 
Writer-Mama:  How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids, by Christina Katz:  I began this book last year, but didn’t finish it.  Now's the time!  I'm not yet sure how writing will figure into my long-term plans; I'm still working out how to balance all of my creative interests!
Siblings Without Rivalry, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish:  This book is a classic in the field of child-rearing, and with two girls close in age, I thought it merited a reading when I found a copy at a library sale.

Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids, by Dr. Kara E. Powell and Dr. Chap Clark:  The authors help parents encourage their children’s spiritual growth so that it will stick with them into adulthood and empower them to develop a living, lasting faith. That’s what I want for my girls!

What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know, by E.D. Hirsch, Jr:  This series has been around for awhile, and I thought it was timely to pick up a copy when I saw it at a library sale.  It is filled with facts, stories, paintings, rhymes, etc. that Hirsch thinks kids should be exposed to by the end of kindergarten.  That’s where my older daughter is headed this next school year!

Drawn to Nature: Through the Journals of Clare Walker Leslie, by Clare Walker Leslie: I’ve looked at other books on keeping nature journals by Leslie, and I'm still determined to try to keep a nature journal someday!

How To Sell Your Crafts Online: A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Sales on Etsy and Beyond, by Derrick Sutton: My mother got me this book for Christmas, and it will help me with the launch of my Etsy shop this year.

The Sketchbook Challenge: Techniques, Prompts, and Inspiration for Achieving Your Creative Goals, by Sue Bleiweiss:  My step-mother got me this book for Christmas.  I've already looked through much of it and found much inspiration, and I want to continue to take more time with it and wring out all its benefits.

Daring Adventures in Paint:  Find Your Flow, Trust Your Path, and Discover Your Authentic Voice, by Mati Rose McDonough:  I purchased this book last year, but never fully explored it.  It appears beautiful and inspiring.

Raw Art Journaling:  Making Meaning, Making Art, by Quinn McDonald:  I won a signed copy of her book last year, looked through all of it, and even did some of the exercises, but feel that I didn’t really get out of it all that I can, so Iwant to explore it further.
Making an Impression:  Designing and Creating Artful Stamps, by Geninne D. Zlatkis:  I used the first few pages of this book to carve my very first rubberstamps, but have not even looked through the rest to see the other projects and techniques she shares.
One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp:  I started this at the end of 2012, and need to finish it.  I may be inspired to keep my own list of 1000 gifts!

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God:  Experiencing Life in Extraordinary Ways, by Lysa TerKeurst:  I purchased this book from, a great source of religious and inspirational books. 

Know What You Believe:  Connecting Faith and Truth, by Paul E. Little:  This book studies what the Bible actually says about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, man and sin, salvation, the church, etc. 

Help Thanks Wow:  The Three Essential Prayers, by Anne Lamott:  I bought this when Lamott came to a nearby church to give a reading.  I love her work, and wanted to add this tiny little book to my ever-growing Lamott library!

Keys to the Kitchen:  The Essential Reference for Becoming a More Accomplished, Adventurous Cook, by Aida Mollenkamp:  I just bought this book, and like what I’ve looked at so far.  Her “take” on fresh, whole, sustainable foods is in line with my cooking and eating goals.  She includes chapters on what to buy, where to buy it, how to store it, and how to prepare it.  She also has a large section of recipes, and tips to take me past cooking directly by a recipe, which she calls “cooking from the hip” or “riffing.”

Happier at Home:  Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life, by Gretchen Rubin:  I recently ordered this book, and haven't yet received it.  This is her follow-up to The Happiness Project, which I really enjoyed in 2010.  She is apparently applying her Happiness Project approach to her own home, which I thought would be a very relevant read for me, for whom homemaking is my career. 
Somehow, dividing these 25 book titles into categories makes the reading list look more manageable to me.  It also doesn't look so daunting when I place all the books together on the shelf next to my favorite reading spot on the couch:
I should be able to get through all these in 2013, don't you think?

I'll keep you posted!

By the way, this is my 300th blog post! 
Thank you for being a part of this on-going creative, community-building endeavor!


lee said...

I have a number of those books, the edwardian lady one i have because i loved the drawings, and her life was pretty boring, i would not have wanted to be born back then good luck on the reading

Jo Murray said...

Books have been my passion for years, but many simply get an occasional browse. Good luck with that lot.

Janet said...

You have a good selection of books to read this year. I love books and read every day. In 2012 I read 66 books and that's not counting art books!

Bree said...

Congrats on reaching the 300th post! Keep blogging! I'm a self confessed bookworm, not as bad as certain REAL bookworms though. I have many unread books at home too, some given to me by my relatives, but I bought most of it! I love dystopian themed novels the most! Don't worry. You are not alone. I haven't read the Millennium trilogy too. But I have started The Girl Who Played With Fire, my first book instead of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. :D It's my cousin's. I'm waiting for some book sales to get the series at a cheaper price or I'll be broke very soon. :/ The crafts/art books seems very fun! Good luck on achieving your reading goal!

laurie said...

i enjoyed looking at your "reading list" for the upcoming year. i am going to put together my own sometime this weekend but i think i'll be lucky to get through just 12, one each month! said...

Fantastic book collection you have for 2013.
Enjoy your reads, do hope you post some reviews? (hint, hint) :]

Parabolic Muse said...

Happy blogversary!! That's fabulous. You are a good and consistent post-er, and I like knowing that I can always come here to find ideas and good stories and art!

In the case of just one book among the others in your stack... I couldn't continue the Steig Larsen book. I had to take it back to the library.

I'm a delicate flower, doncha know...

Carin Winkelman said...

Ooh, don't tempt me with even more books for my wish list! Enjoy your reading though!