2016 Reading Goals
Jan 8, 2016
One of my favorite things about a new year is a new set of reading goals. Some of these will look familiar as they're basically goals I've made in previous years and others are brand new and probably will be here for 2016 only. Here's what I will be working on.
1. Read a book I put on my to-read list in 2011
I'm kicking off the list with a familiar goal. In 2014, I looked at my 2009 to-read list. Last year, I gave attention to 2010. So of course now it's 2011's turn. There are some good ones that have been hanging out there for the last five years: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George (which I might read to my kids), Mitten Strings for God by Katrina Kenison (which I think would be a perfect one to read around Mother's Day), or How Green was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (which feels like a book I should have already read ages ago), to name a few.
2. Read a female author I've been meaning to read
There are so many authors I've had on my radar for years but haven't gotten around to trying yet. This is the year to make it a priority. I'm not putting any restrictions on genre or publishing year. They can be classic or current, high-brow or chick-lit. Some choices include Eva Ibbotson, Susanna Kearsley, and Edith Wharton.
3. Read a male author I've been meaning to read
I like to be fair. Okay, not really. But I have a handful of male authors I've been meaning to read for a long time, too, so I might as well have a reason to read at least one of them too. Same rules apply as to the goal above. I have my eye on Wallace Stegner, P.G. Wodehouse, or Ivan Doig.
4. Read (don't listen) to something by Jane Austen or Charles Dickens
This is the big one. Over the last few years, I've learned that I definitely prefer listening to classics instead of reading them. It's easier for me to get immersed in the story and not get bogged down by the dense writing. But now that I know that, it's time to push myself out of my comfort zone. I specifically chose Jane Austen or Charles Dickens because they're authors I'm already familiar with and I've been wanting read something else by them anyway. I'm a very slow reader, especially with classics, so this goal alone might take me six months to complete. I'm not joking.
5. Read six books with Aaron
When I say "with," I mean "separately but together." Last year we read Sideways Stories From Wayside School and Wayside School is Falling Down together, and it was so much fun. I like reading the same books as him because it gives me a reason to become more familiar with the literature for his age group and, more importantly, I love being able to discuss what's going on in the story with him. Mike is taking up this goal as well (although not as formally), and between the two of us, we should be able to enjoy a lot of great books with Aaron.
6. Read a book about the Olympics or an Olympic athlete
This is the wild card on the list. I have absolutely no idea what I want to read for this goal, and having really open-ended goals has not worked out for me in the past. But the Olympics are happening this year, and I love the Olympics, so I want something to help get me in the mood. Suggestions and recommendations are welcome.
7. Read another book by Louisa May Alcott
I enjoyed reading Little Men so much last year that I knew I needed to give Louisa May Alcott her own goal this year. I thought of making it a "finish a series" type of goal like I've had in the past, but I wanted to be able to branch out to Eight Cousins or something else of hers if I wanted to.
8. Read five Newbery related books
Last year I focused on past Newbery winners. That was really rewarding, and it made me read some books I'd been meaning to for a long time. But . . . it meant that I didn't give nearly as much focus as usual to trending books. Consequently, the Newbery is being announced on Monday, and I don't have a single book to root for. I'm pretty sad about that actually. This year, I'm trying to figure out how to strike a balance between past and present, and so I'm going vague. "Newbery-related" can be interpreted as a past winner (of the medal or an honor) or a book that has the potential to win the Newbery in 2017. I wish that I was a faster reader and could bump up that number to ten or even twenty, but I know that even five will feel like a challenge with everything else I want to read.
9. Read a verse novel or poetry collection
I'll be honest, it's kind of nice to have one goal that I can easily knock off in a day or two if I'm feeling behind. Plus, the more poetry I read, the more I love it.
10. Reread Edenbrooke and The Happiness Project
I could have just said, "Reread two books," but I'm being super specific here because these were both books I was meaning to reread last year and never got around to it. This year it will happen. Edenbrooke is purely for pleasure and The Happiness Project is to review all of the things I learned the first time and hopefully implement a few more of them.
In terms of quantity, this is my most ambitious list of goals so far. I'll need to read 21 books in order to complete these goals (last year, it was only 14). However, many of them can be completed with fairly quick reads, so I'm hoping it's doable (but still challenging). If you want to see some really ambitious goals, check out my friend Carrie's list.
What reading goals do you have for 2016?