Tis the season in which the book world explodes with reading challenges, but since I’m…..passionate? Extra? I wasn’t satisfied with any of the ones I’ve seen, so I made my one. Nothing particularly unusual here, just categories that suit me perfectly – and may suit someone else, who knows? I’ll list the categories first, then a breakdown of which books I’ll be reading for each category.
1. A book about books or reading
2. A book set in Russia
3. A book about food or cooking
4. A book about productivity, organizing, or cleaning
5. Unread book by a favorite author or an author you’ve enjoyed in the past
6. Choose Your Category – I’m doing works by Flannery O’Connor and Wendell Berry, two authors I’ve needed to read for a long time
7. A book of theology
8. A book about a current issue from a Biblical perspective (adoption, human trafficking, poverty, homelessness)
9. A work of philosophy or political thought (this can be very short – there are actually quite a few short books especially in the “political thought” realm)
10. A collection of poems by a single poet
11. A memoir
12. Bonus Choose Your Category – I’m going with a book on creativity or art
*Note: my choices below are linked to Goodreads, partly because it’s by far the most useful way to organize books and to-read lists, and partly because I interned there in college so have a ton of loyalty.
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- A book about books or reading. Of course this has to be On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life Through Great Books by Karen Swallow Prior, whom I love and follow on all channels (had a moment of such pure delight when the lady herself followed me on Instagram!!).
- A book set in Russia – I swear to all reading souls that I will finally finish A Gentleman in Moscow. I swear! It’s a brilliant little book I was just in a Mood when I tried it the first time.
- A book about food or cooking. Tamar Adler and Shauna Niequist are the queens of writing about food in a non cookbook form in my opinion, though I have very complicated views of Niequist’s apallingly tone-deaf privileged tone when talking about her life (privilege is a word I rarely use but when she casually mentions staying at hotels all over the world as a child and spending every summer at a lake house as an adult, yet seems to have zero understanding that that alone is a lifestyle unobtainable and foreign to most of us and constantly complains of how hard life is!? It’s hard to put up with. I was a missionary kid and pastor’s kid too: trust me when I say my life did not resemble hers :).
Having said that, Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace is one of my favorite books not just about food but of all time, so to say I’m excited to dive into her Something Old, Something New: Oysters Rockefeller, Walnut Souffle, and Other Classic Recipes Revisited is an understatement. I’m also preemptively obsessed with The Art of Eating by M.F. K. Fisher so that’s probably on the palette too: here’s a quote.