This title makes it sound like there are only two dozen books left in the world for me to conquer. Not exactly! But if you’re a book lover like I am, you probably own a few books you haven’t yet read. In scanning my shelves last December, I discovered I had more unread books in my bookcases than I’d realized. So I came up with a plan.
I’ve challenged myself to read twenty-five books this year from my collection of hand-me-downs, gift certificate purchases, and used bookstore finds. My goal is to tackle two a month. I’ve read my first two already — The Seven Storey Mountain (which somehow is missing from the picture above), and 101 Dalmatians.
The Seven Storey Mountain is an autobiography of a dissatisfied man who found God and eventually his true calling in a Trappist monastery. I’ve had my copy for at least fifteen years. I have no idea when or where I picked up a copy of 101 Dalmatians, though I suspect I decided to read it because it was written by Dodie Smith, the author of I Capture the Castle, a book I adore.
There’s a lot of non-fiction in the collection, including a number of memoirs: Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon, The Journal of a Novel by John Steinbeck, Kathleen Norris’s The Cloister Walk and Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, to name a few.
There’s a good dose of kidlit because that’s what I do: Louise Erdrich’s Birchbark House series, Pam Munoz Ryan’s Paint the Wind (oh, how I love her Riding Freedom), Bridget Zinn’s Poison, and Sheila O’Connor’s latest (a gift our editor, Stacey, sent me), Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth.
There’s grown up fiction, old and new — from Zora Neale Hurston, Wilkie Collins, and Carson McCullers to Tracy Chevalier and Winston Groom.
Of course I’ll round out the rest of my year with library books, advance reader copies, and other new finds, but it feels especially satisfying to finally be reading the books I’ve always meant to pick up and for some reason haven’t before. I’ve got enough unread books around I hope to keep the practice going in the future. We’ll see where it leads!
What books are you planning to tackle in 2019? Here’s to lots of good reading ahead!