or, a treatise on why we should read well
Prayer for Owen Meany is such a treat: jealous of you reading it for the first time!
I also had a "good" reading year last year and while my plan is nowhere near as structured as yours, I'm itching to challenge myself. 2022 was a hard year spiritually and emotionally, so I mostly read for comfort and joy, not for knowledge or wisdom. I have a lot of non-fiction on my list (and I'm adding your Fredrick Douglass biography, he's someone I've wanted to learn more about for ages) and I also think I'm going to make Revelations of Divine Love my Lenten reading; I really want to finish that book and just . . . haven't. I hope you love Swallows and Amazons (that series is one of my favorite discoveries of the past 5 years, though there are some books in the series which are better than others) and if you don't love The Awakening of Miss Prim I will be absolutely shocked. Happy reading!
On my list for this year - C.S.Lewis, Tolkien, Rowan Williams, Malcolm Guite, 'The Matter With Things' ( Iain McGilchrist)...plus a lot more, hopefully
Currently reading "You are what you love" for my Spiritual Direction formation. What a divine coincidence!
This entire post is so, so good, Tsh. Thanks for taking the time to write it.
And yes, A Prayer For Owen Meany is in my top three of all-time favorite reads, but it hits differently for everyone. I hope you love it.
Regarding my recent reading habits, I've leaned into the fact that I read to become a better fiction writer. But even more specifically, I read so that I can better write what I'm writing. I guess what I mean by that is, I try to read (mostly fiction) books whose authors I know have things to teach me about the craft. And when I say teach ME, I mean writers who either have a similar voice or whose voices I have specific things I want to learn from.
Anyway, to that end I've read Cormac McCarthy's Outer Darkness and The Passenger this year, along with Elizabeth Strout's Oh William! and listened to A Prayer for Owen Meany for the third time :)
Thanks for sharing this post with the non-paying readers. Looking forward to filling out the list. Brothers Karamazov was on my 'to read' list for a long time and I stopped and started it several times before I finally read it last year with my 19 year old (listening to the audiobook helped). As a Malcolm Guite fan, I'm planning to read his book Lifting the Veil: Imagination and the Kingdom of God. Great podcast between him and Russell Moore this week, after his Christianity today article came out.
I love this idea! What a wonderful essay on calibrating our loves! My reading goals this year are to finally read War and Peace (a few pages a day) and to pick up a more diverse read at least once a month.
I've had more or less the same thoughts. Thanks for writing them down. (And yes to the audiobooks. I'm keeping a home along with parenting 3 tiny ones, and I like to say the amount of audiobooks I listen to basically measures the amount of time spent working with my hands on manual tasks. :') It solidifies the content for me, too. Similarly, I'm always trying to balance fiction and non, newer and older. (The Awakening Of Miss Prim - I want to get to that one as well, after hearing it recommended by the Charlotte Mason Commonplace Youtube lady you've shared before!)
I am currently listening to The Brothers Karamazov...it is slow going. I have to be in a place where I can stop after every chapter and read the Spark Notes.
I also just re-read One Hundred Years of Solitude, which I first read in 1994 as a 20-year-old college student. It was such a pleasure to revisit it and ALSO to see how closely the Disney movie Encanto was modeled on the book.
I think I will re-read A Prayer for Owen Meany this year. I've been meaning to dive back into John Irving, who used to be my favorite author. I have found that audio is a great way to re-read old favorites.
Loved reading your list. Going to research some of your picks for myself!
I really love Gift From The Sea. I’ve gifted it to almost all the women in my life and re-read it pretty much every summer! Enjoy!
I’m reading along with two different podcast book clubs (both fiction), one non-fiction book (so three books at a time)…oh and a poetry book to pick up here and there as well. Oh, and the Bible in a year this year (and catechism in a year podcast! Thank you for that recommendation!). I am using audiobooks for one of the fiction books…game changer!
I love Ann Lamott, she is funny,spiritual in a quirky way,give her a read!
Wolf hall by Hilary Mantel is a book that keeps getting recommended to me over and over. I am going to reread Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner; ￼ I reread ￼his Crossing to Safety last summer and it had so much more meaning reading it as a person in my 40s rather than 20s. Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life by Zena Hitz is a non-fiction I started last week and am LOVING.
I would be interested on a discussion of quality music, movies, and television. The only show we watch is All Creatures Great and Small, along with some documentaries, but my kids would probably enjoy a little more screen time. I’m out of ideas and don’t know where to look. :)
Silly question - when you read in line at the grocery store - is this on your phone? Or AirPods with an audio book? E-reader? I’m curious because I’ve been trying to not look at my phone when I’m in public as much...so I’m curious.
I must tell you that your essay that focused on love was uniquely timed today - this evening my book club meets and we are discussing Deus Caritas Est
I appreciate the template for A Worthwhile Reading List. When I drove a lot for work, I loved having an audiobook as my companion. However, I don’t agree with the idea of listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking one’s dog, etc. That seems to me like an attempt at multi-tasking. I believe in the beauty and importance of staying in the present and embracing some of these tasks and activities as prayer unto themselves.
Great observation about what we love. The only structure I have this year for my reading, is to read 75 books, and to read among them 12 classics. So I started January with Bram, Stoker’s Dracula, I had never read it, and I discovered that it was written so beautifully and was an exceptional read. It’s been around a long time, so I should have been surprised! And the stories we see in the movies don’t even come close to that great story.