Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 Reading Challenges

At the end of 2013, I knew I wanted to read more intentionally this year; I just didn't know how I'd do it. After we got home from our trip to California, I began looking over my bookshelves at all the books we have that I've never even read yet, at books I'd seen mentioned by other bloggers, and at suggested titles mentioned by a couple of nonfiction authors I've read recently. Needless to say, I found a bunch of books I want to read, and I had no idea how I'd organize them (other than fiction and nonfiction) or even where to start. Then I read that my one of my favorite bloggers, Barbara, at Stray Thoughts, was participating in several reading challenges. That sent me looking all around the blogosphere at all the reading challenges that are out there - and there a ton and a half! Since several of the challenges I chose can be overlapped, that's the way I'm going with my reading this year. Are you ready? Here goes!

2014 Operation Deepen Faith, hosted by Becky at Operation Actually Read Bible (I love the title of her blog!). This challenge has six parts to it, but you can choose which ones you want to do. I chose to use a reading plan to read the Bible (the M'Cheyne plan), study one book of the Bible thoroughly (Romans), memorize the book of I John with our church family, and read at least twelve Christian nonfiction books. I'm super excited to have found this one! I'll report on this challenge once a month to keep myself accountable for keeping up with each part.

Also hosted by Becky is the Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge. This challenge is to read works by Christian nonfiction authors who are already in Heaven. I've chosen four books from our bookshelves that I've wanted to read and just never picked them up. This challenge has motivated me to finally read them.

I've chosen to join the I Love Library Books Challenge at Book Dragon's Lair.This challenge is to choose a level of books to read, based on how many books you will read from the library. I've chosen the 'middle grades' level, which is 18 books. That sounds like a lot, but I love love love the library - free books! I already have two checked out, with five more coming as they are available. I'm sure there'll be more, because I also want to participate in a few months of . . .

The Reading To Know Classics Book Club hosted by Carrie at Reading To Know. This is one I've watched off and on over the past couple of years, and I want to join in this year. I'll definitely join a couple of months, but I'm interested in several of them.

And finally, I'll be joining Barbara's Laura IngallsWilder Challenge in February. the first year, but not last year, so I'm looking forward to joining in again. I'll be reading two more books in the Little House series, and possibly rereading Little House on the Prairie as part of the above mentioned book club choice in February.
This is her third year to host the challenge. I participated

That sounds like a lot, doesn't it? The reason I've chosen so many is that each of the challenges allows you to overlap with any others. Many of the books I plan to read this year will apply to more than one challenge! I still have to get it all organized in my mind and on paper, but I have a pretty good idea of the books I'm going to read in 2014, and I'm sure a few more will pop up as I go through the year. I'll have a list of books I'm planning to read posted soon. Also, one of my blogging goals for the year is to review as many of the books I read as possible, so that I can pass on good books to you.

What are your reading plans for this year?


  1. I also want to read more this year, and be more intentional about it! I joined a "Motherhood and Jane Austen" reading group ( http://gidgetgoeshome.com/motherhood-jane-austen-book-club/ ), I am signed up in my library reading challenge, and I am in the process of pulling together a book discussion group with women from my church. If you have any books to recommend for that, I'd love to hear them! There will be about 12 women, with various life circumstances (newlywed, single mom, working moms, stay at home moms), so I want books that will have a broader application to our lives, rather than a focus on one aspect (such as: moms of little kids).

    1. Sounds like you have great plans for reading this year, Tammy! I really love the church book discussion group. One of my favorite books for Christian womanhood in general is A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George (any of her books would be great for a group like yours).

      Here are some others:
      The Choice is Yours by Terrie Chappell
      Stewarding Life by Paul Chappell
      For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn
      Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World
      Having a Mary Spirit by Joanna Weaver

      Those are just off the top of my head and a glance at my bookshelves. If I think of more I'll let you know. Now I want to start a book discussion group! And I don't have time! LOL

  2. I use the Goodreads.com reading challenge to chart my progress each year. Last year, I read over 5,000 pages in 37 different books. I lowered the goal some this year to 30 books. (I tend to pick rather long ones!) I absolutely love reading!! :) I can't wait to hear about the books you're reading this year. I also love finding out about new books! :)

    1. I had totally forgotten about Goodreads! I joined there a couple of years ago, but have never done anything with it, so I popped over there and entered the challenge there. I also uploaded my friends from Facebook and saw what several of them are reading. I'm looking forward to getting new book suggestions there and leaving some of my own. It's a neat site; maybe I should have been using it before now! Thanks for the reminder, and have a good time reading this year!

  3. I had a long comment here yesterday but then lost Internet service just before publishing. :-/ Now I am trying to remember what I said. :-) I know one thing was that I made a master list of all the books from different challenges I signed up for (plus some others) so I could keep track of them better and have a reference guide when I am looking for the next book to read.

    I'm glad we're participating in some of the same challenges! I like to be intentional in my reading, but I like to leave room, too, for some spontaneous choices.

    A couple of other recommendations for your first commenter about Christian books for women: A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George and Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot. I also just finished Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of aw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst, something women wrestle with a lot, and it was very good.

  4. Susan and Barbarah, thank you for the suggestions!


Thanks for taking a minute to read my ramblings and leave a comment! I appreciate it!

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