Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Reading Goals of 2017 and 2018

This year, I started out with big reading plans. Here's how I did with them:

1. Learn from C.S. Lewis
At the beginning of the year, I lined up all of our C.S. Lewis books in chronological order. At the time, I said "I'm pretty sure I will not get through all of them this year." Well, I didn't. I got through five, and am still working through another two.

The Pilgrim's Regress (1933)
Out of the Silent Planet (1938)
The Problem of Pain (1940)
The Screwtape Letters (1942)
Perelandra (1943)

The Abolition of Man (1943) (in progress)
That Hideous Strength (1945) (in progress)

Now that I know my pace, I am setting a new goal of reading seven more C.S. Lewis books in 2018 in addition to finishing the ones in progress.

The Great Divorce (1945)
George MacDonald: An Anthology (1946)
Miracles (1947)
The Weight of Glory (1948)
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
Prince Caspian (1951)
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)

2. Keep up with my book clubs.
I read some good books with my book clubs this year! With them, I finished 
The Iliad
The Brothers Karamazov
The Innocence of Father Brown
Northanger Abbey
Oliver Twist
The Man Who Was Thursday

In 2018, we are continuing with The Odyssey and reading Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell. I anticipate we will read an additional four or five classics or other worthy books.

3. Keep reading Charlotte Mason.
I finished following Brandy Vencel's study guide Start Here with an online study group. It was great! Using it, I read For the Children's Sake and most of Charlotte Mason's Volume 6. Then, in the summer I read through Charlotte Mason's Volume 3 again: School Education

I also read Laurie Bestvater's The Living Page. What a great addition to any Charlotte Mason library! It is carefully researched, beautifully written, and clearly demonstrated.

In 2018, I plan to read Charlotte Mason's Volume 2: Parents and Children. Also, in our local Charlotte Mason study group, we're watching the video series from Ambleside Schools International and reading the accompanying study guides which contain passages from Charlotte Mason's volumes.

4. Pre-read at least some of next year's school books for SA.
Well, I did do this, but often it was the night before. In other words, I did not get very far ahead of him. At all. But still, I read some excellent books. Some of my favourites were:
Robinson Crusoe (almost finished)
Romulus (Plutarch)

Looking ahead into 2018, I know I need to allot a significant amount of time to pre-reading, especially considering that SA is now at an age that he will be reading most of his school books on his own. Beginning Term 2 of Year 4, I will be reading
"Twelfth Night"
Publicola (Plutarch)
George Washington's World
The Ocean of Truth
Madam How and Lady Why (already in progress)
Age of Fable (in progress)
Great Canadian Adventures (in progress)

And of course, later in 2018 I will be beginning Ambleside Online Year 5 as well. By necessity, this will likely become my primary reading goal. 

5. Read through the ever-expanding list of books people have recommended and/or lent to me.
I didn't do very well with this in 2017. I have so much to read, I often don't prioritize books that other people want me to read. The one I did manage to finish was probably one of my least favourite books of the year (Wild at Heart). So I'm going to change this goal in 2018:

5. Read books on my own shelves that I have been wanting to read but just haven't gotten to yet.
Krakatoa (Winchester) (in progress)
John Adams (McCullough)
Respectable Sins (Bridges)
As these are all pretty hefty, I doubt I'll get through more than four or five on this list. Still, it's good to set a goal, as if I don't, I may not read any of them.

I know I haven't listed any light reading, and not much fiction. That's not because I won't be reading any. Those just tend to be more spontaneous choices. I will also probably be reading a fair amount of books on health this year, but I can't tell exactly what direction that will take at this point. (psoriasis, autoimmune disease, diet...)

This is almost an afterthought for me this year...I love the idea of it, but with so much else to read I'm not sure how far I'll get. Still, I would like to check off the categories of a "Light" reader (and it's great that I can use books that I'm already reading for other goals to check off several of them.). The categories are:
A biography
A book about Christian Living
A book published in 2018
A book by an author who is no longer alive
A novel
A book for teens or young adults
A book more than 100 years old
A book targeted at the opposite gender
A book your best friend recommends
A book with at least 400 pages
A book of your choice
A book about theology
A book about current events

Do you make reading plans, or do you just read whatever comes your way? I like planning for about half of my reading, and allowing the rest to be more spontaneous.