Do you have reading goals for 2021? I have never been one to make a New Year’s Resolution, but I had to stop and consider goals when the Review Crew issued the January writing challenge.
I read a lot. Most of my reading materials are textbooks or books for my kids. As a homeschool mom, it’s to be expected, and I really enjoy sharing books with my kids.
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Summer is when I usually find time for personal reading. Almost weekly I mow our pastures while listening to an audiobook. One afternoon a dear neighbor and friend stopped to talk to my husband. She wanted to know why he was making his wife mow the fields. He laughed when explaining, “after she assigns chores to the kids, and tells them to help me when they’re done, she puts on headphones for her audiobook and spends the afternoon riding the tractor.” Now when the neighbor drives by in the summer, she just smiles and waves at me.
About a month ago I checked out The Prayer Box from our local library. My family barely saw me for two days. When I finished the book, I felt disappointed it was over. Despite enjoying books with my kids, I need to make more time for my own reading choices. That is my single new year reading goal.
Some of my favorites:
As I’ve been considering what to read this year, I’ve reflected on past favorites. If you’re looking for ideas for your own 2021 reading list, I have some recommendations.
Francine Rivers is a well known Christian Fiction Author. Her retelling of Gomer and Hosea in Redeeming Love is a beautiful reflection of God’s pursuit and unconditional love for us. Leota’s Garden is a wonderful story of restoration. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed by this author.
Summer of Light by W. Dale Crammer is a thoughtful and humorous read of an injured ironworker becoming a stay-at-home dad. Other books I’ve read from this author have been so surprisingly different, but maintain enthralling storytelling. Two other titles I recall are Levi’s Will and Sutter’s Cross.
I had the opportunity to hear author James Rubart at a Christian writers conference. I think of his Well Springs trilogy as Christian sci-fi. His humor and creativity crafts a very unique tale of spiritual warfare that left me at the edge of my seat. The trilogy titles are Soul’s Gate, Memory’s Door, and Spirit Bridge. My husband and I both enjoyed these and other titles from this author, Rooms, Book of Days, and The Chair.
Philip Gulley is an author and Quaker pastor. He weaves a hysterical story of small-town America in the Harmony series. The story reflects wisdom, grace, and plenty of heartwarming human behavior when a man returns to minister in his own home town. I truly laughed out loud through this series and stopped to read pages aloud to my husband. There are seven books in the series: Home to Harmony, Just Shy of Harmony, Christmas in Harmony, Signs and Wonders, Life Goes On, A Change of Heart, and Almost Friends.
Beginning my 2021 Reading List:
I’ve used my list of favorites to get me started in the new year. Each author I listed have books I haven’t read yet. I may start with the Hope Series from Philip Gulley. The first book in the series is A Place Called Hope.
I enjoy historical titles, both fiction and non-fiction. Although the Holocaust is not a cheery topic, the accounts of survivors like Corrie Ten Boom are life changing and worth reading again. When I previously wrote about the blessings of God and referenced The Hiding Place, Josh over at Homeschool Tablet suggested ZVI: The Miraculous Story of Triumph over the Holocaust, and it’s on my list. It is the story of how a 10-year old Jewish boy survived World War II.
I don’t recall the first time I saw Annette, from A Net In Time, recommend The German Heiress. I’ve seen her mention it several times, so I’m planning to read it this year. Amazon describes it as a different story of WWII as it’s from the perspective of the Germans who were caught in the crossfire of the Nazi regime.
I have always loved hymns, and recently found a discount copy of 101 Hymn Stories. It is a collection of both classical and contemporary hymns and the stories behind them. In addition to personal reading, this book could easily become a resource for some homeschooling lessons.
Speaking of homeschool, I have to list at least one resource book. As my children are getting older, they have developed their own preferred reading genre. Selections from one of my teens are not always what I would consider quality literature. Honey For a Teen’s Heart provides encouragement to use books to communicate with teens. There is an extensive list of suggested titles which includes a description and age recommendation. As my son is an avid reader, I’m hoping to find some tools to lead us to common ground.
A good book can take a person on an adventure without ever having to leave their home. I have to be intentional about adding personal reading time to my busy day. While I continue to enjoy books with my kids, I also want to read titles from my personal booklist. Some adjustments to my schedule have already opened up a bit of reading time.
What are some favorite books you would recommend?