Booking It in 2011

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Are you ready to get reading?

I had a great time reading with you last year. It was a great encouragement to me to make sure I had my nose out of the computer and into a book. Your recommendations were some of the best ever.

My family and I are richer as a result of Booking It with you last year.

I loved hearing what you had to say last month about the “Booking It in 2010” experiences and what you’d like to keep or do differently next year. I spent several weeks devising a plan based on the straight “votes” and then I went back and read your survey comments.

It was great to see that what I was cooking up actually fit what most of you were saying. You people inspire me!

Survey Says!

Here are a few snapshots of what readers said in the Booking It survey:

Would you like to read along with others?

Only 4% said, “No.” So, I’ll take that as a YES.

Do you want assigned reading or to read on your own?

An overwhelming percentage said that they wanted both options. And since there will be two options, well then, the people who only wanted one choice, get their one choice. It’s a win all the way around.

Ready for the plan?

Here’s the deal. In 2011, there will be two tracks to Booking It. You can read the assigned reading – 11 books in 2011. OR you can design your own reading list.

OR you can bop back and forth between the two tracks based on your season of life and what sounds interesting to you.

And since many people requested a more consistent posting schedule, we’ll talk about the month’s assigned reading on the 10th of each month and the independent reading on the 11th.

I want there to be freedom for those who want it and structure for those who crave it.

The important thing is to unplug, read, engage and expand your horizons in the new year.

As the immortal Dr Seuss said, β€œThe more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Amen. So, let’s go places this year.

Track 1 – The Eleven List

Here are the 11 books I’ve selected for the year. I took into consideration their availability, your requests from the survey, and how they pertain to “life as MOM.”

I’ve placed the newly released books at the end of the year’s schedule so that you have a chance to borrow a copy or find one on sale, used, or at the library. The date listed is our “due date for reading.”

Now I realize that not everyone will want to read all these books. And that’s totally fine. There’s structure for those who want it.

And for those who don’t, there’s ….

Track 2 – Create Your Own Adventure

This is the way we’ve been doing it in the past. Create a reading plan, read, tell us about it. That’s easy. And for consistency’s sake, I’ll have a link up here on the 11th of each month so that you can share what you’ve read.

Feel free to pop back and forth between the two tracks. Say you want to read January’s book, but would rather not read Jane Austen {gasp} in February. Cool beans.

Read what you want, when you want. Just make sure to tell us about it. We’ll be sharing our reading plans on January 10th.

For my own part, I “hope” to read more than 11 books this year, so my plan is to participate in both tracks. But, I am writing my own book, too, so we’ll see….

Oh, I almost forgot! We’re also going to have some cool giveaways along the way. This is going to be very fun.

How will I ever remember all this?

Well, I made up a little booklet that lists the books, the reading schedule, a blank planning form, the link up schedule, and a form for taking notes. It also includes a brief description of each book.

Print off the Booking It handbook and you can take the list with you, make notes and otherwise keep track of the reading details of your life.

Download your Booking It in 2011 handbook here.

So are ya with me?

Be prepared to share your reading plan for the year on January 10th. Need inspiration? Go here.

January 10 will be our only Booking It “meeting” for the month. Then we’ll start book talking in February.

Any questions?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. Lindsey says

    “Feel free to pop back and forth between the two tracks. Say you want to read January’s book, but would rather not read Jane Austen {gasp} in February. Cool beans. ”

    You have Jane Austen set for March, with no book for January. Just sayin. πŸ˜‰

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Lindsey, well, since the “due date” for reading is early in the month, I was thinking about how you’d be reading The Happiness Project in January and Mansfield Park in February, to be discussed on the tenth of that next month. πŸ˜‰

  2. Lindsey says

    Also, Amazon has a Kindle edition for FREE right now. Its the 2006 date… not the same as the one you linked too but it should be the same thing, right?

  3. Looks good! Thanks for putting this together. I’m excited about starting this year from the beginning instead of joining halfway through like I did last year.

  4. This looks great! Thanks for your work Jessica – I’m looking forward to it. I’ll for sure be doing the March and August reading (“The Help” has been on my list since I heard about it earlier this year), but the rest of the time I’ll probably be picking my own. I love the flexibility AND the scheduled review dates! πŸ™‚

    • @Carrie, Oh, and possibly June and December too! πŸ˜‰

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Carrie, just so you know I added Ravi to my personal list. My husband loves his books and we even gave a kid the middle name of Zacharias. But, I’ve never read one of his books in its entirety. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the nudge in your survey answer.

  5. am really looking forward to more “booking it” and some more structure. I also am interested in some of the book selections – its nice to be stretched in a direction I may not have chosen myself!

  6. jennifer says

    I’m a full-time nursing student so textbooks are my “book-it” list! However, I am devouring books over break (have read 4 so far in about 8 days tim) and purchased “The Help” for my Kindle yesterday. What a fabulous book so far!

    My next chance to read will be Spring Break so I’m taking advantage now! Oh, how I miss my books during school!

    I’ll be interested to read thoughts/comments on the books to get new ideas!

  7. I am so excited! This plan sounds awesome! I love the idea of covering ground I have never covered before as far as reading goes. I am going to try to stay the course the whole way through and may be read on my own too! Thank you so much!

  8. Wonderful list–some I’m familiar with (love Donna Otto’s book) and some new ones. The flexible schedule is great. Reading is an every day activity in our home. I think it’s so important for children to see Mom and Dad reading. Thanks!

  9. Hoping to join in, probably a bit haphazardly!

  10. charlotte says

    Already ordered the Happiness Project from my Library. I am excited to get my nose in a good book.

  11. I’m so excited. I love structure with flexibility. Thank you for the time you took to make a handbook. You are awesome, Jessica!

  12. Thank you for all of your work on this! I love to read and am hoping to join you this year—at least some of the time :-).

  13. Sounds great! I like the two options and the variety of the book list. I usually post my list of books read in the past month on my blog at the end of the month so I’ll be sure to link up on the 11th each month.

    This past year was the 2nd year I’ve participated in my local library’s 50 book challenge. I appreciate having another place to encourage me in my reading.


  14. YOU are so awesome, Jessica! I’m looking forward to reading more this next year. I’ve completed 6 books this year (more than ever) and am halfway through my 7th one. So excited about this next year and all of the different reading choices/plans and amazing downloand book!

  15. I will be joining to read this year! One of my personal goals for 2011 is to read *atleast* 25 books! So for me I will have to be finishing a book every 2.5 weeks…that should get interesting with a new baby due in March…and 4 other kiddies!! I can do it though!

  16. I’m so so excited to participate this year!! Last year I had my first baby and we moved cross-country, so I didn’t have too much free time, but I am totally thrilled to “book it” this year. Thanks for doing a fantastic job of putting this together!

  17. I just requested the first book from the library. Looking forward to following along this year. Thanks!

  18. Kirstin says

    Thank you so much for doing this Jessica! This will be my first Booking It adventure and I’m excited to dive in. I love to read and have been looking for reading options that aren’t the typical mysteries and thrillers, so this is perfect for me!

  19. I’m looking forward to booking it 2011. I’m also joining a reading the classics challenge as wel this year so these two challenges should give me a good bit od diversity. Thanks for setting this all up!

  20. Stephanie says

    I have read the April book and Love the artisan bread I make it quite a lot and often bring it for functions at school since it has minimal ingriedients and I can do it ahead and it can be free form.

  21. Yay, I see my book there in your picture!! So exciting! Didn’t see it in your link list though πŸ™‚

    I have so many books waiting to be read…I really want to make this next year the year of reading!!

    • Jessica Fisher says

      It’s on my personal list. πŸ˜‰ Will be sharing soon, I hope! (It was hard to narrow the assigned reading list down to just 11!)

  22. I may read some on your list, but I have a big list of my own to work through, too. That and I’m starting the 90 day Bible challenge again, so my reading will be limited. I’m loving my new kindle, though, and might add a couple of your titles. Thanks.


  23. I am excited about joining this virtual book club. I have heard about The Happiness Project, but never took the time to read it, so here is my chance. I am going to my local library website, and place it on hold right now.

  24. This sounds fun! I’m going to build my own plan using some of your ideas.
    {oh, the horror of the idea of someone not wanting to read Jane Austen!!}

    • Jessica Fisher says

      I know, I know. But, some people {gasp} despise Austen. I don’t get it, either. But, to each her own! Glad you’re going to join us!

  25. Love this idea! I’m a new subscriber, so I didn’t get in on this last year. This is a great selection of books. I’ve read a few but it will be great to re-read them and to diversify with new books.

  26. note that all books published before 1923 are out of copyright in the US, so they can be freely downloaded for your computer or any ebook reader from a variety of places. Some good spots to try:
    * (make sue to check pub year. some bookshere are freely downloadable in canada and australia, but not the US)
    * (if you have an ebook reader, gutenberg’s publishing is not perfect, but it works)
    * (last resort. has 1.8 million books, but formatting is horrendous)

    Hope that helps some of you. As a side note, if you appreciate the work done, you can volunteer to proofread books at I love the idea of free books, as books are a window of opportunity and education to the world.

  27. Janelle says

    I am excited about this! I did not participate in this last year. I have not read that many whole books since…well, a very long time! I have not decided which track I am going to go with yet, but I think that I will start with what you have “assigned” plus I have a few books that I really want to finish!

  28. I am really looking forward to booking it in 2011! Hopefully I’ll be more consistent than the past few months. I think I’ll follow your plan with a few variations here and there. I already downloaded “The Happiness Project” to my ereader for free from the library! Thanks for keeping this going…and keeping me challenged.

  29. I will be joining in. I hardly read any books last year and that is sad for an ex book store owner and seller.
    I will be putting together my list and share on the 10th. I want to read a combination of non fiction and fiction ( mystery / thrillers. ) My goal is to take 1 hour a day and read.
    I will tell you that I want to read 2 Beth Moore books in case any one is looking for a Christian writer. I heard her speak in Houston on Revelations , but have not read the 2 I bought. Thanks for putting this together I look forward to reading more. grace

  30. I’m in! Last year I did Bible in 90 Days 2 times but I’m taking a slower approach on that this year so hopefully I can read other things more. I’m going to follow your plan mostly, but will just have to see how it goes. Thanks for the flexibility!! Heading to the library today to try to get the first book!

  31. I have shared this reading plan on my site and hoping that some of my readers will join in.

  32. Oh this sounds like so much fun! I’m definitely going to get these and read along. Thanks for hosting this book club.

  33. I am going to make it up as I go. Last year I participated in 3-4 or 5 reading challenges. This year I hope to do about a book a month. I’ll choose as I go along. So to play along I’ll pick 11 books and post about one of them a month. or something. hahhaa. not thinking well this morning. πŸ™‚

  34. I am in as well. Will be bopping back and forth between assigned reading and make it up as I go along. I have read a couple of your books, so will fill those in with others, plus I have a stack in my bedside bookcase that I want to get through. As a mom of 10, I find it very challenging to get in my reading time, but I am finding I can do about 1-2 chapters a night most days.
    I didn’t finish my Bible in 90 Days this year, so plan to finish it and possibly go through it again also. I got stuck in Psalms, and need to press on through!!
    Thanks for your time in putting this together!

  35. Looking forward to joining in on Booking it this year! I didn’t get to last year, and this is just something I need! Thanks so much!

  36. I’m going to join! I used to be a huge reader but haven’t had as much time since becoming a mom :). I’m going to do a combo as I have a big stack next to my bed to read but would like to try a few that you have listed. I’m going to start making my list and post it on the 10th!!

  37. I love the list you put together. It has a nice variety of books that are all interesting and look like books I would like to read.
    Thank You
    Have a Blessed Everyday

  38. So excited! Just put up a post on my blog to invite others to join “Booking It 2011”.

    My book club, here at home, is reading “The Help” right now; as well, I had already planned to read “Mansfield Park’ (downloaded it to Kindle over the holidays).

    Like a few others, I have textbooks to read, as well as books for work. But, I have included a few books for pleasure reading, too.

    Looking forward to Jan. 10th, in order to share my list with y’all.

    Jessica, thanks for hosting. And good luck with writing the book! Looking forward to it!


  39. Ohh.. Lovely.. Ties in perfectly with my resolutions to read more and make more “friends” πŸ™‚
    Joining you with the list you have.. But I may change in between, especially if I can’t find some of the books here in India..
    And, am glad you have Austen, Tsh and Gretchen.. I adore them:-)

  40. nanasewn says

    Here is a new book that you may want to consider at some time. How to raise your adult children. by Gail parent (writer for many tv sitcoms) and a psychotherapist. Though most of you do not have grown children yet….you yourselves are adult children to someone! :o) Many of us, whether the parent or the adult child have confustion as to roles in this day and age. I have found it to be good read for understanding and moving forward.

  41. Ellen S. says

    So excited! Thanks for the handbook, I was getting overwhelmed trying to scribble it all down. I think I’m going to do a combo track too.

  42. Can’t wait! I really enjoyed doing this last year and am anxious to do it again. I plan on doing both “sides” and have come up with a loose plan for myself as well! Looking forward to seeing what everyone is reading!

  43. Heather says

    I’m a married mother of 4 boys and I work full time. My oldest will be in college later this year and my youngest is almost 7 months old. I would love to start a book reading challenge, but not even sure where to start as my time is extremely limited. I have started about 4 books in the last year and never get a chance to finish them. I used to love to read at all times and now, it’s just hard. Any advice from anyone is greatly appreciated.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      It can be really hard to find/make time to read. I hear ya! Last year I wrote this post about finding time to read. Hopefully it will help.

  44. nanasewn says
  45. Very much looking forward to this!

  46. jennifer says

    I alreay have my copy of “The Happiness Project”. I love to read and am excited to be joining the book it this year.

  47. I think I’ll join you. I have my own reading to do, which I will talk about on my blog, and then there’s the reading with my little one, which I’ll talk about on our 365 Days of Children’s books blog –

  48. Count me in! I need something structured like this plan to actually read a variety of books. I’m excited to expand and read different genres of books, too. Thanks for all the work!

  49. Thank you for all the work. I have wanted to do a book club deal that contained books both pleasurable and inspiring, but it was overwhelming. I am so excited to follow your plan! Your choices are so exciting and I am thankful God lead me to your page this early in the year!

  50. Jessika says

    Just wrote up my list finally and I’ll be popping back and forth between my list and the group list. Feels good to have a plan for reading!

  51. I’m new to the site and downloaded the book list. Where do you discuss the book? Do you have a fourm?

    • Jessica Fisher says

      We’ll be discussing each month’s book on the 10th, starting in February, on in the comments section.

  52. Kathy Mucher says

    Referred to you by Tsh at Simple Mom. I’m so excited about your list of books! Eager to read with you this year. Thanks so much for organizing and leading us.

  53. This is the first time I’ve come to your blog—and I’m glad I did! I’m in! I read the book list to my hubby and even HE thought they sounded good. So off we go! πŸ™‚

  54. adella says

    Hi. I love your list. I just want to give a FYI on “The Help.”. I started to read it last month and was enjoying it until it started reapetedly using the Lord’s name in vain. I’m not talking just saying the word G-D but the full G**Dammit. It got so bad that in the total of three consecutive pages it was used 3 times. I new in my heart I needed to stop reading it. I even said the word in a dream. I enjoyed it but was convicted to stop. I don’t want to desensitize myself to such an offensive word. Just thought I would give the info so people new. Adella

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