Ready to BOOK IT in 2010?

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So, I’ve been alluding to a mystery reading plan for a week or so. Today’s the first chance I’ve had to share it. Life has been so full of outings and good conversation with friends, there’s been little time to read, let alone talk about it!I love to read. It is one of my favorite ways to while away the hours. Reading is a great use of our minds and imaginations. It may sound trite but it really does open up worlds of opportunities. What fond memories I have of staying up all night reading an engrossing novel or that “a-ha” moment when a light bulb goes on in my head while reading a non-fiction work that helped me grow as a woman, a wife, or a mother.

Yet, as my days get fuller, I find that unless I am extremely intentional, reading a real book — not a magazine or back of a cereal box — can fall by the wayside. Ever have that happen to you?

Create a Reading Plan

One way that I can be intentional in my reading is to create a reading plan. For years it has been a practice of mine to spend the first week of the year plotting out a course of books I want to read in the coming twelve months. It’s always been fun to see how my lists evolve over the year and which books I enjoyed and which ones didn’t make the A list.

This year I’d like to invite you along on my quest to read more. “I’m Booking It in 2010” and I hope you’ll join me in reading more in the new year.

But it’s not books I pick!

Last year I had the best intentions of following along with a book club, but I found it to be a little restrictive to have a book all picked out for me. I felt like I had to read the chosen book of the month whether or not it was all that interesting to me or fit my season of life at the time. And that does not make for a happy reader.

Since I like to set myself up for success, sometimes that means setting my own goals. And that’s what I want to challenge you to do. I want to invite conversations about books and to provide a way to share book recommendations. And there’s no “right way” to do this.

Do you want to:

Unlike a book club where the books are chosen, I want you to feel freedom to go where your interests lie. But for those who might not know what they want to read, I’ll also offer suggestions throughout the year as well as feature some great guest posts. Each month I’ll have a check-in opportunity for you to link up with book reviews or progress reports on your reading goals. Tomorrow I’ll post a Mr. Linky for you to share your reading goals for the year.

As for me, I’m going to try to read one book a month, in a number of different categories:

  • organizing/homekeeping/homeliving
  • food
  • finance
  • education, specifically homeschooling
  • family fun
  • parenting
  • novels just for fun

I haven’t decided on all of them. But, I hope to read at least two in each category. I know of a few that I’ve been interested in checking out. And some books on my list are rereads. If you’ve got a suggestion, I’d love to hear it!

Here’s my working list for the next month or five. Got a suggestion as to what I can add?

homeliving – The Hidden Art of Homemaking (reread)
finance – The Total Money Makeover
finance – The Complete Tightwad Gazette
family fun – The Creative Family
food – The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook

Whaddya think? Are ya ready to BOOK IT?

Feel free to grab the button above and write a post with your reading goals for the year. Then come back tomorrow and link up. I can’t wait to be inspired and fill in the rest of my list. (If you don’t have a blog, that’s ok. Just share your goals in the comment section tomorrow.)

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  1. Our family has been enjoying the wonderful books from Lamplighter Publishing. We are reading the "Fireside Readings" books to our children before bed.

  2. I want to reccomend a fabulous book on parenting/family. It is called "My Heart's at Home", and it is by Jill Savage. It is hands-down the best book in this genre that I have ever read. For anyone who is trying to be intentional as a parent, it is a must-read.

    I'm not a fan of book clubs with required reading, either. I look forward to this year with you!

  3. I have been reading more lately and I've found that I really need that down time to decompress, especially in the evenings. Even if it's only a couple pages before I drift off. I've been keeping track of my books on goodreads. It's a great website for organizing what you've read, want to read and your ratings and you can share that with your friends.

  4. I LOVE Mrs. Dunwoody's Excellent Guide to Homekeeping. It is my all time favorite homecare book. I am currently reading Amish Peace. Another excellent book broken down by subject with Amish proverbs, stories, and reflections at the end for the reader. Finance books- I enjoy all of Dave Ramsey. I like Mary Hunt for her tips too.

  5. May I suggest two books for fun reading: The Passion of Mary Margaret or The Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Both fabulous reads. Mary is all about gods mercy and grace and the Corner is about two Chinese/Japanese friends in Seattle during WW2.

  6. Voddie Baucham has two great books for parenting: 'Family Driven Faith' and 'What He Must Be if He Wants to Marry My Daughter'. I'd also recommend 'Don't Waste Your Life' by John Piper and 'America's Cheapest Family'.

  7. Love the idea of a non-required reading book club! I have a few recommendations for you in the parenting genre of books. (My husband and I have spent a good chunk of the past two years since our first child was born reading parenting books.:)) "The Heart of Anger" by Lou Priolo (forward by John MacArthur) is excellent–our church's Keys to Parenting class uses this as a required read. Also "Teach them Diligently" by Lou Priolo is fabulous–our church gives that out to every couple that has their first child. I haven't read it, but I bought "Raising a Modern-Day Knight" by Robert Lewis for my husband for Father's Day a couple years ago, and he thought it was a really good read for fathers. I have one recommendation in the home life/organization genre–"Shopping for Time" by Carolyn Mahayney is great–very down-to-earth, practical wisdom. Can't wait to join you in the book-a-month club this year!

  8. I have a very worn copy of The Tightwad Gazette. I love it and wish I would have found it alot sooner than I did!

    You have inspired me to read more. I live less than a block from our library and never make time to go- how sad!

    When I do make it to the library, I usually get at least one 'improvement' book or some other sort of non-fiction book and one fiction book. I usually have to limit myself to just 2 or 3 books because I know I'd spend more time reading than keeping up with housework!

    Thanks for the boost.

  9. _This is Not How I Thought it Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to get the Lives We Want Today_ by Kristin Maschka

    Don't think you have to be a distressed or disgruntled mommy to need this one! It goes so deep into social paradigms and changes your world view!

  10. On a side note,
    if any of your readers have college kids, is a site to rent text books for a quarter or semester for a fraction of the list price of the book. Any book buybacks at school for purchased books never give you nearly as much as you paid in the beginning. So that's out. Also, free shipping! 🙂

  11. Jessica, I love any talk about books! Here are two I just finshed and that moved me in completely different ways:

    The Help by Stockett is a novel about a young woman in the civil rights era south and the relationships she forges with African American women of her community. I didn't want it to end. Such a beautiful story of strength and courage and the risks we must take to change the world.

    Half the Sky by Krystof and WuDunn…it doesn't fit exactly into any of your categories but it is a compelling and eye-opening view into how millions of women and girls in the developing world struggle to survive the inhumanity of human trafficking, lack of education, poor maternal health care and so countless other inhumanities. As a mom, wife, home finance manager, housekeeper, cook, etc., I really needed this push to look beyond my comfortable world and as a Christian I believe God is waiting for us to be the change that these women so desperately need. This book really changed me!

    Looking forward to another great year at LifeAsMom! You are a blessing.

  12. The Shaping of A Christian Family by Elizabeth Elliot is by far oneof the best books I have read and re-read many times and recommend it any chance I get.

  13. Jessica…new to your blog, how do you keep track of your yearly goals, book or otherwise? thanks for your help

  14. Amy-I would agree with you on My Heart's At Home-in fact I've read a few of Jill Savage's books and have enjoyed them all!

    Another great one that would probably fit into the home living catagory would be A Life That Says Welcome by Karen Ehman. Lots of great recipes in it as well as her great humor!

  15. Having a reading plan is such a good idea 🙂 Reading more is one of my major resolutions this year. Yesterday I picked up Barbara Delinsky's latest book, Not My Daughter. Great read. I'd highly recommend it if you're looking for ideas.

  16. I’m beginning to read and review The Power of a Praying Parent every Wed. on my blog. Experienced moms have recommended it and I know prayer is one of the best resources I have as a mother.

    Everyone one is welcome to read with me and share their own thoughts on praying for children.

  17. I was wondering if you could make a smaller “Booking It” button…the one you have here doesn’t fit in my sidebar for some reason.