I love reading. I love books. I love holding a story in my hands, knowing that a world of people and creatures, defeats and triumphs, loss and love is all in between my two hands, contained in the pages of a book. I love getting lost in someone else’s reality whether it be a real story or one from the author’s heart. I get swept up and carried away. I start to believe I’m a student at Hogwarts or that I too can wander the snow-covered streets of Narnia. It is because of this great love of story telling that I have a never-ending list of “to be read” books. The books could line up end to end and reach across the United States.
Recently, I haven’t done the best job with being intentional about checking books off of that list. I get distracted by the book that everyone is chattering about. Not exactly a problem…I think getting into conversations with your friends or coworkers or strangers in a coffee shop about a great book is way better than a lot of the topics people talk about these days. But between these phenomenon books, it’s important to pick up the books that have been burning a hole in my shelf.
This year, I’ve made a list. I’ve also made a pledge on Goodreads. I committed to reading thirty books this year and I’ve decided that twelve of those are going to be the books that have waited for me to crack the cover the longest. One for each month. Let’s do this.
The Chosen Twelve:
- Woman in the Mists: The Story of Dian Fossey and the Mountain Gorillas of Africa
by Farley Mowat — This one has seriously been on my shelf since the 8th grade. It’s time to tackle this one.
- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert — I’ve started and stopped reading this book a few times now. For some reason, I like the piece in Italy and can’t make it through India. But I really want to mark this one-off. 2017 is it’s year.
- The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown — Okay, so I know this is the second one on the list which was one of those “talked about books” that I mentioned above but I never made it to this one. I was 14 when it came out so at the time when it was getting the most chatter, I was a little too young to really want to delve in.
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy — This is a hefty one, you guys. Depressing and confusing are the words I hear describe this book but for some reason, it’s always been there, on the list waiting for me to take it on.
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen — Going to read all of Jane Austen’s works eventually, one book at a time.
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis — Another one I’ve picked up and set back down. Hoping to read through the whole series but obviously need to begin with the one that started it all.
- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden — I picked this up in high school and can’t remember why I put it down. I liked it when I was reading it and this year, I’m going to finish what I started.
- Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire — At the time of its publication I was only 9 years old. A bit young to get into this one but after seeing the musical, I have the need to see where it all came from.
- The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger — When I first bought this book, I was in high school. I could even sense then that my time to read this book hadn’t come yet but after a few years working for a big company, I believe that time has arrived.
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote — Recently a Tiffany’s blue covered copy of this book made its way to me. I love reading books before seeing the movie so it may have to be a double feature where I read the book and then hang out with Audrey.
- Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg — Fried Green Tomatoes has been one of my favorite movies for as long as I can remember. It’s time for me to get the details of the story that only a book can capture.
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr — A newer addition to this list but one I want to get into nonetheless. I started this one last year (sensing a pattern here?) and for whatever reason, put it down. It was such a deep, connected read – one with a story you can practically see fill the room around you. Completing the list with this Pulitzer prize winner.
If you have any recommendations on what the other eighteen should be, shoot them my way! Better yet, let’s connect on Goodreads! If you’ve made your own reading list, I’d love to see it.
As the great C.S. Lewis said, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
That being said, don’t mind me as I go heat up the kettle and pull a soon to be treasured story off the shelf.