A Life Contrary

living a life out of the ordinary

2016 – A Reading Failure

There’s a classic 90’s era movie called Airborne starring Shane McDermott and Chris Conrad with a supporting cast featuring two unknown but up and coming actors you may have heard of – Seth Green and Jack Black.  It is a truly awful movie whose storyline revolves entirely around a California surfer “dude” who is forced to move to Cincinnati, OH, which just happens to be a hockey town.

Why would I begin a blog about books by talking about an obscure and little watched movie from 1993?  Mainly because I am weird, but also because there is a line in the movie that I feel captures my view on books.  Seth Green’s nerdy and unliked character, Wiley, has to give an introductory speech to the class and in an attempt to be well-received, he lauds his knowledge and prowess at the town’s beloved sport of hockey.  He rambles for a bit and ends with the statement, “My Dad drives a Zamboni!”

When talking about how much I love books, I could prattle on for hours about the smell or the knowledge contained therein.  I could tell you about how giddy I get over titles and synopsis or how I love looking at covers and reading bios and more!  And I would end this speech by saying, “I even work in a BOOKSTORE!”  All of this to say, books are my thing.

Now, I’m saying all of this to lay the groundwork for the fact that 2016 wasn’t my best reading year.  Life just took over.  Well, life and a tv, if I’m being honest.  My schedule at work kept me pretty busy so when I was at home, I had to do the tasks to keep things running and when that was done, I was just tired.  It was much easier to watch a tv show or listen to a podcast while washing dishes or cooking dinner.  By the time all the housework was done, I’d watch a show with Nathan or we’d watch something as a family and then I’d fall into bed (often falling asleep before the show was over!)

I did get a few books read, but I didn’t get anywhere near my goal.  I had even abbreviated my reading list to only 18 books with the intention of adding 6 books by the end of the year as I came across new books.  And come across new books, I did!  I think I only actually read 2 books off my original list (Help My Unbelief by Barnabas Piper and Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans).  However, I did come across several that I was able to read or listen to on audiobook.

Some of the ones that I readily remember are:

5 Habits of a Woman Who Does Quit by Nicki Koziarz

Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs

Why We Aren’t Emergent by Ted Kluck and Kevin DeYoung

Loving My Actual Life by Alexandra Kuykendall

King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight

I just didn’t do well with reading.  I also began When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper, The Bride(zilla) of Christ by Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin, Household Gods by Ted and Kristin Kluck, Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen, and Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin.

There may be a few that I finished or that I started that I don’t have listed, that’s kind of how bad my note-taking and follow through were.  I began the year with such a promising list and a record of when I began and finished each book.  It was so nerdy, so wonderful!  But I just couldn’t keep up.

I will say that a few of the books that I just absolutely loved were Help My Unbelief by Barnabas Piper, Loving My Actual Life by Alexandra Kuykendall, and Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs.  I would go so far as to say that these books were transformative.  Each book really changed my life this year and I would highly recommend them to anyone and everyone.

The great thing is that there is never a shortage of good books, and I’m excited to try again in 2017!

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