Christmas hides behind another year now, and a New Year creeps. I look forward to having a needle jammed into my arm and to life getting back to normal. Whatever that means.

Regulars know I read a lot and that my Goodreads TBR list approaches 2,500 books – a good reason to live to be 140. But at Modern Mrs. Darcy, the host of one of my favorite podcasts, Anne Bogel, raises the bar with her 2021 reading challenge, complete with downloadable paperwork. I like that she doesn’t so much tell you what to do, as to encourage you to think about what you want to do. Doing and thinking are different things, useful for different applications.

Reading through the downloadable, I decided to read the number one selling fiction book of 1958, the year I was born. But, the number one book is Dr. Zhivago which I’ve already read a couple of times, so I drop to number 2, and will read Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver. Looking forward to that. In January, I’ll also read Knowing God by JI Packer. I read in every January and, every year, I am awe-struck by Packer’s erudition and clarity.

I say I suffer from Da Vinci Syndrome in my writing, and I do, too, in my reading. So, I use a plan. It’s pretty loose and lets me read just about whatever I want. Besides, It’s my list. I can throw it away when I want. For fun, here it is:

1. Any book.
2. MFA list
3. Fiction
4. Non-fiction
5. Christian
6. Non-fiction
7. Fiction
8. Evolution

I have rules about the list, too. When the list requires fiction, I generate a random number that fits inside my TBR list. I go to that number and, reading downward, select the next fiction book listed. I am also of that particular ilk who thinks – who is positively positive – that I dont have to finish a book only becasue I start it. If it doesn’t catch me, then there are plenty of books that will. And for set, defines as number one through eight, I have to read two book from my own collection before I can traipse to the bookstore with my shopping bag. It’s hard. IF you’re wondering, I tag some books as MFA, some as Christian, and some as Evolution. I pick from those lists when their number comes up.

The only rule I…kind of – force myself to stick with is that I have to finish an 8-item block before moving on. Keeps me honest and well-read. 

Whatever you do, check out Anne’s 2021 reading challenge download. And listen to the podcast. And plan your 2021 reading. Let me know what you decided on.