Friday, December 30, 2016

Looking Back at 2016

Reading Plans

This year (2016) I tackled the reading challenge put out by Christian blogger Tim Challies. It was a fun time. Finding a book to fit each category was like a scavenger hunt. And then there was the added layer of being able to share progress with a community of other readers who were doing the same thing (there was a Twitter hashtag, a Goodreads group, etc.).

So how'd I do? Well, I read 83 of the 109, not too shabby. The challenge had different tiers so that comfortably lands me between a "Committed Reader" and an "Obsessed Reader." I read books outside of the reading plan too so I ended up reading 102 in the year, three short of my goal. I've heard of monks intentionally stopping a few feet from the peak of a mountain... anyway, here's the list of books I read (or meant to read):

The Light Reader

X 1. A book about Christian living, An Infinite Journey
X 2. A biography, No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green
_ 3. A classic novel, Time and Again
X 4. A book someone tells you "changed my life”, The Love Dare
_ 5. A commentary on a book of the Bible, Colossians and Philemon
X 6. A book about theology, Knowing God by P.I. Packer
X 7. A book with the word "gospel" in the title or subtitle, Renegade Gospel
X 8. A book your pastor recommends, The Christian as Minister by Sharon Rubey
X 9. A book more than 100 years old, Selected Essays of Montaigne
X 10. A book for children, Realm of the Reaper (Everworld #4) by Katherine Applegate
X 11. A mystery or detective novel, Stranger Room
X 12. A book published in 2016, The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
X 13. A book about a current issue, Welcome but not Affirming

The Avid Reader

_ 14. A book written by a Puritan, on puritan
X 15. A book recommended by a family member, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
X 16. A book by or about a missionary, The Baboon Chase by Don W. Hills
_ 17. A novel that won the Pulitzer Prize, American Pastoral
X 18. A book written by an Anglican, Anglican Vision
X 19. A book with at least 400 pages, Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King
X 20. A book by C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien, The Business of Heaven
X 21. A book that has a fruit of the Spirit in the title, A Separate Peace
X 22. A book with a great cover, Grunt by Mary Roach
X 23. A book on the current New York Times list of bestsellers
X 24. A book about church history, Almanac of Christian Trivia by Steve Wilkens
X 25. A graphic novel, Batman: Death by Design by Chip Kidd and Dave Taylor
X 26. A book of poetry, The House on Marshland by Louise Gluck

The Committed Reader

_ 27. A book from a theological viewpoint you disagree with, The End of Faith
_ 28. A book written by an author with initials in their name, Alternate Realities
X 29. A book that won a ECPA Christian Book Award, Bonhoeffer
_ 30. A book about worldview, How the Scots Invented the World
X 31. A play by William Shakespeare, The Tempest by William Shakespeare
X 32. A humorous book, Yes Please by Amy Phoeler
_ 33. A book based on a true story, The Final Confession of Mabel Stark
_ 34. A book written by Jane Austen, Northhangar Abbey
X 35. A book by or about Martin Luther, On Christian Liberty
X 36. A book with 100 pages or less, Stones in his Pocket
X 37. A book with a one-word title, Mindfreak by Criss Angel
X 38. A book about money or finance, The Man who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen
X 39. A novel set in a country that is not your own, The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North
X 40. A book about music, Mozart’s Last Year
X 41. A memoir, On Writing by Stephen King
X 42. A book about joy or happiness, The Happiness Project
X 43. A book by a female author, The Master by Claire North
X 44. A book whose title comes from a Bible verse, The Unknown God
X 45. A book you have started but never finished, The Know-It-All
X 46. A self-improvement book, 100 Natural Ways to Energize
_ 47. A book by David McCullough, 1776
X 48. A book you own but have never read, Essential German Grammar
_ 49. A book about abortion
X 50. A book targeted at the other gender, She’s Such a Geek
X 51. A book by a speaker at a conference you have attended, Andy Stanley, How Good is Good Enough?
X 52. A book written by someone of a different ethnicity than you, Shake Loose My Skin

The Obsessed Reader

X 53. A book published by The Banner of Truth. You Must Read
_ 54. A book about the Reformation
X 55. A book written by a first-time author, Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
_ 56. A biography of a world leader
X 57. A book used as a seminary textbook, Nonviolent Communication
X 58. A book about food, Candyfreak by Steve Almond
X 59. A book about productivity, How Did I Get So Busy?
X 60. A book about or relationships or friendship, Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
_ 61. A book about parenting, Bee Moms and King Pin Dads
_ 62. A book about philosophy, Nook, Kierkegaard
X 63. A book about art, Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art
X 64. A book with magic, The Color of Magic
X 65. A book about prayer, Listen Praying in a Noisy World by Rueben Job
X 66. A book about marriage, Love Poems for The Very Married by Lois Wyse
X 67. A book about a hobby, So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson
X 68. A book of comics, Strike Three Charlie Brown
X 69. A book about the Second World War, In the Garden of Beasts
X 70. A book about sports, Can I Keep My Jersey? by Paul Shirley
X 71. A book by or about a pastor’s wife, 
X 72. A book about suffering, Ambiguous Loss
X 73. A book by your favorite author, Kate North Book
X 74. A book you have read before, Of Mice and Men
X 75. A book about homosexuality, Torn by Justin Lee
_ 76. A Christian novel, The Cardinal Sins
X 77. A book about psychology - Snoop: what Your Stuff Says About You
X 78. A book about the natural world, Here if You Need Me: A True Story by Kate Braestrup (about chaplain to Maine Warden Service)
_ 79. A book by or about Charles Dickens
_ 80. A novel longer than 400 pages
X 81. A historical book, Dave Barry Slept Here
_ 82. A book about the Bible, 
X 83. A book about a country or city, Tales of Iceland by Stephen Markley
_ 84. A book about astronomy, Brief History of Time
X 85. A book with an ugly cover, The Dog of the Marriage
X 86. A book by or about a martyr, End of the Spear
_ 87. A book by a woman conference speaker
_ 88. A book by or about the church fathers
X 89. A book about language, A Little Book of Language
X 90. A book by or about a Russian, The Russian Way: Aspects of Behavior, Attitudes, and Customs of the Russians by Zita Dabars
X 91. A book about leadership, Intuitive Leadership
X 92. A book about public speaking, Backwards & Forwards
X 93. A book by Francis Schaeffer, Art & the Bible
X 94. A book by a Presbyterian - Coffee with Calvin by Donald K. McKim
X 95. A book about science, The Science of Michael Crichton
_ 96. A book about revival, Renovation of the Church
X 97. A book about writing, bird by bird by Ann Lamott
X 98. A book about evangelism, Growing Your Faith By Giving It Away
X 99. A book about ancient history, Ancient Puzzles by Dominic Olivastro
X 100. A book about preaching, The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper
X 101. A book about the church, The Church Case Scenario
X 102. A book about adoption, From Ashes to Africa
X 103. A photo essay book, God Left Us Alone Here…
X 104. A book written in the twentieth century - Barrel Fever by Sedaris

Extra Credit

X 105. A book from a library, NPR: The First Forty Years
_ 106. A book about business
_ 107. A book by an author less than 30
_ 108. A book published by a UK-based publisher

X 109. A book you borrow, Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell

Continuing "Life-sized Word Search"

Yes, believe it or not, I'm continuing my silly project of listening/reading for instances of vocabulary words. I started with aa- and am slowly inching further into the dictionary as I cross off finds. Here's some recent hits:

A-line skirts in an episode of Friends (said by Ross). In a Border Control show on Netflix I heard absconded. In a clinic I work at I heard acupuncture (offered for $5) and abscess. The rest are from books: Cardinal Sins had acedia, Influx had abeyance, adhere, and adrift. Klosterman IV had abject, adroitly (he seems to love this word), acquisition, adoring, accentuated, adamantly, and administrative. An article on Street Dependent Culture had aberrant. The Giver had abuzz. Rereading had abetment, adolescent, aesthetic, acuity. Daring Greatly had adoration and addictive.

Plan for 2017

I plan on reading the New Testament. I'm going to use the Youversion app on my phone to go through the Navigator's 5x5x5 reading plan. Every day my phone will have the next reading ready to go. Want to join me? You could also google the 5x5x5 Bible Reading Plan and print out the sheet and stick it in your Bible. (It gives you weekends off, which is nice).

The 5x5x5 means you read 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and have 5 ways to go deeper: 1. underline or highlight. 2. Put it into your own words. 3. Ask and answer some questions. 4. Capture the big idea. 5. Personalize the meaning.

Otherwise I'm dropping my book goal down to 27 for the year so the plan is finish a book every 2 weeks. Have a safe and happy New Year. I'll be working in the hospital all day and night tomorrow so feel free to lift up a prayer! Thanks!