Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Room Without Books...

...is like a body without a soul.

If there is something that was very marked about 2012 (other than getting married!), it would be my lack of writing and my lack of reading books.  The only book I read consistently was the bible, or what I was reading with my dear Husband.  Of course, there were a few I did read and finish, but far less than in times past.  I started reading multiple works of literature at sundry times, but for a reason unbeknownst to me, I did not finish them.  Which is almost a crime, and most definitely a travesty, in my book!  I feel compelled to completion to the books I pick up.

Last night as I pondered many things about 2012, the lack of books was one of them.  I wanted to remedy that with the ushering in of a new year, and it being a new day.  So my goal is to read no less than 12 books.  12 books for 12 months.  My plan is to consistently engage in the books that have long been on my reading list, but been far too neglected (and this includes many started but never finished).  Since I plan to be realistic, for each book I plan to break down the total page number and divide it by 30/31 days and have a daily minimum of pages to be read each day.  Self discipline is a weakness of mine, so I have to stretch myself OUT of my comfort zone of not being organized or planning. (;  As a bonus, I plan to drink one cup of tea during each book reading session of every day.  Tea and a book, what could be a more grand plan?

There are a two types of books I wish to tackle this year: ones where I learn and grow in the knowledge of liberty in the realm of politics, and my understanding of God's truth.

My dear and I are reading "The Real Lincoln" together and I am amazed at our history in this country. (I love history, by the way).

So without further ado, my list:

How to Read a Book, Adler & Doren - 346 (11 pages a day)
The Bondage of the Will, Dr. Martin Luther - 260 (9 pages a day)
Nullification, Tom Woods -  266 (8 1/2 pages a day)
Last Days Madness, Gary Demar - 442 (15 pages a day)
Dollar Noncents, Peter Allison - 155 (5 pages a day)
The Excellent Wife, Martha Peace - 249 (8 1/2 pages a day)
The Creature from Jekyll Island, G. Edward Griffin - 588 (19 pages a day)
Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, R.C. Sproul (Sr.) - 287 (9 pages a day)
The Revolution a Manifesto, Dr. Ron Paul - 167 (5 1/2 pages a day)
The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, John Owen - 309 (10 pages a day)

I know this is only ten, but I'm 99.9% sure there are a couple in my church library I want to read and I can't decide which ones until I look them over. (:  The order is subject to change, but I tried to collate them where it was a Christian book then political one.  Also, literally half of those I have started and have yet to be finished, ha.  Did you like my first pick though?  I found it at a used bookstore years ago because the title caught my attention!  Perhaps this will help my reading comprehension and analytical skills to be more honed, and my reading to become more efficient.

Next year perhaps I will tackle Calvin's Institutes... but since I am trying to be realistic here, I didn't include such a feat in my list!  If I am really good, I might devour more than one book in a month.  This is my minimum goal, after all.  What books would you recommend to me?


  1. Leah, I wondered reading this if you might enjoy adding Jane Austen to that mix -- not as one of the twelve books to be reading through at a certain rate, but simply as a book you can keep for 'extra' reading in spare moments and pick up when you like. I love her books as being so full of what I like to call 'domestic virtue' -- her heroines exemplify a lot of the qualities that are specific to the calling of a woman, perhaps not in housekeeping specifically (for they have those wonderful servants) but more generally in our relationships and home virtues. And they do so in such an enjoyable way. I am always (re)reading a book of hers 'on the side' of my other reading for that reason: I find the examples so admirable and I am always seeing more in them to try to imitate (she was extremely insightful with her characters). Also -- as you are looking to write more, her style is a beautiful one to have in the head, I think. She is still the empress of English literature. If you haven't read her books before, I think you might enjoy Sense and Sensibility as a place to start: it was where she started :-).

    For theology, my favorite book lately has been an exposition of the Apostles' Creed by Caspar Olevianus. It is beautifully readable and very comforting and strengthening. It is also not too long to tackle in a month! I wish I had your determination and practicality. It sounds like a very good plan.

  2. Thank you for your thoughts, Heidi. (: When you began to talk of Jane Austen all I could do was grin widely! I have loved Jane Austen's style of writing and her books since I first picked up Pride and Prejudice years ago at 17. I have a volume of her complete works as a testimony to how much I fell in love with her stories. Persuasion is my second favorite... P&P holds a special place in my heart since it was my introduction to her. I think Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey are the only two I have not read (but seen the cinematic versions).

    I like your idea immensely. (:

    I'll have to look up the exposition. I highly value your input and opinions!

    Also, it feels a bit funny being so "practical" about my reading list... but I have realized I need the structure added to my life.

  3. Tea and a book, oh yes!

    I've had to learn not to always finish reading a book, but that is because it meant I kept reading bad books. 2012 was a year of few books for me also. We welcomed our son in January and I just haven't read much. A few short Christian books, a few parenting books, a few others...but nothing really. A baby is a good excuse of course, but really I could make a new, different reading routine if I was more disciplined. I suppose I never needed much discipline to read before!

    Your idea of monthly/daily reading is a good one. For me it would help to slow me down. I tend to read fast, which is fine for many books but not so much when I should be thinking about what I'm reading!

  4. We are a not-for-profit educational organization, founded by Mortimer Adler and we have recently made an exciting discovery--three years after writing the wonderfully expanded third edition of How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren made a series of thirteen 14-minute videos--lively discussing the art of reading. The videos were produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica. For reasons unknown, sometime after their original publication, these videos were lost.

    Three hours with Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren, lively discussing the art of reading, on one DVD. A must for libraries and classroom teaching the art of reading.

    I cannot exaggerate how instructive these programs are--we are so sure that you will agree, if you are not completely satisfied, we will refund your donation.

    Please go here to see a clip and learn more:


    ISBN: 978-1-61535-311-8

    Thank you,

    Max Weismann

  5. Joanna, are you from the PB? (: Congrats on your new baby! How very exciting. I'm sure you just love that little one so much! Is this your first? I'm a fast reader... I just tend to read 2 or 3 books at a time and it takes longer to complete them. Heh. I'm hoping to give a few thoughts about each book in a blog post, and that means I have to remember the main gist of them so I have to "slow down" enough to digest it!


Dear Reader,

When commenting, I would appreciate two of the following: first, that with humility of mind you might consider others better than yourself. Second, that you would not use inappropriate language on my blog.

Phil 1:21, Eph 5:3-4.

Thanks! (: