At the beginning of each year, I put together a list of books I want to read in the months to come.
209 books – that’s the exact number of titles that are currently on my to-read list on Goodreads, and that’s beside the ones on my Amazon Wishlist (easily another hundred is my guess). I’ve narrowed that list down to 9 books, which is not an easy task, considering. What will happen to the other 200 titles? Call me a hopeless idealist, but I still intend to read them all. Eventually!
That being said, here are the 9 books on my 2016 to-read list:
The Artisan Soul, Erwin McManus
A book on creativity and how creating is part of how God designed us to be. I originally bought this as a gift for my friend Anna, but then I liked it so much that I got myself a copy, too! Anna and I are creativity buddies. She is also the model in my cover picture from a photoshoot we did a few years ago. The two of us agreed to read this one together: our very own international mini Book Club. Anna will be reading it in Belarus and I’ll be reading it in South Korea.
Switch on Your Brain, Caroline Leaf
A book recommended to me by my friend Linda Solie, the author of “Take Charge of Your Emotions” – a book that has blessed me incredibly (a review is long overdue!)
Caroline Leaf has been studying the human brain longer than I’ve been alive and she’s come up with life-changing findings. Most importantly, how our brain is flexible and can be completely transformed, to allow us to have healthy thoughts, that in turn lead to healthy actions. I’m pretty new to this topic, but after reading Linda Solie’s book, I find it quite fascinating!
Let’s All Be Brave, Annie F. Downs
My husband, he’s one who prays for challenges and who thrives when they come his way. Me: not that big of a fan. I did always accept and made the most of them, despite this fact. In hindsight, the best things I’ve done came when I took on a challenge and it certainly made for quite the adventurous life so far. This books sounds like it might confirm and give me a good nudge in that direction, too.
It’s Not What You Think, Jefferson Bethke
A book I got for Christmas, from my friend Anna. Beside being my creativity buddy, she’s also my book buddy and a kindred spirit. This is a book she’s been recommending for a while, so I can’t wait to dig in.
Daring Greatly, Brené Brown
I have only discovered Brené Brown in 2015 and I found her not only inspiring, but also refreshingly vulnerable and honest. This is probably one of her most popular titles, as recommended by a brave young woman: my friend Inesa.
Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon
I have heard about this book before, but it only now made it to this list by the recommendation of my friend Tatiana, who I endearingly call my Macedonian bookworm, because that’s where she currently lives.
She knows a thing or two about creativity and has assured me I’ll like this one. I’m planning to read it together with another artsy friend – Grace – because these kinds of books are best read and processed with other creatives.
How to Really Love Your Child, Dr. Ross Campbell
My friend Tatiana, who is a mother of two adorable girls, told me very emphatically: read books on parenting now, before you have children! Once you have them, there is a great need for wisdom and discernment – only if you want to be a good parent – but precious little time to read or get that kind of information. Can’t argue with that! I chose this particular title as my first book on parenting, because it seems that everyone and their cousins recommend it.
7 Men, Eric Metaxas
An author I have heard much about, especially because of his biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer that my husband read. This one is less voluminous, and it depicts the lives of 7 extraordinaire Christian men – sounds promising so far. Thanks for lending me this one, Emil!
The Eyre Affaire, Jasper Fforde
The only fiction title on this list.
More accurately, I’m planning to read the whole series. Basic concept: the existence of an alternate book world where characters from beloved classics live ordinary lives, while having “jobs” as book characters.That’s all I know so far. Intriguing, huh? My friend Tammi recommended this one and I can’t wait to borrow them from her.
Fun observation. I read at least the same amount of fiction as non-fiction every year, but I find that I am more spontaneous in my choices when it comes to novels, as it depends largely on what I feel like reading in the moment.
See a theme here?
Courage and creativity: these seem to be my subject of interest for 2016. As one who values both greatly, I have grown more aware of the need to nurture them in myself and others. Of course, neither can be achieved by simply reading a book about it. Yet a healthy dose of encouragement in that direction is bound to produce some fruit.
Here’s to a 2016 marked by increased courage and creativity!
How about you? What books do you want to read this year?