[su_dropcap style=”simple” size=”1″]F[/su_dropcap]or as long as I can remember, I have loved to read. I remember as a kid, sneaking my paperback copy of the Fellowship of the Ring into church so I could read it during sermons. I remember reading through lunch time at school and staying up deep into the night because I was caught up in a story. While I no longer could get away with reading Tolkien during church, I still find time to read and listen to audio books wherever I can. My favorite genres are science fiction, fantasy and graphic novels and I read nearly 100 books in 2015 and another 61 in 2016. Sounds pretty good, until I take a look at the types of books that I have a tendency to gravitate towards.
I’ve come to the realization that I go first for the easy read and have avoided reading just about any classic works of literature, theology, biographies and history. I somehow made it through all of my public schooling, up to and including a Bachelor’s Degree, without reading hardly any of the classics. I never had to read anything by Shakespeare, Hemingway, Harper Lee or Verne. I do vaguely remember reading at least parts of 1984 by Orwell and Beowulf but I certainly don’t remember them. Maybe it was because we moved so much and I just missed the literature cycles for the different areas that we were living in but regardless, it never happened. This trend has continued as an adult and now as a homeschooling dad, I am tasking my kids to read books that I’ve never read and that is the genesis of my reading resolutions for this year.
CLASSICS FOR ME
In 2017, I will read at least 12 books that are considered classic works of literature. I have already begun To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and currently am about halfway through it. I was struck very early on how beautifully written it is and am enjoying the depiction of life in the South, by the adventures of Scout and Jim and saddened by the casual nature of the racial injustice of the time. Other classics on my to read list this year include at least two of Shakespeare’s plays, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. I am looking forward to seeing why these books are considered to be great works of literature. It will also help me to be a better teacher to my children about beautiful books.
READ ALOUD BOOKS
After listening to the fantastic Read Aloud Revival podcast by Sarah Mackenzie and others, I have been convicted to expose my kids to beautiful books in our read aloud time as well. I started the year with The Green Ember by S.D. Smith and it is a very lovely adventure tale that has captured our attention. Even our 3 year old Lil Bit sits and listens, asking about Heather and Picket. We are about a third of the way in and look forward to reading more each night. I have also started to read The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald in my teaching time with Peanut and it too is beautifully worded and engrossing at the same time.
Other books that we intend to use during read aloud time are some of the Grimm’s fairy tales, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie and the Railway Children by E. Nesbit among others.
THEOLOGY, HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHIES
In addition, I need to continue to grow in my knowledge and understanding of the Bible along with adding some history and biographies to my “finished reading” shelf. In this area, I am intending to read at least 12 books including The Screwtape Latters and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, at least one of the Greek and Roman biographies from Plutarch and Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford.
This is certainly an ambitious list of reading resolutions but certainly doable. More importantly, I feel that it will broaden my enjoyment of these things that I’ve loved my entire life, books.