I reached my goal of 100 books in 2018 in September. I will continue to track my reads but only provide monthly updates. I created an Instagram account to track my reading in real time. Feel free to follow along @meganbyrdreads!
A second reading goal for 2018 is to read at least one book each month by a non-white author to expand my knowledge and perspective. Many months I have been able to read multiple books in this category. So far I have achieved this goal.
A third goal was to check off the 12 different categories of books Anne Bogel (aka ModernMrsDarcy) suggests to help vary the types of books read this year. I completed that in August but will continue to list the categories I read for the remainder of the year.
I read one book in November written by a non-white author (indicated with an *). I read the following from Anne’s list: 1) a book by a favorite author (Fav), 2) a memoir, biography, or book of creative nonfiction (NF), 3) a book you can read in a day (1D), 4) a book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion than your own (Dif), and 5) a book in translation (BiT).
111. All That’s Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment by Hannah Anderson (Fav) (NF)
This book talks about how to grow in discernment to learn what is good in this world. It walks through Philippians 4:8-9 which talks about the types of things that are worthy of our attention, things that are true, honorable, pure, lovely, just, and commendable. It reminds us of how God has shown us through Jesus how to grow in our ability to discern these things. At the end of the book, there is a study guide to go deeper into learning the concepts and developing the skills for improved discernment.
I really enjoyed the way the material was presented and the reassurance that in following Jesus, God will help to increase our discernment. She talks a little about why we may be afraid to speak up when we discern things that might not be well-received because it upsets the status quo but how important it is to be that voice in the world and in our churches. An encouraging and challenging read.
112. I am Pusheen the Cat by Claire Belton (1D)
This is an illustrated book about a cat named Pusheen and her sister Stormy. It is very funny because it accurately describes cat behavior. Pusheen shares her ideas of life and her experiences with holiday activities. It is divided into different sections of topics.
My daughter borrowed the book from the library and was reading the “Scary Stories for Cats” section to me and it tickled me so much I asked to read it when she was done. (Example: Once upon a time there was a food bowl. It was empty. The end.) A quick, humorous read for people who know and love cats. It got me through part of my hour-long wait to vote.
113. Wild Dark by Kelly Buddenhagen
Clara Fallow is a babysitter for a family whose husband seems to be looking for a chance to sleep with her. She’s living in her hometown while her dad’s in jail for selling drugs to an undercover cop and she had a boyfriend of two years whom she feels uses her, though she admits she’s using him to avoid things as well. She hates her life but is not motivated to change it until the day she meets a man she thinks she’s known before but can’t figure out where. She is torn between her current life and the more this familiar man might have to offer. His presence leads to many more questions than answers as she begins to have flashbacks to 2.5 years ago when she was found outside of a house that had burned to the ground. She can’t remember what happened, nor is she too keen on finding out, but she thinks both this man, Eric, and her sister were there that night. There’s something greater going on than what she can figure out and as she begins to remember more, she realizes there is a web of connection in her town and it’s dangerous. Can she figure it out before it’s too late?
The theme was initially fuzzy but came into focus as the book progressed. It jumps back and forth in time to help fill out history which I didn’t mind. An interesting read.
114. Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser
Liza and Molly were best friends growing up but Liza’s move to Chicago from Cincinnati coupled with Molly becoming a mom has strained their relationship. On a video chat to see if the friendship can be salvaged, Liza sees a masked intruder enter the house when Molly goes to check on the kids. In a desperate attempt to verify Molly is fine, Liza drives all night to shoe up at her door only to have it figuratively slammed in her face by Molly. When Liza arrives back in Chicago she learns that her apartment building burned down and her late night drive saved her life. She ends up moving back to Cincinnati and tries to get her life, and possibly her friendship, back together. Will the intruder ever be identified? Why was he there? There are a lot of secrets discovered and uncovered.
I was intrigued from the very beginning and anxious to see who was threatening Molly and whether her friendship with Liza could be salvaged. A very entertaining read.
115. Woke Church: An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice by Eric Mason* (Dif) (NF)
The book is divided into four themes: Be Aware. Be Willing to Acknowledge. Be Accountable. Be Active. Eric talks about the importance of having a faith that fulfills the proclamation in Micah to Love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with our God. The book talks about the history of racism in America and the white church’s involvement in allowing and/or perpetuating racism. The book talks about how the church should have been involved and how it now can be involved in correcting injustice in our country. It reminds us that God is a god of justice and action, that the purpose of the gospel is to reunite people who shouldn’t otherwise have something in common, and that the church should be a precursor to Jesus’ return when people from every tribe, tongue, and nation will worship God together. It gives action steps that we can take individually and as a church to be part of racial reconciliation.
It was educational, challenging, and encouraging. I hope that this will help me to find ways to be involved and to encourage others to see this as an important mission for all people.
“One of the most powerful points of action that was recommended: whites need to speak up whenever they see something that looks like racism and injustice.”
116. Uncluttered: Free Your Space, Free Your Schedule, Free Your Soul by Courtney B. Ellis (NF)