To say that I love reading is an understatement.

Some of my favourite childhood memories are the days spent browning on a lawn chair beside the lake, soaking up novel after novel. I used to dream of owning a “Beauty and the Beast” type library with swinging ladders and gleaming, spiral staircases – who needs a house, when you can nest happily amongst paperbacks?

My love for reading has never waned. Today’s bookshelf has been laboriously double-stacked with books that I’ve read and reread countless times. Rarely will I leave the house without a book stashed in my purse or the diaper bag, and I always have at least three novels on the go.

After my wee one was born, there were strings of days where I barely found time to shower – let alone pick up a book! I realized that I’d unintentionally fallen into a mind-numbing routine where baby’s nap time equaled mommy’s “decompress with Netflix” time. I needed motivation to turn the TV off and start reading again.

So I started a book journal.

My goal was to read 60 books (5 books a month) in one year. While, there are many different ways to create a book journal, I opted for something simple: the title of each completed book would be carefully marked down (alongside the author and the date) in my little leather journal.

There was something very satisfying about finishing a book and watching my little list grow longer and longer. I started finding extra moments here and there to settle myself on the couch and breathe in a few paragraphs at a time. Murder mysteries and legal thrillers, classics and memoirs, theological, historical, and biographical books – soon they all began to grace the pages of my journal.

Twelve months later, I’ve doubled my goal and read 112 books.

By no means is this any sort of record, and yet, it’s not a bad achievement for someone who spends the majority of her day chasing a toddler around the house. (Admittedly, the ratio of dirty diapers to books read is no where near what I’d like it to be.)

Some days I feel that my reading list should be more intellectual. But in truth, I don’t mind the fact that it’s mostly composed of fictional novels. I enjoy well written books regardless of their genre. Perhaps one day I’ll find enough time to write a novel of my own.

For now, I’ll leave you with some of my favourite books from this past year. Some of these books sit on the list because they challenged me (in a multitude of ways), some because they were so ridiculously well written, but all because I thoroughly enjoyed reading them.

In no particular order:

  1. Visit Sunny Chernobyl – Andrew Blackwell
  2. God’s Smuggler – Brother Andrew
  3. When the Moon is Low – Nadia Hashimi
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  5. Delicious! – Ruth Reichl
  6. The Shaming of the Strong – Sarah Williams
  7. At the Water’s Edge – Sara Gruen
  8. The Weight of Glory – C. S. Lewis
  9. Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel
  10. Call the Midwife – Jennifer Worth
  11. Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer
  12. Rosewater – Maziar Bahari
  13. A Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin
  14. The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins
  15. Forgotten God – Francis Chan

Go check them out and let me know what you think! Any suggestions for books to add to my summer reading list?



Keeping a Book Journal

7 replies
  1. Selena
    Selena says:

    I started a book journal at the beginning of this year. A tip: use different colored pens to tell from books you’ve read or have reread. Makes everything easier for me because I tend to lose track sometimes.

  2. Mary
    Mary says:

    I love this idea. I wish I had done this from the beginning of my love of reading (1st grade or so). My husband says a transfer truck wouldn’t hold all the books I’ve read – and he is probably right.

  3. Karen
    Karen says:

    I too am an avid reader. I’m also a writer and I believe reading a variety of genres is very important to the writing process for me. I usually have about three books going at the same time. I’m retired so I have lots of time to do this. I look forward to hearing more from this blog!

  4. Pamela
    Pamela says:

    I’m going to start a book journal this weekend. I’m gonna use the happy notes planner, and each page will be a different book. I want to be able to write a small review about the book that I can use in my blog. I’m going hyper organized about it but that’s how I roll.

  5. Caroline
    Caroline says:

    I really enjoyed keeping a reading journal. I use a line across a double page and record Title, Author and a BRIEF comment (one line helps here) I also put a tiny rr for re-read so I can make sure I get a balance. However, BEWARE – I took mine into school to show my students and some little dear pinched it!!! Why?!!! So that was 5 years of reading history down the drain and I’m just getting into writing it regularly again!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Keeping a Book Journal – Mommy Mannegren […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *