Site icon Liz Mannegren

Keeping A Book Journal

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?



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