Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Books! Books! Books!

A dear friend of mine pointed me to this book challenge. Eight books in eight categories in 2008. Wow! Other bloggers I respect are also talking about their book reading plans this year, and quite a few reviewed their reading for 2007. Quite honestly? I love to read, but I have gotten into very bad habits of reading nothing but fluff (modern mysteries, romance, that sorta thing). The idea of having a plan for books I want to read is totally new to me. Silly, I know! I lost many brain cells having 4 children in 6 years (lol!), and then the years of stress since my dh's stroke left me with little motivation to stretch myself mentally. But, like I mentioned in my last post, I am determined this year to really start living and stop just surviving. So, dh and I spent a great deal of time over the last several days developing our 888 reading plan. It was SO much fun! We've already got a 9th category and lots more books we want to read in 2009! I'm embarassed to admit that I had no idea there were so many fascinating books out there to read - I mean, I did, but I didn't, kwim? Dh and I are doing 7 of our 8 categories together, which should make for some interesting discussions and help our motivation. It's quite an ambitious plan for me - just about the only thing I'm being ambitious about in thinking about 2008, to be honest! In choosing books, we put in plenty of classic books we've always wanted to read, plus lots of more current books, especially related to our faith, in areas that we're truly interested in and really looking forward to exploring. Some books were chosen because we already own them yet haven't read (or only one of us have read). I also put in more than a couple that are against what I believe, and a few in subjects where I'm not sure where I stand. I want to challenge myself to understand opposing viewpoints and differing ideas. Not everything is classic and difficult, but it's all about things that interest me and my dh. I am SO excited!

A star after an entry means it crosses categories (you're allowed 8 cross-overs, though we didn't take them all). I reserve the right to make changes to this plan! :-) If you have a plan for reading in 2008, please let me know in the comments - I am so fascinated seeing what other people are reading! In no particular order, here is my list!

Category 1: Classic Fiction

1. A Tale of Two Cities/Charles Dickens

2. Sense and Sensibility/Jane Austin

3. Gone With the Wind/Margaret Mitchell

4. Fahrenheit 451/Ray Bradbury

5. Lord of the Rings (at least #1)/J.R.R Tolkein

6. Screwtape Letters/C.S. Lewis

7. The Three Musketeers/Alexander Dumas

8. Far From the Madding Crowd/Thomas Harding

Category 2: Current Events/Non-fiction

1. The Cube and the Cathedral/George Weigel

2. Catholic Bioethics and the Gift of Human Life/William May

3. Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam/Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Marcello Pera, Michael F. Moore, and Benedict

4. Architects of the Culture of Death/Donald De Marco and Benjamin D. Wiker

5. Origin of the Species/Charles Darwin *

6. The God Delusion/Richard Dawkins

7. Oracle Bones: A Journey Through Time in China/Peter Hessler

8. Eugenics and Other Evils : An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State/ G.K. Chesterton and Michael Perry

Category 3: Biographies

1. Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles/Raymond Arroyo

2. Madame Curie: A Biography/Eve Curie

3. Witness to Hope: The Biography of John Paul II/George Weigel

4. God’s Choice: Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church/George Weigel

5. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin/Benjamin Franklin *

6. Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season/Jonathan Eig

7. The Joyful Beggar: St. Francis of Assisi/Louis de Wohl *

8. Ginger: My Story/Ginger Rogers

Category 4: Spirituality

1. The Joyful Beggar: St. Francis of Assisi/Louis de Wohl *

2. Mere Christianity/C.S. Lewis

3. Orthodoxy/G. K. Chesterton

4. City of God/Augustine

5. Introduction to the Devout Life/St. Francis de Sales

6. The Interior Castle/St. Teresa of Avila

7. Papal Encyclicals (all of Benedict’s, and at least 5 of past encyclicals – will list when chosen)

8. The Basic Book of Catholic Prayer: How to Pray and Why/Lawrence G. Lovasik

Category 5: Political

1. The Servile State/Hilaire Belloc

2. The Outline of Sanity/G.K. Chesterton

3. The Crisis of Civilization/Hilaire Belloc

4. Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History of Our Times/George Crile

5. The Republic/Plato

6. The Prince/Niccolo Machievelli

7. The Communist Manifest/Karl Marx

8. Capitalism and Freedom/Milton Freedman

Category 6: History/Historical Fiction

1. The Peloponnesian War/Donald Kagan

2. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin/Benjamin Franklin *

3. How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization/Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

4. 1776/David McCullough

5. Janson’s History of Art: The Western Tradition/Penelope J.E. Davies, Walter B. Denny, Frima Fox Hofrichter, and Joseph F Jacobs

6. The Guns of August/Barbara W. Tuchman

7. Angels in Iron/Nicholas C. Prata

8. Triumph: The Power and Glory of the Catholic Church/H.W. Crocker III

Category 7: Food&Nutrition/Science

1. Good Calories, Bad Calories/Gary Taubes

2. The Dirt on Clean: An Unsantized History/Katherine Ashenburg

3. A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature/ Benjamin Wiker, Jonathan Witt

4. Origin of the Species/Charles Darwin

5. Darwin’s Black Box/Michael Behe

6. Darwin Strikes Back: Defending the Science of Intelligent Design/Thomas Woodward

7. Real Food: What to Eat and Why/Nina Plank

8. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle/Barbara Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver, and Steven L. Hopp

Category 8 (Jen’s) Hobbies/Crafts/Home/Parenting/Homeschooling

1. MaryJane’s Stitching Room/MaryJane Butters

2. Christian Courtship in an Over-Sexed World: A Guide for Catholics/Thomas G. Morrow

3. Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook/Martha Stewart

4. The Family Manager Takes Charge: Getting on the Fast Track to a Happy, Organized Home/Kathy Peel

5. Beyond Survival: Abundant Life Homeschooling/Diana Warring

6. The Underground History of American Education/John Taylor Gatto

7. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity/David Allen

8. Holiness for Housewives/Dom Hubert Van Zeller, Hubert Van Zeller


Rational Jenn said...

How cool you are doing this, too! I have a few of the books on your list--Gatto's, Getting Things Done, if you want to borrow.

And oooh! The Guns of August! I'm going to have to add that as an alternative 9th selection to my historical fiction category.


Kelly said...

What a great idea! You have a couple of my favorites on your list for this year, can't wait to see what you think. I have to admit, I'm intimidated by this list, which makes me feel even stupider than ever. LOL! [yeah, I know that ain't a word :) ]

Vicki said...

Wow, what a list! I have only read two on the list and a few others by the same authors you have listed. For me reading is just a mini vacation, so I don't think I'm ambitious enough to tackle a list like that. Perhaps I could do one in each category. Hmm, maybe I'll think about doing that.