Today’s post marks the fourth yearly reading list that I’ve shared here. It has been a delightful exercise in thoughtfully planning my reading, which makes a certain amount of sense given the vast number of good books in the world and the relatively few I’ll be able to read in my lifetime. Over time, though, I think I have leaned a little too heavily into curating a list that looks good and checks a lot of boxes rather than a list of books I’m chomping at the bit to read. That’s okay – I think choosing an elevated list of aspirational reads is its own worthwhile pursuit, and I may return to it. But this year (perhaps in tandem with my 2023 goals), I am craving a ready list of books I can’t wait to read, and so that’s what I’ve compiled. My main criteria, after vetting them in my usual ways, was simply: would I want to dive into this book tomorrow?
In most months I chose one fiction and one non-fiction book, but you’ll see I took a few liberties, as well. If you’d like me to join me for any of my picks, I’d love to have you!
Becoming Mrs. Lewis | Once I knew Mere Christianity was going to be my January pick, it was only too perfect to pluck this one from my TBR list.
Mere Christianity | One of my favorite books of all time. I read it every few years.
Remarkably Bright Creatures | Described as a love story with a giant octopus, this novel has been universally adored by everyone whose opinions I trust. Love that it’s her debut.
Deep Work | I have had a Cal Newport book on my list every year I’ve made one, and somehow I have still never read one of his books!! Will this be the year? With my new schedule I’ve been craving even more focus at work, so this seemed like the one to try.
Book Lovers | We have a copy that’s been circulating in Articles Club for the last few months with post-it notes added as it changes hands, and I’m up next.
The Gospel Comes with a House Key | This one seemed fitting for my goals this year!
The Inheritance Games | This year’s list leans a little more “fun” than in years past, and so a buzzy YA mystery with “thrilling twists” seems right at home.
The Odyssey | I haven’t read The Odyssey since ninth-grade English. I loved it, though hadn’t had much urge to re-read it until this first female translation came highly recommended. We’ll see – this may be one I later regret adding to the list, but right now I’m excited about it :)
Every Summer After | I have been warned that this one will make me sob, but we’re going with it.
Camp Girls | A nod to June’s and my mother-daughter weekend, recommended by a friend who knows the author!
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow | Another seemingly universally-beloved novel. I enjoyed her other well-known book and am intrigued by this one!
The Life We’re Looking for | This book doesn’t seem to have gotten much love (only 154 Amazon reviews, though positive!), but I loved the other book I’ve read by Andy. Also seems fitting for this year’s goals: “a deeply reflective primer on creating meaningful connections, rebuilding abundant communities, and living in a way that engages our full humanity.”
Carrie Soto is Back | I have never read a Taylor Jenkins Reid book even though she’s had a number of blockbusters over the last few years. It’s time, and this tennis-themed one seems like a good place to start!
Raising Emotionally Strong Boys | My love for Raising Boys & Girls runs deep. Since I didn’t grow up with brothers or many male cousins, I am always looking to learn from the wiser people around me, and David definitely qualifies.
The Maid | I think three separate friends described this book as, verbatim, “just a delight.” Perfect for a summer vacation read.
As You Wish | We have been wanting to watch The Princess Bride (one of my favorites!) for family movie night, so I’ll time its premier with this read!
Marriage Portrait | I added this one in the hopes that it would have similar vibes to the Ken Follett trilogy – a distinct historical period, layered plots, intriguing characters. We shall see!
Teach Your Children Well | This one’s a bit of a wildcard, but I heard the author on a podcast about family discipleship and enjoyed what she had to say.
Lessons in Chemistry | The definition of buzzy. I am actually not sure I’m going to love this one as much as everyone else does, but giving it a try because of effusive reviews from a few trusted sources!
The Hiding Place | A classic I know very little about, but am excited to read.
The Flatshare | Sister and mom loved it. See: light, feel-good books for this year’s list.
Habits of the Household | I adored the other book I’ve read by him. This is one I’m not sure I’ll wait to read until November!
At Home in Mitford | Steph reminded me that December is the perfect time to read a Mitford book. I haven’t picked one up in years (my grandmother loved them!), but it does sound like the coziest holiday read.
Cozy Minimalist Home | Setting myself up for a new year of nesting in each season.
Honorable mentions I’m hoping to squeeze in, as well: Black Cake, Telling God’s Story, Start With Hello, The Measure, The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post, and The Cartographers.
I’d love to hear: Have you read any of these books? Would you like to read any alongside me in 2023? Let’s chat!
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