Reading Challenge 2020

Reading Challenge Recap of 2019

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Time for all the new reading challenge goals and resolutions, that is. Boy do I love setting a reading challenge. What I don’t love is forgetting to follow through. Which is exactly what I did last year. I read 121 books (that was my goal), but failed pretty epically in reading the selected educational titles I had picked out. It’s not that I didn’t read nonfiction–I did. It’s not that I’m not happy with the books I read–I am! But there were specific books that I wanted to read for specific learning and I didn’t, because I literally forgot they even existed by February.

So this year, I have a solution that I hope will help. I now have my education reading goals taped up on the door where I sit to do my afternoon writing. I can’t miss them! I’m also going to put a reminder in my phone for the first of each month to check on the list, order library books if I need to, etc.

Anyways, you can read my goals from last year here. Literature category was a bust. In History, I did make progress in The Bondage of the Will and Then Sings My Soul–until I forgot they existed. I read King Lear, Macbeth, and Shakespeare’s Sonnets but definitely did NOT keep up with Shakespeare in a Year. Conveniently forgot that existed too. I read lots of poetry this year, but not the Iliad and the Odyssey, and I didn’t finish the Robert Frost Anthology I had picked out. Read some Wordsworth. Definitely not all of my collection though. It’s huge, but excuses are excuses.

Really, it all comes down to the fact that I forgot what I wanted to read. I read books in almost all of the categories, just not the ones I had picked out. If you’re curious, you can see my year in books on Goodreads here.

Reading Challenge 2020

So, here we are. I’m following the Schole Sisters 5×5 challenge, wherein you pick 5 books in 5 categories to read over the course of the year to further your own education. My categories are Bio/Memoir, History/Politics, Math, Poetry, and Science/Natural History. Also, I added a category for Education. Mostly because reading about education is very important to me right now, and I want to challenge myself to grow in it, but I also want to read more than 5 books about it. I think I have 10 picked out in that category.

That’s only 35 books altogether, so there’s still plenty of room to be impulsive at the library with my remaining 95 books of the year 😉 Some of these are shameless recycles from the reading challenge titles in 2019.

My bio/memoir selections are: John Adams by David McCullough, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan, Walden by Henry Thoreau, Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Barbara Bush’s memoir.

History/Politics: This Country of Ours by H. E. Marshall (school title), A Child’s History of the World by V. M. Hillyer (school title), The End of Civil Government by John Locke, Two Treatises of Government by John Locke, and The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx. (Josh’s challenge to me was to read something that I fundamentally disagree with, hence the manifesto)

Math: Secrets of Mental Math by Arthur T. Benjamin, Math with Bad Drawings by Ben Orlin, The Joy of X by Stephen H. Strogatz, The Art of the Infinite by Robert Kaplan, Everyday Calculus by Oscar E. Fernandez.

Poetry: e.e. cummings, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Robert Frost (Hello again, my poor, neglected friend), W. B. Yeats, Oscar Wilde

Science/Natural History: The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs by Tristan Gooley, Wayfinding by M. R. O’Connor, The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf, First Bite: How We Learn to Eat by Bee Wilson, The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddartha Mukherjee.

Education: Know and Tell by Karen Glass, Mindshift by Barbara Oakley, Ultralearning by Scott Young, Deep Work by Cal Newport, How to Think by Alan Jacobs, How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler, School Education by Charlotte Mason, Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, Fluent in 3 Months by Benny Lewis, Atomic Habits by James Clear.

Getting Started

I’m really excited about this year of reading! I’ve already started The Art of the Infinite, a book of Oscar Wilde’s poetry, and How to Read a Book. I started How to Read a Book last year, and just didn’t get it finished but hoping to knock out a few of these challenge titles right away this month!

What are you hoping to read in 2020?