Listening to: The Beatles

Reading: Oh come one, the whole thing is just a reading list.

Writing About: reading, judging friends and strangers, fronting.

This week a few of my Facebook friends have posted lists of what they read last year,
and/or what they plan to read this year.

Reading these lists has been awesome!  How have I never seen this before?

I feel like I know something special about these friends and strangers now.

So I wanted to make one.

Immediately I had to work through the difference between:
1. What I wanted to read next year
2. What I wanted you all to think I wanted to read next year.

This list is as close to honest as I could get.

But Quickly, a word on last year

This is where I feel the pressure of authenticity vs. managing my “public image”
It is easy to put forward your plans for next year
Because, you know, I am not beholden to the future list.
It would be easy to just stack a bunch of books that I think make me look smart, or deep.
But listing what I actually read says something different, and probably more “accurate”


I didn’t list any “Fragments” I read last year, only completed works. 
Fragments is cheating.
I also didn’t list any Bible reading, mostly because outside of work related Bible reading
I read almost nothing other than Psalms this year.

Enough Qualifiers:   Last year I only read three books

This one was written by my youth minister, and an all around good dude.  It is the only historical fiction I have ever read, and it was enjoyable.  I didn’t do anything at all to get this thing made, I didn’t even pay for it, but it made me feel proud to read it.  You should read it (and pay for it too).


I read this, which I think should count as 3 or 4 books.
It is A Dance With Dragons
There are a dozen ways you can judge me for that.

for scale, that is a copy machine in the background

And Finally, I read this


Like many things I end up reading, it got on my list when I found it cheap
at a used book store, or garage sale, or whatever.
I am sure you were asking yourself how it ended up in my list.
Anyway, it was fantastic.

You have seen what I read, are you still here?

And Now, Next Year

In Priority Order, with Minimal Commentary:


St. Augustine Confessions.
Because some Egghead friends of mine want to talk about it together
(not pictured, it’s in my office)

Thomas A’Kempis The Imitation of Christ
I have started this multiple times, and loved it every time. I want it to be my consistent devotional this year.

Neil Gaiman The Sandman: Endless Nights
Because I want to see what all the fuss is about, plus I found it cheap.
In the unlikely event that the Fight Club Graphic Novel Sequel (a real thing)  gets released this year, this one will be replaced.

Sherwood Anderson Winesburg, Ohio
This one has been on my nightstand for a decade, it is time to move it out of the queue
I’d like to thank Netflix for the addition of the word Queue to the American Psyche

Rudyard Kipling The Jungle Books
I am not entirely convinced this will make next year’s completed list. But after finding it cheap I got very interested.  Current time spent on my nightstand: 3 months.

Steve Corbett: When Helping Hurts
This would have made last year’s “fragments” list. It would have also made 2013’s “fragments” list.   I reference it all the time, I think it is time I give it the time it deserves. (also, in my office, not pictured)

A.J. Jacobs The Know it All
Because The Year of Living Biblically was insightful and hilarious. And i found it cheap.

Robert Coles The Moral Intelligence of Children 
Because it dovetails with two of my life’s passions: working with young people and morality/ethics.  This will, of course, be sidelined by the highly unlikely release of The Winds of Winter

Jonathan Lehrer Imagine
Heard the NPR interview, saw it sell a billion copies and burn up everyone’s reading club.  Then found it cheap. Time spent on Nightstand so far: 14 months


So there it is. You know something about me.
If you want to know if I was fronting, check back at 2016’s “what I read this year” list