This year, I read all but one of the books on my Books to Read in 2017 list. Spiritual Letters by Dom John Chapman is in progress (so it doesn’t have its checkmark yet), but I didn’t read The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods by A.G. Sertillanges, O.P. for the second year in a row, so it’s coming off the list for this year.
Overall, I read 167 books (just over 50k pages) over 2017, a pretty high share of which were from my local library, thanks to my Library Extension plug-in, that checks if any book I look at on Amazon is in the library system, so I can put it on hold.
I’m also amused to report that Goodreads told me both which book I read that was the most commonly read by other people (A Wrinkle in Time) and which book was read by only me, in all of Goodreads: The Oxford Movement in America: Or, Glimpses of Life in an Anglican Seminary. I found it in a used book store in Staunton, Virginia (during a trip to the American Shakespeare Center).
I like making a to-read list every year, not as a set of tasks to be accomplished, but as a way of giving myself permission to prioritize these books, that I might otherwise put off as I tackle other things. So, without further ado, here’s my 2018 list:
- C.S. Lewis at the Breakfast Table and Other Reminiscences — Various
- An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace — Tamar Adler
- The Baron in the Trees — Italo Calvino
- Grant — Ron Chernow
- Middlemarch — George Eliot
- Fractal Worlds: Grown, Built, and Imagined — Michael Frame and Amelia Urry
- The Shadow of His Wings: The True Story of Fr. Gereon Goldmann, OFM — Gereon Goldmann
- Athens, Arden, Jerusalem — Kate Havard & Paul T. Wilford
- Notre Dame de Paris/The Hunchback of Notre Dame — Victor Hugo
- Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World — Steven Johnson
- Thy Will Be Done: Letters to Persons in the World — St. Francis de Sales
- Mother Maria Skobtsova: Essential Writings — Maria Skobtsova
- The Light of Christ — Fr. Thomas Joseph White
- The Vision of the Soul — James Matthew Wilson
- Disagreeing Virtuously — Olli-Pekka Vainio
This year, I’d like to try doing some daily spiritual reading (and there’s certainly enough here to fill a year), which leaves me with one small problem. I’m vegetarian, so I don’t fast from meat on Fridays (and other food-based practices haven’t worked well for me). I’ve taken on a special time of spiritual reading, but, if I’m doing it everyday, it doesn’t work so well as a Friday practice. Any suggestions for what I might take on instead?