My 2017 Reading List: May

manreadingabookby John Ellis

Ok, having read thirteen books in May, my pace has picked back up a bit. Not enough, mind you, to reach my goal of reading two-hundred books in 2017, but that’s alright, I think. As long as I read between twelve to seventeen books a month the rest of the year, I won’t be too disappointed to not reach two-hundred books this year. There’s always 2018, right? I’d also like to point out that we are in the midst of the NBA Playoffs. This means that I’ve watched more TV this past month than I normally watch.

My eleven-year old daughter, however, is on pace to read just over three-hundred books this year (our contest started in February, so the total numbers below reflect four months of reading, not five). Not only is she going to beat me, but she’s going to put my goal to shame. I keep telling her that she needs to remember who controls her allowance. I’m also considering allowing her unlimited technology time. If I do, maybe that will help me close the gap.

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My 2017 Reading List: February


by John Ellis

A friend asked me if I read more than one book at a time. I replied in the affirmative and added that I have a system, of sorts. I also said that I would attempt to explain my system. Briefly, and suddenly realizing that this can barely be classified a “system,” I read from a novel every night before going to sleep. Other than that, I’m reading at least two theology books at a time as well as a general interest book. By general interest, I mean whatever my interest is at the time. At any given moment, my interest could be history or sociology or theatre (I make sure to read at least one Shakespeare play a month) or philosophy or, I don’t know, books on how to build a pergola in the backyard. So, for February, I read four novels (technically, one is a collection of short stories), six “general interest books,” and eight theology books.

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My 2017 Reading List: January

snoopy-readingby John Ellis

As 2016 came to a close, I began noticing a multitude of blog posts and articles listing the author’s 2016 reading list. I like the concept, but, not to brag, well, too brag a little, my year-end reading list would be incredibly long. I have no idea how many books I read in 2016, but my goal for 2017 is two hundred books (I’m working on another article fleshing out that goal a little bit). If I were to go back over 2016, I wouldn’t be too surprised to discover that I surpassed my 2017 goal in 2016. Even if I fell short of two hundred books by, say, fifty, an article listing the books with a short blurb about each would be well over 15,000 words[1]. At that point, I may as well write my own book.

In order to participate and still keep the articles a manageable length, I’ve decided to write month-end reading lists throughout 2017. Sadly, my reading list in January puts me behind the eight-ball when it comes to my reading goal for 2017. Thankfully, it’s the first month of the year, so I have plenty of time to catch up[2]. One note – I’m including books that I finished reading during the month. Three of the books on this list were begun in December. It will all work out because when December 2017 ends, there will undoubtedly be three or four books that I will be reading but will not finish until 2018. For example, I am currently reading four books that I started in January that will not show up until the February list.

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