Thursday, January 16, 2014

My 2014 Reading Plan

One year. Fifty books. That’s the absolute bare bones of my reading plan for 2014.

In the past, my reading has been purely seat-of-the-pants. Cover, title, recommendation… whatever catches my eye I jump right in to. But I’ve been inspired by other writers and readers who actually formulate a plan for their reading for the year. I’ve embraced this idea for two reasons.

  1. A plan of attack means it could actually happen in an orderly fashion. Reading time is precious. I don’t want to waste it. J
  2. The plan gives me permission to read books other than writing craft books and books in my genre. Intellectually, I know it’s good to read history and psychology and missionary books, but I’ve been so intent on studying my genre that I couldn’t convince myself to read anything else.

For me, the Bible is a given, so I’ve not included it on my list.

So, here goes. My already-been-tweaked-several-times-and-that’s-why-it’s-just-now-coming-out-in-the-middle-of-January reading list for 2014 ~

·         2 R.M. Ballantyne books
o   The Dog Crusoe
o    The Lonely Island
·         2 Jane Austen novels (possibly all six) to discuss from the perspective of motherhood
o   Pride and Prejudice
o   Sense and Sensibility
·         6 contemporary romance, including Love Inspired {absolute minimum!}
o   Millie’s Treasure, Kathleen Y’Barbo
o   Smitten, Colleen Coble, {Just need to finish it.}
o   Nicholas Sparks?
·         2 historical romance {absolute minimum!}
o   Rebellious Heart, Jody Hedlund
o   Love’s Awakening, Laura Frantz
·         1 legal suspense – Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales, Randy Singer
·         5 favorite fiction authors
o   Cynthia Ruchti’s new book coming in May
o   Lady in Waiting, Susan Meissner
o   Not in the Heart, Chris Fabry
·         3 new fiction authors {absolute minimum!}
o   The Bone Box by Bob Hostetler
o   Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio
o   Richard Mabry
·         8 young adult
o   Gunner’s Run and Kiriath’s Quest by Rick Barry
o   The Legend of Annie Murphy by Frank Peretti
o   The Caroline books from American Girl {It’s always good to keep up with what your young adults are reading. J}
·         4 writing craft books {absolute minimum!}
o   Stein on Writing, Sol Stein
o   The Moral Premise, Stanley Williams
o   Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Renni Browne & Dave King {just need to finish this one}
o   Revision & Self-Editing, James Scott Bell {need to finish this one as well}
·         3 assigned missionary books from our church conference
·         2 creative non-fiction history
o   “They Have Killed Papa Dead!” The Road to Ford’s Theatre, Abraham Lincoln’s Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance, Anthony S. Pitch
o   Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, Rush Limbaugh
·         1 creative non-fiction/memoir
o   Gifted Hands, Dr. Ben Carson
·         5 non-fiction {absolute minimum!}
o   Ragged Hope, Cynthia Ruchti
o   You’re Made for a God-sized Dream, Holley Gerth
o   When Godly People Do Ungodly Things, Beth Moore
o   Large Family Logistics, Kim Brenneman
·         1 marketing book – Rob Eager?
·         1 uncategorized – The Book of Useless Information – Doesn’t that just sound intriguing? J
·         2-3 Christmas books
o   The Christmas Candle, Max Lucado
o   The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Barbara Robinson
·         1 daily devotional – Praying God’s Word Day by Day, Beth Moore
·         An untold number of children’s picture books. J

I’ve allowed myself some wiggle room in the numbers to allow for decisions along the way, although I would love to read far more than fifty. If a fantastic book comes available in May, I don’t want to have to put it off until the New Year.

I’m also allowing that I may have to extend myself some grace. I have six children, I homeschool, we’re building our own home, and my husband is contemplating a Ph.D. program. Whew!

It’s not too late to make your own reading plan. Keep track of what you read through the year, and let’s meet back here in December.

Meghan Carver is a 2013 ACFW Genesis semi-finalist and the author of several articles and short stories. After achieving a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University and Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Millikin University and completing a brief stint in immigration law, Meghan heard God calling her to be at home. Now homeschooling her six children with her college professor husband, Meghan has returned to her first love of writing. She blogs about homeschooling and homemaking at


  1. This author is humbled (and grateful) to be among your choices. Twice! :)

  2. I think I'll use your list as checkpoint as there were a few on it that I really want to read. The number you planned to read was quite daunting. I do track my reading so I went back and counted and came up with 54 and that doesn't count the few titles I reread simply because I love them so much. So it made your plan seem quite doable. I have a general to read list, but not a reading plan. Thanks for presenting this idea to me.