If you frequent my blog, you will have noticed that the column on the left of the screen has become significantly shorter. Here's why: every year my goal is to read 24 books. That's about one book every two weeks or so. In a perfect world I would like to read twice that much but time and money (I like to buy all of my books rather than borrow or check out from the library) do no allow. Additionally, I am on a five year trek through every major work of the early church fathers, which I don't count toward my 24 books. I use the "Books This Year" column to track my reading through the year. You probably won't see this column updated every two weeks, because typically I read multiple books at a time. The list may go a month without being updated, and then suddenly I will add three books to the list.
I don't say any of this to brag, but only to explain a couple of things:
First, on occasion I have had people ask me how I know so much about so many topics. Well, first of all, I live by the mantra: "If you don't know it, fake it" (just kidding). But also, it's not because I'm actually that smart, it's simply because I read. Erwin McManus has said that "even a fool can become a source of wisdom if he is willing to be a human sponge." That's me; I'm a human sponge. I read and soak up all I can from people who are much smarter, wiser, and closer to God than I am. The things I write about in my blog are almost always directly related to what I am reading.
Second, recently I have been asked more and more to recommend books for reading. Last year, my list did not accomplish that. So this year I am making some changes. Rather than just posting the books I've read, my list will include a very short write up and a rating. The rating will be based on 5 stars and will be at the end of the write-up in parenthesis. Three stars means that it is worth your while to read. Four stars means that it is highly recommended, and you definitely need to add it to your reading list. Five stars means that it is a "must read," and you should pick it up as soon as possible. If the book rates at three or more stars, I will try to also do an extended write-up of the book in a post. On the lesser end of the scale, if the book receives no stars, don't waste your time. If it receives 1 star, that means it has some redeeming qualities, but not worth reading to get those few gems. If a book receives two stars, it probably has enough redeeming qualities to read if you have nothing else to do, but I would not spend money on buying it. Borrow it or check it out from the library if you feel so inclined.
Third, I am always open to suggestions. I love it when people recommend books. So I'm inviting you to make recommendations. You can use the comments on this blog to recommend books, and if I haven't already read them, I may add some of them to my reading list for the year.
Let the reading begin!