Last year, I set a goal to read 50 books from January 1st to December 31st. I was able to complete my goal in the last few hours of 2011. Over the course of the year, I read a lot of different books and enjoyed most of them.
The book that I enjoyed the most was Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien. I've seen the movies so many times, but had not finished the books. Challenged by a friend to finish it, I read it and then had the most enjoyable time discussing it over coffee with friends. I would highly recommend the entire series to anyone. The books are so much better than the movie. With the Hobbit coming out this year, I will at least be reading that again this year.
Also, for the first time in 2011 I read an in depth biography. Through the booksneeze review program, I received the Bonhoeffer biography by Eric Metaxas. It was like running a marathon to get all the way through it, but it was well worth the journey. I also highly recommend this book if you have the time. Some of Bonhoeffer's works are on my reading list for this year and I cannot wait to dig into them now that I know more about his life.
2011 also saw some controversy. I normally like to keep my nose out of controversy, but I decided to review Rob Bell's book Love Wins. This was the most popular blog post that my blog has ever seen. It was an easy book to read and an interesting one as well. Bell stirred up a lot with this short little book and I think some people went a little overboard criticizing him. I enjoyed the book and was challenged by what he wrote. In the end, though, I still disagreed with him at a few points.
There were a bunch of other books that I read this past year, but this year I'm changing my focus. This year instead of pushing for more books, I'm going to try to read longer books. I'm not saying that longer books are alway better, some of the best books I have read have been some of the shortest books. This year I'm going to shoot for 30 books instead of 50. I'm going from an average of 4 books a month to 2.5 books a month. On my list are books like the 2 volumes of Justo Gonzalez's Story of Christianity, The Brothers Karamozov, First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, and Humphrey Carpenter's biography of Tolkien.
I know that this is not the most exciting of blog posts, but it's important to make and share goals. I would encourage you to make a reading goal for this year. An easy way to do that is to use Goodreads and create a goal. It tracks it for your and lets you know if you are behind. Good Luck!