Adventures in Reading – 2021

Join me on this adventure.

I made a categorical list for you!  Think of it as more of an encouragement and enticement than a challenge. Although I do love challenges.

Set a goal.  Mine this year is pretty ambitious. Fifty. Lately, I have been reading about 35 books a year. But I don’t feel satisfied. My heart yearns for more adventures in book land. I want to experience different places, different eras, different cultures, learn new things, expand my thinking. So, 50 books this year will definitely stretch me.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to start filling out my 2021 book list. All of the categories that I included look so alluring.

Now more than ever I would like to encourage you to read more. We can all agree that 2020 was a challenging year, and now 2021 has not yet appeared to be getting any easier.  Many of us have no place to go. Travel plans are mostly on hold. On the whole, everyone is spending more time at home. In fact, if I could have a dollar for every time a patient has told me at the clinic where I work that they have mostly not gone out of the house since last March, I could buy a yacht.

Without further ado…

Here is my 2021 Reading Adventure: Categories to Joggle Your Brain & Challenge You – (pdf for printing: Reading Challenge 2021)

Below are 47 suggestions as well as 5 blank spots for you to record the books you read this year. There is room to write the name of the book and author next to each category.  You can also highlight the category when you have read a book from that particular one.

  • A historical fiction book
  • A science-fiction book
  • A mystery
  • A classic from before the 1800’s
  • A classic from the 1800’s
  • A classic from the 1900’s
  • A World War 2 era book
  • A beach read
  • A book on parenting or marriage
  • A book on business
  • A book on finances
  • A book on happiness
  • A book on organization
  • A self-help or self-improvement book
  • A book on health
  • A book on diet or weight loss
  • A book about the brain
  • A theological book
  • A commentary on a book of the Bible
  • A book by C. S. Lewis
  • A book by John Steinbeck
  • A book by Charles Dickens
  • A comedy or funny book
  • A book a friend recommends
  • A book that you have read before
  • A current or recent bestseller fiction
  • A current or recent bestseller non-fiction
  • A book written by a President of the U.S.
  • A book about a President of the U.S.
  • A book set in Russia
  • A book set in Africa
  • A book set in South America
  • A book set in a European country
  • A book set in the Arctic or Antarctica
  • A book set in an Asian country
  • A children’s chapter book
  • A book about a true story
  • A biography
  • An autobiography
  • A book about art or music
  • A book made into a movie
  • A book about a controversial issue
  • A book that has won awards


Suggestion: Buy a book light.

My reasons why:

  • I read more because I don’t have to worry about keeping my husband awake when I want to read longer.
  • It’s easier to read in bed at night regardless since my eyesight is declining a little with age.
  • Plus the booklight I got is free of blue spectrum light, thus it won’t affect my melatonin production.
  • My book light came in really handy the other night when our power was out for almost 24 hours.

I don’t know why I didn’t purchase a book light before. I bought this one last month and love it. They are inexpensive too.

Suggestion: Keep a book journal.

I started doing this a few years ago and it has proven to be very satisfying and valuable.  I include the date I finish the book, the name of the book and author, of course, and then maybe a brief synopsis, what I liked or disliked, any big takeaways, and if I would recommend it to others. Here is one reading log that looks good. But a simple spiral notebook would do.

A few of my favorite books from last year:

The 15 Descriptions of Love by Alexander Strauch: Based on I Corinthians 13, it was very humbling to read, like holding up a mirror and having your warts and blemishes exposed. But I love Scripture expounded even if it points out my shortcomings. If you want to grow in love, this little book is a gem.

Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig: This is a great story about an Austro-Hungarian cavalry officer and how the pity he felt for a young crippled woman affected not only his life but also the life of others. Very interesting and provocative.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi: Written by a resident neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, this book is his memoir, mostly about his short adult life before he succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 36. It was intriguing to read his thoughts on his disease, his treatments, and his decline. Heart-wrenching too.


Here are some previous articles that I have written about reading.

The first one deals more with the why read more, the second includes 2018’s reading list, and the third offers some good suggestions of specific books to read that I obtained from friends, relatives, and co-workers.

Reading Challenge for 2018 – Part 1

Reading Challenge for 2018 – Part 2

Reading Challenge for 2018 – Part 3


Reading not only takes us on adventures, it also helps us to LIVE LIFE WELL.  I wish you many happy hours of reading!

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