My 2020 Booklist


I realize that like plans of any sort booklists might give you hives. If that’s the case, you won’t hurt my feelings to move along, but I do wonder: how do you keep track of the books you want to read? I know how it goes. A friend recommends their current favorite. You notice someone else talking about their latest on IG. Your favorite writer releases a new book or you read a raving review by the NYT or a bookshop. And what about the books you were interested to read last year, or ever last week?

In the past, I have winged it. If I discovered a book that seemed compelling enough, I’d purchase it or check it out at the library. But I often found my nightstand piled with books that I had started and not finished. Like other inputs in my life, I felt easily distracted in my reading. Enter: personal booklist.

Clearly, this isn’t required nor is it something to hold over myself or you for that matter. This booklist serves as a helpful guide for my reading this year, a reminder of my interests and curiosities. Perhaps it will stir some of your own. I’m certain I will read books not listed. There’s also a very likely chance that I won’t read everything listed. I do plan to share what I am reading more here and on my Stories as I go if you’d like to join me!

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  1. Oh Bethany, I love this! I have learned the very same and now keep a book list for myself for the same reasons. I loved reading this list you’ve curated, friend, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on your reads!

  2. Hi Bethany! I want you to know that I enjoy your blog! I do love books! I was looking through your list and noticed a book- Raising Giant Killers by Bill and Beni Johnson. Please know that there are “many” problems biblically with Bill Johnson and Bethel Church and what they teach. I can share information with you, just let me know. Again, I would want someone to warn me. I understand sometimes it is hard to know this information. Sincerely, April

    1. Author

      Thank you, April! I always enjoy helpful and supportive feedback/dialogues here and would enjoy hearing your thoughts. Feel free to email me!

  3. I usually put my name on the hold list at the library for a book that I see I want to read from a recommendation. Usually it’s just one which helps. Most of the time once I get it available I am able to finish it since they are really good. Other times I get through 40 pages and it’s not for me and back it goes. But other times I can’t get to it because of all the other books I have and it just goes back. At our library you can keep track of the books you checked out so once I’m ready to read it for the first time I can just go back and check. I also tried putting my list in a notebook but that doesn’t work. I think I might try printing your list and taping it to my wall above my desk and just checking them off and adding my other books lists there. This way it’s right in front. I can’t wait to check out your book recommendations!

    1. Author

      Yes, I love holding books, too. But I’m often impatient for the “27 holds in front of you” message. 🤣 I am planning to work through this list exactly as you said—with a pencil and a check mark on paper. I’m hoping to release a few other reading resources to use in the coming months, so stay tuned! Also message or tag me when you read something on the list, I’d love to hear about it!

    1. Author

      I keep tons of lists in my notes, too—the starting place of my current list! I just figured creating a pretty PDF would look better than screenshots from my phone. 😂

  4. There is a Facebook group named “what should I read next?” And it is a great recourse for new (and old) book recs. I love your list! I read The Nightingale based on your recommendation and it is one of my favorite books I’ve ever read. Thank you!

      1. Great! Thank you, I will be putting them on my list. I just picked up Great Alone from Kristin Hannah. I have heard mixed reviews, but her writing style is so good. Have you read that one?

        1. Author

          YES!i couldn’t put it down either. My husband kept saying, “are you in Alaska again?” 😂 The content is gripping but difficult, since it involves domestic battery and could be a trigger for some readers. There are definitely parts that will make your stomach turn and others that will make you quite angry. Still, although we have not arrived, I was moved by the sense of progress we’ve made culturally in regards to women’s rights since the 1970/80s when this fictional story place. In my opinion, it’s worthy of reading.

  5. I loved Little Fires Everywhere and also Save Me The Plums! I need to start my own book list. I used to use goodreads but it made me too obsessive about the organizing so I deleted the whole thing. I look forward to having my own journal for book :) happy reading!
    Ps: a must read: Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren. Captivating and profound.

    1. Author

      Thank you for sharing, Taylor! I’ve seen that one pop up for me on Amazon. I need to pencil it in! And yes, I tried Goodreads several years ago, and it felt like another thing to manage and keep up with. 🙈

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